Apple growers to release successor to...

Apple growers to release successor to Honeycrisp

There are 40 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Sep 3, 2009, titled Apple growers to release successor to Honeycrisp. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

Tim Byrne picked an apple from the spindly tree, sliced it and popped a chunk into his mouth.

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Jessica

Santa Clara, CA

#1 Sep 3, 2009
I'm looking forward to trying the Sweet Tango. I'm a big fan of the Honeycrisp - and if Sweet Tango lives up to its billing, it may be my new favorite apple.
Elizabeth

Saint Petersburg, FL

#2 Sep 3, 2009
I love it. I can't wait to try it!
Monkeybot

Laurel, MD

#3 Sep 3, 2009
mmmmmm apples....

Since: Oct 08

Location hidden

#4 Sep 3, 2009
This is interesting news, but....

[quote]Growers outside Minnesota must join the co-op to get SweeTango. The trees likely won't be available to the general public until the patent expires in 2028, Byrne said.[/quote]

What's the deal with this? Yes, I realize that "quality can suffer" if anyone can grow it, but it also brings costs down by increasing supply and competition. Merchants can choose to buy from growers that are located in colder climates that have proven to provide a superior product.

So what would happen if I plant SweeTango seeds in my backyard and grow my own tree?
Not a Botanist

New York, NY

#5 Sep 3, 2009
You show 'em, Phid.
Let us know how that goes for you in the five years or so it will take (could be as few as four years, but since you're starting from seeds this fall, I'm guessing five) for the trees you plant to mature enough to bear fruit.
Elizabeth

Saint Petersburg, FL

#6 Sep 3, 2009
Phid wrote:
This is interesting news, but....
[quote]Growers outside Minnesota must join the co-op to get SweeTango. The trees likely won't be available to the general public until the patent expires in 2028, Byrne said.[/quote]
What's the deal with this? Yes, I realize that "quality can suffer" if anyone can grow it, but it also brings costs down by increasing supply and competition. Merchants can choose to buy from growers that are located in colder climates that have proven to provide a superior product.
So what would happen if I plant SweeTango seeds in my backyard and grow my own tree?
I am not sure what would happen to you per se, but I think a hefty fine would be part of it. I will say that I understand the reason for the lengthy patent, being that these apples generate serious revenues for the University of Minnesota and presumably allow the Horticulture department to continue to breed new types of apples/ foods. I agree with the University's desire to patent this as I think that the long-term profits from the apples that they have already created and the patents lifted will surpass the revenue that it has made while under the patent. This will allow the U to continue its research and for the apples to be produced by other growers when the patent is expired. See?...everyone wins.:)

Since: Oct 08

Location hidden

#7 Sep 3, 2009
Not a Botanist wrote:
You show 'em, Phid.
Let us know how that goes for you in the five years or so it will take (could be as few as four years, but since you're starting from seeds this fall, I'm guessing five) for the trees you plant to mature enough to bear fruit.
Actually I was saying it kind of tongue-in-cheek to elicit quirky topix responses about the apple police coming at night to arrest me. Honestly, I think it would be awfully hard to find a person growing a single SweeTango tree in their yard, and there might not even be a legal basis for going after someone who grows it from a seed from an apple bought in a store. I think the patent would more be aimed at preventing people from growing large numbers to sell apples.

But let's not put the cart ahead of the horse. I'd first like to taste a SweeTango...in my mind, you can't really improve on Honeycrisp, so right now I'm really curious.
FrankL

Saint Paul, MN

#8 Sep 3, 2009
I for am glad with some controls on who can grow the apple. Last year some of the Honeycrisp were pretty poor quality, and then I noticed they were coming from far away.
Hooray

Jersey City, NJ

#9 Sep 3, 2009
Curious if the apple will be showing up in Seattle and NY metro markets this weekend, too. Hope so!
Stanley Yelnats

Saint Paul, MN

#10 Sep 3, 2009
Phid wrote:
This is interesting news, but....
[quote]Growers outside Minnesota must join the co-op to get SweeTango. The trees likely won't be available to the general public until the patent expires in 2028, Byrne said.[/quote]
What's the deal with this? Yes, I realize that "quality can suffer" if anyone can grow it, but it also brings costs down by increasing supply and competition. Merchants can choose to buy from growers that are located in colder climates that have proven to provide a superior product.
So what would happen if I plant SweeTango seeds in my backyard and grow my own tree?
They control who buys and grows the tree because they can. They make more money this way. It's the American way. Just as a record producer tries to control his product (harder and harder with downloads) the apple industry wishes to control their product and I don't blame them.

You can't just plant the seed of a hybrid and grow the tree and produce the same apples. Hybrids are cross-bred and the seeds don't produce a tree with fruit of the same characteristics. It's a whole genetics thing. Fruit trees are almost universally grafted onto hardy rootstock.
Stanley Yelnats

Saint Paul, MN

#11 Sep 3, 2009
Hooray wrote:
Curious if the apple will be showing up in Seattle and NY metro markets this weekend, too. Hope so!
The story answered your question. "SweeTango will start showing up in some Minnesota farmers markets Labor Day weekend and arrive in selected grocery stores around the Twin Cities, Seattle and Rochester, N.Y., a few days later"
Stanley Yelnats

Saint Paul, MN

#12 Sep 3, 2009
I realize they put a lot of time and effort into the naming of a new apple variety, but they didn't put enough time and effort into naming this one. SweeTango just doesn't roll off the tongue like Honeycrisp or Zestar (I won't use the exclamation point, that's ridiculous too.)
say what

Rockville, MD

#13 Sep 3, 2009
honeycrisps are awesome, so i'll be in line for the sweetango.

Since: Oct 08

Location hidden

#14 Sep 3, 2009
Stanley Yelnats wrote:
<quoted text>
They control who buys and grows the tree because they can. They make more money this way. It's the American way. Just as a record producer tries to control his product (harder and harder with downloads) the apple industry wishes to control their product and I don't blame them.
You can't just plant the seed of a hybrid and grow the tree and produce the same apples. Hybrids are cross-bred and the seeds don't produce a tree with fruit of the same characteristics. It's a whole genetics thing. Fruit trees are almost universally grafted onto hardy rootstock.
I agree it's the "American Way" and that they're doing it for money....but the Honeycrisp wasn't done like this, which means it doesn't have to be that way.

As to the seeds, are you saying that almost all apple trees out there have been individually grafted?

Since: Oct 08

Location hidden

#15 Sep 3, 2009
Stanley Yelnats wrote:
I realize they put a lot of time and effort into the naming of a new apple variety, but they didn't put enough time and effort into naming this one. SweeTango just doesn't roll off the tongue like Honeycrisp or Zestar (I won't use the exclamation point, that's ridiculous too.)
I am pretty much in agreement with you. Honeycrisp is the best name, Zestar is alright, and SweeTango is mediocre. I think some of it is due to the spelling. My mind wants to pronounce two words even though it's one. Also, it emphasizes the word "Tango" too much, and what does "Tango" have to do with apples? Perhaps they should have done it "Sweetango" at the very least.
MN Observer

Saint Paul, MN

#16 Sep 3, 2009
Phid wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree it's the "American Way" and that they're doing it for money....but the Honeycrisp wasn't done like this, which means it doesn't have to be that way.
As to the seeds, are you saying that almost all apple trees out there have been individually grafted?
They didn't have the "managed variety" system in the U.S. in 1991 when the Honeycrisp came out. If those who create the hybrids wish to make the most money for their efforts, it does have to be this way. If you don't wish to participate in the system the way it is, you don't have to, or buy an existing variety of apple tree.

I don't know how all apple trees are produced, possibly someone with more knowledge of the industry is reading this and will provide an answer for you. I do know that the grafts are a common way of producing fruit trees because they use a hardy rootstock with a better fruit bearing variety grafted onto it. As it is, the Honeycrisp is apparently not an easy variety to grow.

Since: Aug 08

Saint Paul, MN

#17 Sep 3, 2009
I suppose this will be another one of those food items that the "just scraping by people" won't be able to afford?

Since: Oct 08

Location hidden

#18 Sep 3, 2009
MN Observer wrote:
<quoted text>
They didn't have the "managed variety" system in the U.S. in 1991 when the Honeycrisp came out. If those who create the hybrids wish to make the most money for their efforts, it does have to be this way. If you don't wish to participate in the system the way it is, you don't have to, or buy an existing variety of apple tree.
Yes, I realize all of that...but it's still my opinion that it's a shame that the SweeTango is being released this way so that an individual can't plant such a tree in their backyard for a few decades. That is, presuming it's as good as they're claiming.
Grandmaster G

United States

#19 Sep 3, 2009
Nothing better than Honey Crisp.....

well, ok, except Licorice Crisp Ice Cream from Bridgeman's
Stanley Yelnats

Saint Paul, MN

#20 Sep 3, 2009
Bob Pearce wrote:
I suppose this will be another one of those food items that the "just scraping by people" won't be able to afford?
I'm guessing these new apples will be around $2.99/pound, possibly a little higher.

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