Gingerich Blog

Introducing Andy Andreas

Our advanced trees are the culmination of 20 years worth of work by our Apple Breeder,  Andy Andreas of Ohio.

Andy has owned multiple apple orchards in his career, the most important of which was the property with over 200 apple varieties, located in central Ohio. It was his observations there, from what he calls the “Genetic Gold Mine”, that started off his career in breeding apples. Only the best of the best trees were bred, crossed and thousands of seeds produced and then planted. Trials were conducted and trees were culled if they didn’t provide an excellent eating experience, high vigor, growth rates, and disease resistance under no spray conditions. These trials finally hit the mark, with brand new apple varieties having all the desired features. Third party validation also backed up their findings. Ohio State University conducted DNA analysis, and the results showed that extreme high disease resistance had indeed been bred into the selected new varieties. With his vast expertise, Andy is an accomplished and respected apple breeder, with multiple apple patents currently underway. He has made it possible for the serious land manager to now have trees with the hardiness needed to bear consistently. 

One of the main accomplishments has been to produce varieties that do not need the twelve or more spray applications commercial orchards must apply yearly to get a crop. It is important to note that of those twelve spray applications, eight are specifically targeted to prevent leaf disease.  Without these heavy spray regimens, most known apple varieties would simply not produce edible fruit or eventually die of disease. To simplify, purchasing readily available fruit trees from local big chain sources, and planting them out for wildlife, will often result in poor survival rates and poor yields.

Virtually 100% of the apple programs by major US Universities today, are bred for human consumption in the grocery store fruit aisle. Andy’s advanced program has not been chasing the grocery store apple, which requires heavy spray programs. Instead, his goals have been unique in the fruit world. 

Andy’s breeding program is staggering, even by major University standards. 8,000 new fruit trees in the program will be tested, just next spring alone! The aim has always been simple, achieve the highest levels of disease resistance, without compromising on fruit quality or taste. Andy has also had strict selection criteria: the trees must be proven, exhibit high levels of vigor/growth rates, and exhibit heavy annual apple bearing patterns always with unprecedented disease resistance. With this genetic trifecta, the land manager now has real world fruit trees to accomplish the wildlife goal of having the best, most desirable, strongest draw food source there is.