Ellsworth American speaks with Moran about apple crop

The Ellsworth American interviewed Renae Moran, an associate professor of pomology at the University of Maine and a fruit tree specialist with UMaine Cooperative Extension, for an article about this year’s apple crop. Despite a three-year dry spell, orchards this year are expected to produce a full yield, according to the article. “I think it looks good. I’m so glad we got some rain,” said Moran. “[The trees] just don’t look as healthy as they should. They’ve been losing leaves through the summer.” Apple trees tend to tolerate drought well, though dry spells can affect their resilience during the winter, according to Moran. She said most apples grown in New England remain in the state, sold directly at farm stands or wholesale to supermarkets. And consumer preferences have shifted, Moran said, noting the popularity of Red and Golden Delicious has declined while that of the Honeycrisp variety has increased. Some Maine counties, like Washington County, do not have commercial orchards. “That’s blueberry country. I don’t think the soil is right,” said Moran.