09/21/2013 06:36 EDT | Updated 11/21/2013 05:12 EST


GENEVA, N.Y. - Trees at Cornell University's research orchard this fall are heavy with waxy apples, deep-red, round apples, oblong apples and aromatic apples that smell like autumn.

The thousands of trees here are tended for a single goal: to grow apples with just the right mix of sweetness, tart and crunch.