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Apple is the vernacular name commonly applied to the deciduous trees of the species Malus domesticus, as well as to their fruit. The apple, which is of south Caucasian provenance, is nowadays grown throughout the world, but mostly in temperate regions.
There are about 5,000 apple cultivars, which had originated in various geographical regons and thus have somewhat different climatic requirements. All, however, need some winter chilling, at or below 7ºC for 800-1,600 hours and are sensitive to high soil temperatures and cold or dry winds. Apple trees blossom in the spring, but the growth of the fruit differs between varieties, from about 90 days in Anna to 150 in Golden Delicious. The fruit (a pome with a pith containing several small seeds) may be green, yellow or red, and combinations thereof.
The total annual world yield of apples is around 57.000.000 tons, with the former USSR, China and the US being the main producers (approximately half of total production). In Israel the main cultivar groups are Golden and Starking, which together make up about half of the apples grown on about 3,600 hectares. They are grown mostly in the northern part of the country, providing a total annual yield of ca 100,000 tons.
Major apple pests in the Middle East
Anonymous, 2003. FAO Production Yearbook for 2002, # 56. FAO, Rome, Italy.
Anonymous, 2003. Statistical Abstract of Israel, # 54. Central Bureau of Statistics, Jerusalem.
Lal Kaushal, B.B. and Sharma, P.C. 1995. Apple. In: Salunkhe, D.K. and Kadam, S.S. (Eds.) Handbook of Fruit Science and Technology, Production, Composition, Storage and Processing, pp. 91-122. Marcel Dekker, New York.
Oppenheim, D. (Ed.) 1994. A Guide to Integrated Pome Pest Management in Israel. Fruit Board of Israel (in Hebrew).
Tzur, A. 2000. Apple Growing. Fruit Board of Israel (in Hebrew).