"The resistance to scab makes Juliet environmentally a better
choice because it requires less chemical sprays than other apple
trees," said Korban. "And it ripens two weeks after red delicious,
making it more marketable as a late-season apple."
A nursery in France called Escande realized Juliet's potential
and acquired the rights to grow and market the variety in Europe.
They are hoping to find apple growers in the United States that
would be willing to abide by their rules for growing this apple.
Because Juliet is being marketed as an organic apple, it would need
to be grown by certified organic growers.
The marketing firm created a cartoon character whose likeness
appears on brochures, packaging and tiny apple stickers. "You can
even become a 'friend of Juliet' on the website at
Korban said the fungus that causes apple scab is transmitted via
infected leaves, even those left on the ground over the winter. The
disease affects blossoms, leaves and fruits, eventually killing the
tree. The infected fruit can sometimes be used in processed products
that include apples, but the appearance renders it unsellable for
the fresh market.
Juliet is the 15th apple cultivar developed by the cooperative
breeding program between the University of Illinois, Purdue
University and Rutgers University.