With New Zealand shipments arriving in U.S. ports in mid-April, Koru apples are reaching markets across the country as May begins.
New Zealand sent its first commercial volumes of the Koru variety in 2013, with production and export volumes increasing each year, according to a news release.
This year’s total crop is estimated to reach about 7.2 million pounds.
“Being a new apple variety, many of the orchards have not yet reached maturity, so you can expect the volume of Koru apples to increase significantly over the next several years as these orchards come into full production,” Andy McGrath, variety manager, said in the release. “Also, U.S. plantings will produce good volumes from 2020, making Koru an all-year-round apple.”
The Koru variety was discovered as a chance seedling in a rose garden and is a cross between braeburn and fuji.
This year’s New Zealand crop is trending toward larger sizes, with 90% of the fruit in the 60-80 range, according to the release.
New Zealand picks its Koru apple crop in March, with sales extending from May to September. In the U.S., the Coast to Coast Growers Co-op produces Koru apples in Washington and New York, with apples picked in October and sales extending through April.