Good Fruit Grower

October 2016

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Page 34 of 47 Good Fruit Grower OCTOBER 2016 35 "In year four, we did none; that's sort of an experi- ment we have going on our farm," he said. "Pazazz has that large fruit size and our thought was, by reducing the nitrogen, it would help to reduce that fruit size." Pazazz wants to be a big apple, especially in early plantings, Mansfield said. "Over time, the sizing will moderate, but these young trees want to put out large retail-sized fruit when they first get going." Easy keeper Don Roper, Honeybear Brands marketing vice pres- ident, said the variety lends itself to conventional prac- tices, though Washington growers are doing well with it in organic operations, too. "In the East, it fares much bet- ter when grown conventionally, due to the challenges of the region's moisture-rich environment," he said. Pettit said it's an easy tree to grow. They use bam- boo for vertical support to guide leaders but he thinks the trees don't need them. "I'm not sure they're nec- essary because it does grow wild, like a bush," he said. Pruning demands are no different for Pazazz either. The Pettits make five cuts every year on all their trees. Thinning wasn't an issue this year mostly because of the previous spring's weather. Pettit Farms didn't escape the early warming week in late March, fol- lowed by the deep freeze in early April that afflicted most of the Northeast this year. "If we had thinned, I don't think we'd get much of a crop," Pettit said. In the second year, they were just looking to get the blooms off the tree. They applied one-half pint of carbaryl per 100 gallons this year. "It turned out well," he said. They haven't embraced mechanization, although they narrow their tree shape into what Pettit describes as a tall, slender spindle. Fruit is generally no farther than 2 feet from the trunk. Pazazz growers must be careful to not over-crop limbs. "If you over-crop limbs, they have a tendency to rip off," he said. "Planting the trees closer together might be a good thing, keeping the fruit in." In last year's harvest on 3-year-old trees, they picked twice, taking 80 percent of the fruit the first time. Seven days later, they picked the rest. The Pettits thought they might have bitter pit prob- lems, given that Honeycrisp is one of the parents of Pazazz, and they did in their younger trees. "Our sec- ond-year crop was riddled with it, but our third-year crop had very little," he said. Postharvest This will be Sun Orchards' second year marketing the apple, with 10 Eastern U.S. growers currently. "It has a good, complex flavor that should sell well," Mansfield said. The apple's acid is high at harvest. "Similar to Pink Lady, it needs to sit in storage for up to a month to reach an optimal balance between acid and sugar," he said, but added that coming out of storage, the apple should sell well through July. Roper said Honeybear Brands sold Pazazz to 24 markets last year, and he predicted the company will double that number in 2016 because production from all four growing zones will provide more volume. Pazazz is grown in Washington, Minnesota, New York and Nova Scotia, with test plantings in Chile and New Zealand. • Dan Pettit Tim Mansfield Growers & Fruit Industry Truck Buyers. . . Partner up with your GMC Business Elite Dealer Lee Peterson Motors Every dollar counts in the ag business, and you need hard working trucks from a reliable dealer you can trust, your GMC Business Elite Dealer. 410 S. First Street • Yakima • 509-575-6372 L P MOTORS .com www Click! Drive! Save! MON-FRI 8 AM - 6 PM SAT 8 AM - 5 PM SUN 11 AM - 4 PM 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab Standard Box Rich Ausink Fleet Manager Jim Peterson General Manager The right truck customized to your specific agricultural businees needs.

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