Joanne, watercore is a physiological disorder whose cause is many and not terribly well understood. Suffice it to say, it should clue you off to a few things:

1.) It is a good indicator of maturity, in this case over-maturity. Watercore fruit should be harvested ASAP.

2.) It may be an indicator of low calcium levels in the fruit -- fruit seem to be large this year on average, we have had plenty of rain, so calcium levels in fruit may be low despite our efforts to supply calcium. Our Paulared crop in Belchertown is very heavy, further exacerbating the problem. I am not sure if we can implicate Apogee use in any of this?

3.) Water core fruit should not be stored if you can avoid it.

4.) Some cultures place a premium on watercore ('Honeycore') fruit, particularly for example Fuji. Of course this makes sense given that it is a sign of mature fruit, hence high in sugars and complexity of flavor.

For a more complete explanation on the phenomenon, see:

http://postharvest.tfrec.wsu.edu/pgDisplay.php?article=N3I4A

Good luck and don't sweat it too much.

Jon

Jon Clements
Extension Tree Fruit Specialist
UMass Cold Spring Orchard
393 Sabin Street
Belchertown, MA  01007
VOICE 413.478.7219
FAX 413.323.0382
IM mrhoneycrisp
Skype Name mrhoneycrisp


On Aug 18, 2007, at 7:40 AM, JOANNE DINARDO wrote:

We have experienced water core in about 30% of our Paula Red Apples.
They are in two different blocks in the orchard and the problem exists
throughout the crop. The problem is on small and large apples and on
almost ripe and over ripe apples. The only different chemical that was
used this year was Appogee. We applied calcium as a nutrient but have
done so consistently over the years.

In seven years we have never experienced this problem. Has anyone else
checked on their crop? Has anyone else experienced this under these
unique growing conditions.

Thanks
Joanne DiNardo
Sholan Farms
Leominster, Mass
978-870-5555


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