Evaluation of Finnish apple cultivars (Malus domestica Borkh.)
The purpose of this research was to study apple cultivars obtained from Luke (previously MTT Piikkiö, Finland) in order to have good candidates for breeding within the central zone of Russia. The studies were carried out in accordance with the methods of cultivar study and artificial freezing by modeling damaging factors using a freezing chamber. The assessment of the cultivars by yield, commodity and consumer qualities of fruit, resistance to adverse abiotic factors of the winter period is given. The ‘Vuokko’ cultivar was identified with a yield significantly higher than Antonovka. By modeling winter damage factors, ‘Sandra’, ‘Samo’ and ‘Make’ cultivars were identified with the resistance of the cambium and wood at the level of ‘Antonovka’, when the temperature in the of mid-winter dropped to –40 °C after hardening off, with the ability to keep the frost resistance at –25 °C after thaw and ability to restore the hardy state by lowering the temperature to –30 °C after thaw and re-hardening off. Cultivars ‘Sandra’, ‘Samo’ and ‘Make’ are recommended for creating new hardy cultivars with high-quality fruits for the temperate continental climate of Europe.