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, [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Chelan Fruit gears up

Chelan Fruit gears up

  • May 15th, 2013

Orondo Ruby is a yellow-fleshed cherry that has more blush and matures earlier than Rainier.
PHOTO COURTESY OF G&C ORCHARDS

Cherry production in north central Washington State is growing at such a pace that Chelan Fruit Cooperative is planning to build a new cherry line for next season.

Reggie Collins, chief [...]

  • Tip top cherry

Tip top cherry

  • May 15th, 2013

Kim and Troy Toftness with their children Brock and Brylee. Their Skylar Rae cherry brand is named after their first daughter who lived for only 49 days.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE TOFTNESS FAMILY

Cherry growers Troy and Kimberly Toftness are seeing international interest in the new cherry brand Skylar Rae [...]

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 [...]

Cherry rootstock testing continues

  • May 15th, 2013

It will be a few more years before new precocious, dwarfing rootstocks for sweet and tart cherries become available from the Michigan State ­University rootstock breeding program.

“We don’t have enough data yet for growers to decide whether they want to use them or not,” said Amy Iezzoni, who developed [...]

  • Science on the Hudson

Science on the Hudson

  • May 15th, 2013

Modern apple tree plantings have been made at the Hudson Valley Lab.
PHOTO BY RICHARD LEHNERT

Workers at Cornell University’s Hudson Valley Laboratory at Highland, near Poughkeepsie, New York, tend to see themselves as guardians of the gate. Whenever new diseases and insects come to challenge fruit growers in New [...]

Nurseries invest in Phytelligence

  • May 15th, 2013

Four major nurseries that form the North American group of the International New Varieties ­Network (INN) have made a significant investment in a new biotechnology company called Phytelligence.

Phytelligence, which is based in Pullman, Washington, was founded in 2011 by Washington State University genomicist Dr. Amit Dhingra with a number [...]

Good Stuff

  • May 15th, 2013

Book of secrets
Karin Argo of Zillah, Washington, is selling the second edition of her popular The Secrets of Eastern Washington Cookbook. Argo, who grew up on an apple, cherry, and pear orchard in Yakima, said she wrote the book as a way to showcase agriculture in central Washington. [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]