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News / Northwest

WSU launches apple-naming competition

By Gabriel Garcia, The Wenatchee World
Published: January 13, 2024, 5:27am

PULLMAN — Washington State University is getting ready to launch a competition to name its new apple variety, currently known as WA 64.

Jeremy Tamsen — director of innovation and commercialization for the WSU College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resource Sciences — said a website for people to enter a name for the apple will be live by the end of the month.

Tamsen said the first commercial sale of the trees will happen in 2026, and the apples are expected to hit the market in 2029.

In the meantime, he said, the competition will keep the excitement going.

“We’re trying to give people a stake in the new name, get people a reason to be interested in the apple before it’s available,” Tamsen said.

A new approach

During the Northwest Horticulture Expo in Kennewick in December, the apple was sampled and name ideas were proposed. Tamsen said WSU teams will be at events throughout the state to gather name ideas during the competition.

He said having the public suggest monikers is a new approach to naming a new apple variety from WSU.

“We really do hope the name can be related to WSU or Washington culture in some way. Perhaps we will get a name suggestion that is in Native American cultural languages,” Tamsen said. “We’re really open to many ideas about this.”

When the Cosmic Crisp was released to the market in 2019, Tamsen said, WSU hired a marketing firm to help develop the name. But he said he hopes to find a “unique and distinctive” name for the new apple from the public.

The attributes of WA 64 are crunchiness, a well-retained firmness in storage, a pink blush and a yellow background, according to Tamsen. It’s a Honeycrisp crossed with Pink Lady apple.