New approaches to frost control

The height of the vines influences how they fare during cold weather.

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Widely planted

  • May 15th, 2013

Coral Champagne has been the hottest selling cherry variety in California in recent years, according to accounts from nurseries, brokers, and growers.

Dave Wilson Nursery, a commercial tree fruit nursery headquartered in Hickman, California, reports that Coral Champagne has led their cherry tree sales in the last eight years.

A Sacramento, [...]

Cherry cracking test

  • May 15th, 2013

The Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission has developed a simple test for growers to determine the susceptibility of their cherries to rain cracking. All that’s needed are around 50 randomly collected cherries from trees, distilled water, a large pan, and two hours of time.

Through years of study to find [...]

  • Popular cultivar almost wasn’t

Popular cultivar almost wasn’t

  • May 15th, 2013

Coral Champagne cherries ripen after Chelan and about ten days before Bing.

New tree fruit varieties can take decades before going mainstream and ­becoming popular with industry and ­consumers. Coral Champagne is a good example.

The early sweet cherry variety that came out of the University of California’s sweet cherry breeding [...]

  • Nothing easy about organic weed control

Nothing easy about organic weed control

  • May 1st, 2013

Research in a newly planted organic vineyard showed just how difficult and labor-intensive weed control is under organic conditions. Not only can weeds and cover crops compete with young vines and reduce growth, but also mechanical means to control weeds can injure the tender trunks.

Dr. Carol Miles, extension specialist [...]

  • Pear growers surveyed on biological control

Pear growers surveyed on biological control

  • May 1st, 2013

Implementing stable biological control programs requires growers and pest managers to have a much better understanding of management actions against not only pests, but also their natural enemies. Sound management strategies must consider the phenology of both pests and natural enemies, but also optimal timing of management activities and [...]

  • Fruiting walls with windows

Fruiting walls with windows

  • May 1st, 2013

In Italy, where mechanical pruning is being used to form fruiting walls, researchers and growers are already looking at the next step beyond mechanical pruning. It is called window pruning.

Dr. Alberto Dorigoni is studying this approach at the Istituto Agrario Di San Michele All’Adige in Italy’s South Tyrol province. [...]

  • Fruiting wall principles

Fruiting wall principles

  • May 1st, 2013

The tall spindle orchard design that is being so steadfastly encouraged by researchers—and adopted by growers—in the eastern United States came about from the discovery of ­several important principles.

In the 30 years he has been working to develop the tall spindle system, Cornell University’s Dr. Terence Robinson said he [...]

  • Your management program matters

Your management program matters

  • April 15th, 2013

LEFT: Above left: Adult A. mali are affected by most of the tested reduced-risk pesticides. RIGHT: The parasitic wasp Aphelinus mali attacks woolly apple aphids and leaves black, swollen aphid mummies behind.
PHOTO BY ELIZABETH BEERS, WSU

Pesticides are an important tool to protect crops from pest damage. While pesticides [...]

  • The root of the matter

The root of the matter

  • April 15th, 2013

This excavated root system is from a 40-year-old Concord own-rooted vine.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ALAN LAKSO

Grapes, with their flowing vines and lack of inherent structure, are free spirits compared with tree fruits, which have a fairly rigid form and structure. Not surprisingly, grape roots are free spirits as well.

So [...]

Nutrient information needed

  • April 15th, 2013

As yield expectations have soared in recent years, so has the importance of nutrient management.

Apple growers who were once happy harvesting 60 bins per acre are now counting on eventual annual yields of 100 bins or more to cover the high cost of new plantings.

“With increased crop loads, we [...]

Testing tree health

  • April 15th, 2013

Dennis Smith, horticulturist with G.S. Long Company, Inc., in Yakima, Washington, has been doing soil and leaf sampling for fruit growers for over 20 years and has seen the importance of nutrition change as the industry has moved from widely spaced trees to high-density trellised plantings.

“We’ve got to get [...]

  • Cornell releases wine grape varieties

Cornell releases wine grape varieties

  • April 15th, 2013

Cornell University has released two new wine grape varieties—a cold-hardy aromatic white variety and a red variety that is highly resistant to fungal diseases.
The two releases offer new characteristics not previously available to growers and wineries, particularly producers in New York’s Finger Lakes region, says Bruce Reisch, Cornell [...]