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U-M releases 29th apple varietyU-M releases 29th apple variety

MN33 variety will be sold under the brand name Kudos.

September 26, 2023

2 Min Read
Close-up of two apples hanging from a tree branch
RIPE FOR PICKING: University of Minnesota apple breeders have done it again with the release of Kudos, the 29th variety to have U-M origins. Courtesy of the University of Minnesota

There is a new addition to the orchard of University of Minnesota apples with the release of Kudos brand MN33 apples, joining the likes of Honeycrisp, Zestar! and SweeTango.

Kudos is a red apple with a unique combination of traits including an excellent crisp, juicy texture and a sweet, well-balanced flavor with occasional tropical overtones. It was developed by crossing the U-M hits Honeycrisp and Zestar!, making it a sibling of the popular SweeTango apple.

“Eating a Kudos apple is like having a crunchy, juicy tropical party in your mouth,” says David Bedford, U-M apple breeder. “It has the crisp, juicy texture of Honeycrisp and the rich flavor of Zestar!, but with a slight tropical twist.”

After years of testing at the University’s Horticultural Research Center, located at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and in orchards across Minnesota and top apple-producing states, Kudos trees have proven hardy up to USDA Zone 4, with fruit ripening in late September.

While apple enthusiasts may be eager to taste Kudos, apples will not be widely available in the marketplace for two to three years, as commercial orchards plant Kudos trees and allow those trees to mature and bear fruit.

For commercial growers interested in purchasing and planting trees, Kudos has been released as an “open variety” (tree royalty only), and orchards may purchase trees directly from nurseries licensed by U-M. Visit mnhardy.umn.edu/kudos for a list of licensed nurseries and more information.

Additional information about Kudos and the U-MN’s 28 other apple varieties is available at mnhardy.umn.edu.

The U-M apple breeding program has been developing cold-hardy apples that are both high-quality and high-yielding for 115 years. The program is based in the Department of Horticultural Science at the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. Most of the apple breeding and evaluation takes place at the Horticultural Research Center at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska.

Source: University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station

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