• Next-generation harvester

Next-generation harvester

  • February 1st, 2010

The harvester has four suction tubes for each worker to use. Fruit travels up the tube to an electronic scanner on the platform. Packable fruit and culls go into separate bins.

After testing prototypes of their apple-harvesting system in Washington State in 2009, Picker Technologies and Oxbo are fine-tuning the [...]

  • Planting for the future: Rootstocks

Planting for the future: Rootstocks

  • January 15th, 2010

Malling 9 rootstocks, shown in layer beds at Willow Drive Nursery, Washington, have proven to be the most efficient rootstocks in most regions. The various clones differ considerably in size, with 337 among the smallest and Nic.29 the largest.

This is the second of a series of articles covering all [...]

  • The 1-2-3 rule  of pruning

The 1-2-3 rule of pruning

  • January 15th, 2010

Two-year-old wood and young spurs produce the most and best Packham pears.

The largest and best quality apples and pears grow on two-year-old wood and young spurs. To develop two-year-old wood, prune trees according to the 1-2-3 rule of renewal pruning. This rule ensures that the fruiting wood remains young [...]

  • Nursery goes high-tech

Nursery goes high-tech

  • January 15th, 2010

This machine carries five workers on seats through a block of nursery trees to remove suckers. The machine can be used without seats but with different attachments for spraying and weed control.

A nursery in Chile is using the latest equipment to cut the labor involved in growing the branched [...]

  • Who’s pushing red strains?

Who’s pushing red strains?

  • January 15th, 2010

Yakima, Washington, grower-packer Dave Allan doesn’t think consumers are the ones demanding redder apples.

The worldwide popularity of Gala, a variety that originally was an apple with orange-red stripes and a cream-yellow background, would seem to prove that red color does not beat eating quality.

Although there is concern that Gala [...]

  • Early Fujis  kick-start the season

Early Fujis kick-start the season

  • January 15th, 2010

It’s been said that when Grady Auvil discovered an early Fuji sport in his orchard in 1993, the tree fruit pioneer predicted it would “revolutionize” the Fuji market. More than 20 years later, early strains are helping to jumpstart the Fuji market, but they haven’t replaced standard Fujis.

The Auvil [...]

  • Is redder better?

Is redder better?

  • January 15th, 2010

Gale Gala is one of more than 30 Gala strains.

In the last two decades, Gala apples have taken the world by storm, finding favor around the globe with consumers and growers. But as redder and redder Gala strains are planted, is the tree fruit industry repeating Red Delicious history?

Gala [...]

How to choose the variety

  • January 1st, 2010

This is the first of a series of articles covering all aspects of planning and establishing a competitive orchard.

When planning a new orchard, first of all consider what challenges or problems the orchard needs to address, advises Tom Auvil, research horticulturist with the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission.

“Are plantings [...]

A new game

  • January 1st, 2010

New apple varieties from Washington State University’s breeding program present opportunities for the state’s growers, said Tom Auvil, research horticulturist with the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission.

WSU has just released the first variety from its breeding program, WA 2, and has more in the pipeline. These varieties will be [...]

  • Current planting trends

Current planting trends

  • January 1st, 2010

Golden Delicious plantings have dropped to their lowest level in 25 years.

Fuji has replaced Gala as the most popular variety to plant in Washington. Around 23 percent of the trees budded for planting next spring are Fuji, a survey of nursery tree sales shows. Many growers are replacing older [...]

  • Strategies for Success

Strategies for Success

  • January 1st, 2010

Jim and Rena Doornink planted this block of Jazz apples last spring. Jazz will fill a gap in their harvest schedule between Honeycrisp and Fuji, keeping their crew busy all summer long.

During his 35 years as an orchardist, Jim Doornink has always enjoyed strategizing about how to run a [...]

  • Last Bite

Last Bite

  • January 1st, 2010

Perham Fruit Company used these five labels during the 1920s and 1930s.

Some of the most beautiful and sought-after fruit labels that collectors desire are the old Perham labels. Illustrated here are the five original company labels from the 1920s and 1930s. There are variations of each label. Swan, Tulip, [...]