YAKIMA, Wash. — Washington’s first newly bred apple variety is soaring in popularity a full four years before the first commercial crop is expected to hit the market.

Developed by Washington State University Extension in Wenatchee, the new variety — Cosmic Crisp — is the offspring of the Honeycrisp and Enterprise varieties. Experts say the new apple is more resilient to disease and damage, has good texture, excellent taste and superior storage life. And that, coupled with the apple sharing the same harvest window as the once-dominant Red Delicious, has growers excited.

Tree orders from growers have shot up from 700,000 next year to about 2 million the following year, said Cristy Warnock, operations manager of Proprietary Variety Management in Yakima, the firm marketing Cosmic Crisp for WSU.

Northwest Nursery Improvement Institute, a grower organization of fruit tree nurseries throughout the Northwest, has propagation rights to grow the seedlings at various nurseries across the state. WSU will collect royalties from the trees and crops.

Article by Phil Ferolito, Yakima Herald