Concorde Pear and CameoTM Apple
There is considerable interest in new varieties of all fruit grown in Washington. The Concorde pear is a Conference x Comice cross bred in East Malling.
Wells and Wade purchased 20 boxes of Concorde, from the 1997 crop, grown near Wenatchee from 3rd leaf trees, to experiment with storage and sample with buyers. On September 23, half the pears were packed with non-treated paper and half were packed with treated paper (oil, copper, and ethoxyquin). The boxes were placed in RA storage and later placed in CA storage with Bosc and Anjou. The fruit was not run over the packing line, instead they were packed from field lugs. Due to the shape of the pear, it may cause some problems on the packing lines used in North Central Washington. The problems to look for would be stem punctures; scuffing and pears cut from getting caught in machinery, similar to Bosc and Bartlett. We did not perform detailed experiments with these pears, as we are not equipped to do so. Rather we wanted to see the ripening patterns and what would happen if stored in RA and CA storage regimes used for other pear varieties. It is important that with small quantities the new variety fit with existing equipment and storage regimes.
Two boxes were placed in a Bosc room that closed October 6, 1997 and opened November 21, 1997 after 45 days of CA. The regime used was 1.7% O2 and 0.50% CO2 at 30 ºF. The fruit was examined on December 11, 1997 after storage, and compared to fruit held in RA in a hallway.
Size 70 from CA in untreated paper had no decay and no skin discoloration. There was 1% cork.
Size 100 from CA in treated paper had no decay and no skin discoloration. There was 2% cork.
Green fruit in both boxes had a flat taste but some of the fruit was breaking in color and had excellent flavor. There was a somewhat checkerboard appearance to the box with some fruit breaking color.
Size 60 from RA in untreated paper had 7% decay and was uniformly ripe with very good dessert quality.
Size 60 from RA in treated paper had no decay but some slight skin discoloration presumably from the paper. This fruit was less mature than from the untreated paper.
We then warm-room tested the CA fruit. All the fruit had turned soft and yellow within 10 days at 70 degrees.
Two more boxes were placed in an Anjou room on October 20, 1997 both in treated paper and removed January 21, 1998 after 90 days. The regime used was 1.5% O2 and 0.50% CO2 at 30 ºF.
Size 80 CA in treated paper had 5% burn from the paper, 6% dry punctures with no decay and 1 pear with rot. 46 pears had turned yellow and 34 were still green with 2 pears having internal browning.
Size 100 CA in treated paper had no decay with 2 dry punctures. 25 pears were yellow and 75 green.
The fruit was edible out of storage and warm room tests ripened the green looking fruit in a few days.
We still have two rooms with boxes of fruit to examine with Anjou as they open in the spring.
Concorde has high sugar content and can be eaten when green to yellow in color. As the fruit ripens, the green and yellow can form a streaking or striping pattern on the fruit. The reason for differences in maturity within a sample are probably because the fruit we had was from young trees with one picking. Bob Gix at Blue Star Growers in Cashmere would be an excellent source for information concerning horticulture and harvest dates. He suggested fruit in his area be harvested by mid-Anjou harvest and packed within 30 days of harvest.
There will be a dilemma with Concorde. To get the highest dessert quality you may have to harvest later than is practical to get best results for packing and hauling. Remember one of the parents is Comice, which is a tender pear.
I strongly encourage growers with Concorde to combine their tonnage at one or two warehouses if possible to maximize storage and marketing efforts. Another source of information is a website you can find by doing a search for Concorde Pear.
CameoTM is a trademark name given to chance seedling called Caudle cv. found in the Wenatchee River Valley over 10 years ago. There has been adequate information published about Cameo concerning horticulture in Good Fruit Grower, PNWFTA and from grower workshops through Wells and Wade Fruit Co. The nurseries that presently sell CameoTM (Cameron, Van Well and Willow Drive) also keep up-to-date on horticultural aspects of the variety.
I believe there is more interest in current storage and marketing techniques. This is the third year that Wells and Wade Fruit Co has handled CameoTM. We have about 3,500 bins this year with fruit coming from Oregon to Northern Washington. There were 1,500 bins in regular storage (RA), and 2 CA rooms of 1,000 bins each.
Storage of Cameo
Fruit was segregated at harvest to meet regular storage market needs through December and CA fruit after the New Year. Fruit for RA was generally more mature, and from southern growing areas, with good color. Average pressure for this fruit was 15.75 lbs., but there were lots that averaged less than 15 lbs. and those that averaged 16.5 to 17.0 lbs. Starch conversion averaged 4 to 4.75 and soluble solids were 13.45. This fruit met all conditions for selling in the regular storage season. The fruit was pre-sized November 12, 1997. The fruit was very large with 69% of the fruit size 72 through size 36, with the peak of 56. This fruit has been sold for the 5 months since it was picked. You can see why, with many large sizes and limited markets for large fruit it has taken longer to sell all the large fruit. Admittedly, this is too long for maintaining excellent quality. Fruit that was 16.5 to 17 lbs. at harvest has held remarkably well. Grower lots that pressured less than 15 lbs. have about a 2 month storage life to maintain good quality.
Fruit for short-term CA at harvest averaged 16.25 lbs., starch conversion averaged 3.0 with an average range of 2 to 4.5 and soluble solids averaged 13.5%. This room was closed November 18 and opened to presize in mid-December. This fruit also peaked on size 56 (70% of the fruit was size 72 to 36). Following 60 days of CA storage, the fruit maintained good quality for another 60 days with pressures still in the 14 lb. range.
Fruit for long-term CA at harvest averaged 16.5 lbs., starch conversion average at 3 with a range of 2 to 4 and soluble solids average of 13.7%. This room was closed November 17, 1997 and opened March 1, 1998. This fruit peaked on size 72 (45% of the fruit was size 72 to 36). Fruit from CA storage averaged 16-17 lbs., 15 to 16% soluble solids and 0.45% titratable acid. The fruit in long-term was drenched at harvest with DPA 2,000 ppm and Mertect.
Fruit grown in the right areas and properly harvested will store a very long time and maintain excellent quality.
Opinions as of March 1998
CameoTM should not be grown in the hottest areas of Washington. This may be moderated somewhat with overhead cooling, but the best fruit has been coming from areas where mid and long term CA Red Delicious are grown.
CA storage maintains fruit quality and will be necessary to keep the product in the marketplace over many months.
When trees are young, CameoTM does not attain good firmness or taste. The orchard seems to grow out of this problem.
Fruit can get too large, and so far, we don't know if fruit size will come down when trees are older. It is possible more vigorous rootstocks may be necessary to reduce size.
CameoTM does not watercore, nor is bitterpit a big problem even on young trees with large fruit. As maturity advances the fruit will become waxy.
We did not observe any problems with internal condition from CA storage under our regime. At 3% CO2 after several months, it has been observed by Dr. Steve Drake, there is damage to immature fruit.
Most importantly to ensure proper taste and condition of CameoTM, growers must find the level of crop load their trees can support in their microclimate. The new phrase used with Fuji "Crop Load Management" is a very important principal to learn with CameoTM to achieve high quality.
Pressure and starch conversion are the best indicators of storage life.
Wells and Wade Fruit Co
14th Annual Postharvest Conference, Yakima, Washington
March 10-11, 1998