Less diversity in apples and pears

The area of land devoted to the cultivation of Elstar apples expanded by 7% from 1997 to 2000, increasing the share of this variety in the total area of apple trees to 44%. In addition, on more than half of the area, old apple trees have been replaced by new ones with higher fruit yields.

Area of apple trees, 2000
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In pear orchards more and more old trees are being replaced by Conference trees. Two-thirds of the total 6,000 hectares of pear trees are now planted with this variety. Today’s fruit growers thus seem to be increasingly concentrating on just two varieties of fruit.

Area of pear trees, 2000
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Many apple trees cut down

The area of apple orchards in the Netherlands has decreased by 2,400 hectares to 13 thousand hectares in the space of three years, a 15% reduction. The total area devoted to pears, on the other hand, remained quite stable.

There has been an excess production of Jonagold apples in Europe recently. In the Netherlands many more Jonagold trees have been cut down than planted, reducing the area of Jonagold trees by nearly a quarter to 3,500 hectares.

Areas with trees of other varieties, too, such as Cox, Golden Delicious and the Boskoop Red, have shrunk to a great extent. Cox trees now account for only half the area they grew on in 1997.

Apple and pear trees, 1997-2000
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Folkert van der Werf