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By Jim Leffman via SWNS

Two new types of apple that can withstand global warming have been developed by scientists.

They are also easy to harvest, allowing farmers to get around labor shortages that have affected the industry.

The two varieties, one red and one yellow are heat-tolerant, blight-tolerant, low-maintenance, easy to harvest and actually taste good as well.

Chris Walsh, University of Maryland professor emeritus in the Department of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture developed the new apples.

Prof. Walsh said: “These trees require a lot less hand labor compared to apples that are available to growers now.

“We can’t say they’re non-pruning, but the pruning a farmer would do is minimal on these trees.”

At the moment, they have been approved for patents, though their current names, MD-TAP1 for the yellow one and MD-TAP2 for the red one will be changed to something a bit more snappy when they go into production.

Prof. Walsh set up the Tree Architecture Program more than 30 years ago when he planted some 5,000 apple seedling trees from eight different commercial varieties at the Western Maryland Research and Education Center in Keedysville.

They were first able to produce a heat-resistant apple, the Antietam Blush, in 2017 but the current pair grow into much shorter trees, which makes harvesting easier and are also tolerant to fire blight, a destructive bacterial disease common to apples.

The yellow MD-TAP1 comes from a parent stock of apple that looks and tastes a bit like a Golden Delicious, ripening in late September.

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((Photo by Suzy Hazelwood via Pexels))

The red MD-TAP2 is a child of Fuji apple stock, so it carries many of the same sweet flavor attributes and ripens in October.

Michigan State University and Texas A&M University scientists will be conducting trials to see how well the apples grow in their climate conditions.

Then they will be licensed to a commercial nursery that will produce the stock in large numbers and sell trees directly to apple growers.

That nursery would most likely have the honor of coming up with a more marketable name to replace MD-TAP1 and MD-TAP2.

Although primarily designed for the U.S. market, growers there face the same problems as ones in Europe.

The fruit has always been labor-intensive to bring to market, with trees that need to be trained, pruned, and harvested by hand and global warming has affected fruit that is used to cooler temperatures.

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