WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Apple Breeding Program

Saturday, September 20, 2014

“WA 38,” an eye-catching, large, dark red apple

Allocation of WA38 trees is by drawing; enter at

Remarkably firm, sweet, tangy, crisp, and unbelievably juicy. These are words that describe WA 38, the latest creation of WSU’s world-class tree fruit breeding program. After more than 16 years in the making, this eye-catching, dark-red beauty is ready for launch into the marketplace. With its winning combination of taste, texture, and beauty, this premium apple will be a boon to Washington apple growers, WSU’s breeding program, and apple lovers everywhere.

Exceptional breeding
WA 38 is a cross between Enterprise and Honeycrisp. The large, juicy apple has a remarkably firm and crisp texture. Its exceptional flavor profile provides ample sweetness and tartness, making it an excellent eating apple. In addition to being delicious, it is slow to brown when cut and maintains its texture and flavor in storage for more than a year.

Developing a winning strategy
In the past, a public university would simply announce a new variety as available to growers and then hope for the best. In today’s highly competitive marketplace, the introduction of a new apple requires a marketing plan with experts and advocates helping it win a position alongside existing varieties on grocers’ shelves and ultimately in shoppers’ grocery carts. This is why WSU is proactively managing the release and introduction of this variety. It is just as important that our varieties be successful as it is for us to complete any other aspect of our research.

Preparing for its debut
One of the many challenges of breeding a successful apple is creating enough trees to meet industry demand. Based on propagation estimates, WSU has scheduled the release date for trees to growers of WA 38 in 2017. Working with a number of NNII-affiliated nurseries, and others to increase certified WA 38 planting stock, WSU recognizes that there will not be enough trees to meet the demand. Therefore, to help ensure a fair distribution of initial inventories among Washington growers, the university will conduct a drawing in late spring 2014 for trees to be distributed in 2017. The drawing will have two-tiers: one for larger growers offering 15,000–20,000 trees; and one for smaller growers based on a 5,000-tree minimum.

Be among the first to grow WA 38
WSU’s commitment to this apple is driven by a long-range focus on the people we serve. As part of our goal to be good stewards of the resources we’ve been entrusted with, and to improve Washington’s agricultural productivity, sales of WA 38 trees will be limited to Washington State growers for a period of 10 years.

Learn more
Details of the drawing will be distributed by the end of the first quarter of 2014. The drawing will be held by mid-June.

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Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, 1100 N Western Ave, Washington State University, Wenatchee WA 98801, 509-663-8181, Contact Us