Dec 12, 2012
Apple acreage down, trees up in New York

The total number of apple trees in New York state increased 22 percent from 2006 to 2011, from 9.46 million trees to 11.6 million trees, according to King Whetstone, director of the New York field office for USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

State acreage decreased 2 percent in that period, from 42,360 acres to 41,709. The number of trees per acre increased 24 percent, however, from 223 trees per acre in 2006 to 277 trees per acre in 2011. This increase continues the trend of higher-density planting methods, according to NASS.

Much of the increase in apple trees can be attributed to the Honeycrisp variety, the trees of which have more than doubled since 2006. There were 754,033 Honeycrisp trees in the state in 2011, compared to 317,132 trees in 2006. The number of Empire trees increased 13 percent in the same period; McIntosh trees increased 10 percent. Increases were also notable in Gala, Jonagold and Zestar, according to NASS.

As for counties, Niagara County showed a 25 percent decrease in acreage, Columbia County a 14 percent decrease and Orange County a 23 percent decrease. Wayne County showed a 3 percent increase in acreage, while Orleans County showed a 10 percent increase, according to NASS.

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