• Storing organic apples is not easy

Storing organic apples is not easy

  • February 15th, 2010

As Washington growers have ramped up production of organic apples, the volume of apples going into storage has also increased, and with it, the need to for longer storage. With few postharvest tools available for organic fruit, more research is needed to find ways to improve organic fruit storage, [...]

  • Fireblight without antibiotics

Fireblight without antibiotics

  • February 15th, 2010

Orchards that have secondary bloom or have later-blooming varieties are more at risk for fireblight infection.

Controlling fireblight without antibiotics is doable, but it requires an integrated approach combining delayed dormant copper sprays with frequent applications of biological agents, says a plant pathologist from Oregon State University.

The antibiotics streptomycin and [...]

  • Scab control more challenging

Scab control more challenging

  • February 15th, 2010

Apple scab overwinters in infected leaves on the orchard floor. Spores from the dead leaves are produced in the spring and can cause primary infection of fruit.

The Michigan growing season was wet last year. As a result, apple growers had a tougher-than-usual time controlling scab. But the weather was [...]

  • Choosing an orchard system and density

Choosing an orchard system and density

  • February 1st, 2010

An example of a highly organized V trellis system used by Washington’s Auvil Fruit Company

With the site, rootstock and variety selected, the next major decisions involve the type of orchard system and density.

To be competitive in today’s global apple market, orchard systems must provide early returns, produce uniform fruit [...]

  • Time to test drive WA2

Time to test drive WA2

  • February 1st, 2010

WSU selections available for tasting, during a new variety showcase at the Washington State Horticultural Association’s annual meeting.

Washington apple growers are being offered the opportunity to evaluate Washington State University’s new variety WA2 in their orchards.

WSU has licensed the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission to make WA2 available to [...]

  • 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 [...]