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Apple tree `Romagold`
PP9541 Apple tree `Romagold`
Patent Drawings:Drawing: PP9541-5    Drawing: PP9541-6    Drawing: PP9541-7    
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(3 images)

Inventor: Surkijn
Date Issued: May 7, 1996
Application: 08/307,389
Filed: September 15, 1994
Inventors: Surkijn; Romain (Halen, BE)
Primary Examiner: Feyrer; James R.
Assistant Examiner:
Attorney Or Agent: Stratton Ballew
U.S. Class: PLT/163
Field Of Search: Plt/34.1
International Class:
U.S Patent Documents: PP5937; PP6148; PP7146; PP7590; PP8049
Foreign Patent Documents:
Other References: Goddrie, P. D., et al., (1990) Jonagold Color Varieties, Brochure, Fruit Cultivation Test Station, Wilhelminadorp (with EnglishTranslation)..

Abstract: A new variety of apple originating as a spontaneous limb mutation of its parent vairety Jonagold (unpatented) and unique particularly for its over-all, early, broadly striped, red skin color pattern, its tart-like flavor, taste and high dessert quality and otherwise as herein described.
Claim: I claim:

1. A new variety of apple tree substantially as herein shown and described, characterized particularly as to novelty by its early coloring red fruits which differ from fruits produced byits parent variety Jonagold and from all other known sport varieties of red Jonagold by their distinct broadly striped red color pattern which remains are harvest.

This invention relates to a new and distinct variety of apple tree and more particularly to a spontaneous limb-sport mutation of the apple variety commonly known as Jonagold, a non-patented variety.

The discovery was made by the inventor, Mr. Romain Surkijn, in 1983, in one of his cultivated apple orchards located at Betserbaan 40, B-3460, Halen, Belgium.

The mutation appeared as a spontaneous limb-sport in the upper portion of a two (2) year old Jonagold tree (FIG. 1). The inventor (discoverer) was attracted to this new Jonagold sport by the early, broadly striped, bright, red coloring of itsfruit (See FIGS. 3 and 5). The winter following this discovery, the inventor collected grafting wood from the sport-limb to use for grafting of second (2nd) generation trees and for topworking. Second (2nd) generation trees were grafted in the springof 1985. The new cultivar was named "Romagold" for all future reference use (FIG. 2).

Several (6) trees were also top worked in order to speed up the production of second (2nd) generation fruit and to see if this new discovery was stable in the next generation. These grafts produced second (2nd) generation fruit the followingfall (1986) and in all succeeding years. Third (3rd) generation fruits have now also been produced and all second (2nd) and third (3rd) generation fruit show the same early unique broadly striped red fruit coloration identical to fruits grown on theoriginal sport limb.

The new Romagold variety has been carefully compared to its parent, the Jonagold variety (unpatented), and to other red Jonagold sport varieties now being grown, including Jonagored (U.S. Plant Pat. No. 5,937), Daliguy (U.S. Plant Pat. No.6,148), Jonica (U.S. Plant Pat. No. 7,146), Rubinstar (U.S. Plant Pat. No. 7,590) and Jonagold De Coster (U.S. Plant Pat. No. 8,049).

Fruit skin color, shape, color intensity and other fruit characteristics of the new variety are compared in Table 1 to the varieties listed above, and are hereby further described:

1. The skin color of Romagold takes on a distinctive, and heavily striped pattern heavier and earlier than that of the parent tree, with the stripes being conspicuously a more prominent, darker red in appearance than those of the parent tree andthe color sports within the market class. As the fruit advances to the stage of market ripeness, essentially the totality of the remaining unstriped surface of the fruit skin takes on a solid or block red blush, resulting in an essentially solid redapple which has subtle but definite deep red stripes over the attractive red ground color which, with the deep red stripes, covers 75% or more of the total fruit exterior. This results in a fruit which has an enhanced rich dark-red-over-red surfacecoloration which is frequently preferred by the fresh apple consumer.

2. The above mentioned broad red striped effect is particularly noticeable when Romagold fruit is displayed in packed cartons and or boxes. This color pattern differs distinctively from displays made up of blush (block) colored fruits. Thevalue of this broad bright red striped characteristic is of considerable importance when marketing the fruit since striped red apple fruits are now preferred over blush (block) colored fruits in most world markets.

3. The value of this characteristic is also demonstrated in poor coloring years and in poor coloring apple growing districts. Poorly colored striped apples are always preferred over equally poorly colored solid-red (block) colored fruits.

When comparing Romagold to the other five patented red Jonagold varities the following fruit skin differences were noted:

1. Romagold's broadly striped bright red skin color was distinctive and markedly different from the more over-all solid block colored fruits of Jonagold De Coster, Jonagored and Rubinstar. The finished color of these three clones showed onlyvery slight and/or no striping of fruit skin color at harvest.

2. The finished skin color of fruits of the Daliguy and Jonica varieties often showed a tomato red to dull brown red color characteristic at harvest. This differed distinctly from Romagold's very broad bright red chimera-like stripes.

3. Over-all fruit color percentages were difficult to measure because of the differing fruit coloring characteristics. See Table 1 for estimated percentages of overall red skin color at harvest of all Jonagold red sport varieties tested. However, the new Romagold variety exhibits many more chimera-like stripes than the other Jonagold red sport varieties, which tend to exhibit more of a blush (block) skin coloration.

______________________________________ ROMAGOLD COLOR COMPARISON TABLE #1 ______________________________________ JONAGOLD DE COSTER JONAGORED ROMAGOLD (USPP 8049) (USPP 5937) ______________________________________ Early color Begins to color Similar to Brownish development about two Standard brown-red of fruit weeks ahead of Jonagold with color through- Jonagold mid- some pink to out the growing dle of August in red additional season, darken- Halen, Belgium. color visible ingand redden- Begins to color from July ing in early with a heavy through early September. stripe pattern. September. Fruit finish Overall glossy Very bright Dark red to color - shade bright cherry wine red tone brown red; 821 red. Produces similar to Currant red to more red sur- Standard Jona- 822 Cardinal face than Jona- gold with no red (RHCCL) gored, colors brown tones. well, even on Finish tone is shaded sides of between 818 fruit. (39-12 Jasper red and Munsell Color 818 Orient red chart) (RHCCL) Finish fruit 75-100% bright Many fruits Many fruits color - % cherry red with with 85-95% with 85-95% heavy broad red color, some red color, some stripes. light stripes. apples blush finish, others some stripes. ______________________________________ RUBINSTAR DALIGUY JONICA (USPP 7590) (USPP 6148) (USPP 7146) ______________________________________ Early color Starts very Light green, Light green. development early at the end dark green. of fruit ofAugust in a brownish way. Fruit finish Transforms Bright wine red Brown to color - shade from brown with white to pink-red. into dark red. yellow back- ground. Finish fruit Many fruits Many fruits Many fruit color - % with 90-100% with30-40% colors with block red color. red color 70% in a pink stripes over a red. Others may white to yellow stay brownish background pink red. with more in- tensity than standard ______________________________________

Romagold has growth characteristics similar to its parent and to the other five sport clones compared to it. All exhibit an open standard-type (non-spur) growth characteristic. (See Table 2).

______________________________________ ROMAGOLD TREE COMPARISON TABLE #2 ______________________________________ JONAGOLD DE COSTER JONAGORED ROMAGOLD (USPP 8049) (USPP 5937) ______________________________________ Growth upright, uprightrather vigouous, vigorous, vigorous, non-spur non-spur non-spur Bearing Habit regular annual regular annual regular annual bearer bearer bearer Trunk and medium stock, moderately moderately Branches medium thick thick, no spur thick growth Bark Color dark grey grey dark grey Vigor same as same as grows 5-10% standard standard more than standard Productivity 100% 100% 90% ______________________________________ RUBINSTAR DALIGUY JONICA (USPP 7590) (USPP 6148) (USPP 7146) ______________________________________ Growth less upright, upright, less less upright, much less vigorous, non- much less vigorous, non- spur vigorous, non- spur spur Bearing Habit regular annual tendency to regular annual bearer biannualbearer bearing Trunk and thin moderately thin Branches thick Bark Color very dark grey dark grey grey Vigor virus infected, same as VF grows 10% grows 10% less standard less than than standard standard Productivity 80% 90% 80% ______________________________________

Since Romagold possesses standard non-spur growth characteristics, a variety of tree training methods can be employed, such as:

1. Free standing central leader training with trees on either seedling or the more vigorous dwarfing rootstocks.

2. Central Axis training with either pole or wire support on dwarf type rootstocks.

3. Trellis-type training methods may be employed where more vigorous, non-spur type growth is necessary for proper training on dwarfing type rootstocks.

No noticeable differences have been observed in fruiting habits between Romagold and its parent Jonagold or the other five red Jonagold clones tested. Precocity and response to chemical thinning are similar.

No noticeable significant differences were recorded or observed in fruit size between all of the clones of red Jonagold. There are, however, a number of other differences between the fruit characteristics of the new Romagold variety and the redJonagold clones, as shown and described in detail in Table 3.

______________________________________ ROMAGOLD FRUIT COMPARISON TABLE #3 ______________________________________ JONAGOLD DE COSTER JONAGORED ROMAGOLD (USPP 8049) (USPP 5937) ______________________________________ Shape large, uniform, notas large, very large, not round to more uniform in uniform size, slightly conical size, globose oblong conical conical Stem long long medium long Calyx partly open quite shallow shallow Cavity acute, medium broad, medium rather small, deepdeep medium to shallow Skin smooth, glossy smooth smooth Color at almost 100% uniform wine dark red to Harvest bright red red background purple, little broad strips, green to yellow to no back- some chimeras when ripe, little groundstriping, (see Figs. 3 & 4) striping, mostly solid block solid block color appear- color appear- ance ance Lenticels small, conspic- numerous numerous uous, few & scattered at base Calyx reflexed and long narrow long narrow Tubedivergent, broad funnel form Core median small and small and round round Seeds .5 to 1 cm wide large wide large wide obtuse, dark brown Flesh creamy white white yellowish yellowish ______________________________________ RUBINSTAR DALIGUYJONICA (USPP 7590) (USPP 6148) (USPP 7146) ______________________________________ Shape smaller, more large, not uni- rather large, uniform in size, form in size, not uniform in flat globose globose conical size, flat globose Stem long mediumlong long Calyx quite shallow, shallow, some shallow, closed some half open half open Cavity broad, medium broad, medium small, medium deep deep to shallow Skin very smooth smooth very smooth Color at uniform dark intense tomato dull brownred Harvest red with very red with a to pink red with little green green to yellow green to yellow background, background background solid block color appear- ance Lenticels less less less Calyx long narrow not so long, short wide, not Tubenarrow small and flat Core not small small and round not small and flat and flat Seeds very small and large wide very large, very thin very wide Flesh yellowish yellowish white yellowish ______________________________________

As is common to many super-red sports of red apple cultivars, leaves of Romagold are a slightly darker green color when compared to leaves of its parent variety. The varieties were compared under similar growth conditions, i.e., pruning,nitrogen, water, etc. The difference in green color shade is too slight to determine on the color chart being used.

Similarly, compared to the Jonagold variety, the pinkish red color of some of the leaf petioles and midribs of Romagold are slightly more pronounced and intense than on the leaves of its parent variety. This pinkish-red color often extendsfurther down the midrib.

No bark or tree growth differences have been noted. Surface bloom is formed on the skin of the fruit, but does not differ from surface bloom on other red Jonagold clones tested. Winter hardiness appears to be similar to its parent and the otherred Jonagold clones tested. Spring blossom hardiness also appears to be similar. As with Jonagold and the other cultivars tested, the skin of Romagold has shown no russet problems.

The new Romagold variety is free of all 10 known viruses and virus-like diseases, and is resistant to the common fungal and bacterial diseases of apples.


The accompanying full-color pictures and tables illustrate the new Romagold apple tree and the characteristics of its fruit.

FIG. 1 Shows the sport limb on the original mother tree.

FIG. 2 Shows a three (3) year old second (2nd) generation tree of Romagold growing in the inventor's orchard near Halen, Belgium. Note standard Jonagold parent trees in background.

FIG. 3 Is a close-up view of Romagold fruit showing broad stripes and bright red skin color.

FIG. 4 Shows a color comparison--Romagold v. Jonagold at picking maturity.

FIG. 5 Color photograph showing Romagold's broad, red stripes.


Following is a detailed description of the new variety with color terminology in accordance with the Munsell Color Cascade Chart except where general color terms of ordinary dictionary significance are used.

1. Parentage: A spontaneous limb-sport of the apple variety Jonagold (unpatented).

2. Locality where grown and observed:

Halen, Belgium.

Brogdale Experimental Horticultural Station.

Faversham-Kent, England.

Goren Research Station, Belgium.

Yakima, Wash. U.S.A.

3. Dates of first and last pickings: About September 25 and October 10, respectively, in Halen, Belgium. About September 20 and October 1, respectively, in Yakima, Wash., U.S.A.

4. Tree: Medium large, vigorous, dense foliage, rapid grower, upright.

Trunk.--Medium stocky, smooth, dark-brown (26-15).

Branches.--Medium thick, smooth, stocky, green-brown (23-13).

Lenticels.--Medium size, few, not raised, whitish-grey.


Color.--Grey with reddish terminal buds.

5. Leaves: Large, long, medium wide, lanceolate, abruptly pointed, medium thick.

Length.--Average 7.5 cm.

Width.--Average 5.8 cm.

Color.--Green to dark-green (19-13).

Margin.--Moderately serrate.

Petiole.--Medium long (3 cm to 3.5 cm), medium slender.


Vein.--Pink to red on back side of leaves.

6. Flowers:

Date of first and full bloom.--About April 15 and April 25 respectively in Halen, Belgium. About April 10 and April 21, respectively, in Yakima, Wash., U.S.A.

Size.--Medium large.

Overall color.--Light red (43-8).


Sepals.--Green with light-red tips.

Stamens.--Dark red.

7. Fruit:

Maturity when described.--Eating ripe. (Specimens described were grown and observed at Halen, Belgium, and at Yakima, Wash., U.S.A.

Size.--Large, uniform.

Axial diameter.--About 7.5 cm to 8.5 cm.

Horizontal diameter.--About 6.5 cm to 7.5 cm.

Form.--Regular, uniform, round to slightly conical, sides equal, rounded at base.

Cavity.--Acute, medium width, medium depth, symmetrical. reddish-green, very slight russet.

Basin.--Abrupt, symmetrical, five crowned, regular, medium width, medium depth.


Stem.--Long, slender (3 cm to 4 cm).

Calyx.--Partly open, calyx lobe persist and separate at base.

Calyx lobes.--Reflexed and divergent.


8. Skin: Smooth, glossy, medium thickness.

Stem cavity.--Reddish-green.

Dot.--Small, conspicuous, few and scattered at base. (FIG. 3).


Color.--Broad red chimera-like stripes, almost 100% bright red (39-12) (FIGS. 3 and 4).

Flesh.--Solid, juicy.

Color.--Creamy white.

Texture.--Firm, fine, crisp, tender.

Flavor.--Sweet to sub-acid.

Aroma.--Fruity, distinct.


9. Core: Median.

Bundle area.--Symmetrical, medium small.

Halves of area.--Equal.


Core lines.--Indistinct, meeting, broadly heartshaped.

Cross section.--Indistinct.

Calyx tube.--Broad funnel-form.

Stem (cylinder) of funnel.--Short to medium long.

Depth of tube to shoulder.--Less than 1 cm.

Entire depth.--About 2 to 2.5 cm.

Style.--Present, united at base.

Stamen.--Median, in one whorl.

Seed cell (carpels).--Open, axile, symmetrical, smooth, heart-shaped.

10. Seeds: One or two per cell, not tufted, acute at point, 1 to 1.5 cm long, 0.5 to 1 cm wide, obtuse, dark-brown (32-15).

11. Ploidy: Triploid.

12. Use: Dessert, juice, culinary, fresh market.

13. Keeping quality: Very good, up to 7 months in standard cold storage.

14. Resistance to insects and diseases: Average for scab and mildew. Virus-tested and virus free. Propagation wood available.

15. Winter hardiness: Hardy, same as parent variety.

16. Precosity: Similar to parent (FIG. 2).

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