As many growers know, many of the new and exciting varieties like Pink Lady® and Evercrisp® have ripened late. Many growers have been hesitant to plant these varieties until they know it will ripen in their area. Well there is good news, the Midwest Apple Improvement Association has introduced Sweet Maia® (MAIA-SM cv.), an early ripening cross between Honeycrisp x Winecrisp.
According to MAIA:
Sweet Maia® originated in a seedling lot distributed in 2001. First fruiting in 2009. It stands out as an early season apple with fall apple qualities. Ripening 7-12 days before Gala, featuring 80-100% bright attractive red color, it has a long harvest window of 14-21 days. Non-dropping, crispy, sweet. Good storage life of 90 days in common refrigerated storage.
It can be managed as a 1 or 2 pick harvest. Challenges include potential overcropping with attendant quality and size loss. Some watercore is common. Left too long on the tree the flavor changes for the worse.
If you’re interested in planting Sweet Maia®, contact our office soon. It will only be available in limited numbers for 2022, but availability should improve into future years.