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8103be80f9f74e46c81606e21635536f.jpeThe Sweet Cherry Showcase, held annually in Michigan to let growers taste and evaluate new varieties, has morphed into something bigger this year.

It’s being called the Cherry Variety and High-Tech Research Showcase. Not only will dozens of sweet cherry varieties be displayed for tasting, several new technologies will be included in a longer program.

The Michigan State University (MSU) Research Center at Clarksville will host the event on July 9.

The cherry part of the event starts with a free lunch at noon. But earlier that morning, at 10:30 a.m., an apple thinning mini-workshop will be held, led by Phil Schwallier, MSU extension fruit educator.

“Growers will learn about various apple thinning strategies as well as tree hedging,” Schwallier said.

MSU horticulturist Dr. Jim Flore will lead a session on bloom delay using the experimental solid-set canopy delivery spray system installed at the station last year. The idea is to use mist-cooling to extend fruit tree dormancy in years when early warm weather would make trees vulnerable to freezes.

MSU horticulturist Dr. Greg Lang and Wallace Heuser and Wanda Heuser Gale of Summit Tree Sales and International Plant Management will coordinate the cherry showcase. Nikki Rothwell, coordinator for the MSU Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Center in Traverse City, will bring early cherry varieties to the showcase from her northern location. Mid-season and late varieties will come from orchards in southwest and central Michigan.

Other topics that will be discussed at the event include:

  • Spotted-wing drosophila management.
  • High efficiency sweet cherry training systems.
  • Sweet cherry covering systems (Cravo, VOEN, Haygrove, bird netting).
  • Tart cherry hedgerow systems for over-the-row harvesting.

Presenters include cherry breeder Dr. Amy Iezzoni, MSU Extension educator Amy Irish Brown, entomologist Dr. Larry Gut, extension specialist Bill Shane, and horticulturist Dr. Ron Perry.

For more information, call (800) 424-2765.  There is no registration fee, and a complimentary lunch will be served.