• Living with plum pox

Living with plum pox

  • July 1st, 2012

Jim Bittner, pictured with a tour group in his New York orchard, pulled out 20 acres of peaches when a plum pox-positive tree was found in his orchard. He is worried about Canada dropping its eradication effort.
PHOTO BY RICHARD LEHNERT

The question of how plum pox should be ­managed [...]

  • Canadians will reduce pressure to eliminate plum pox

Canadians will reduce pressure to eliminate plum pox

  • July 1st, 2012

In the “usual” journalistic process, reporters find expert sources and ask questions, then ask additional questions as the answers dictate. This process did not work in developing this article.

On both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border, phone calls directed to knowledgeable horticulturists involved in the plum pox programs were shunted [...]

  • Last Bite–From Shangri-La

Last Bite–From Shangri-La

  • June 1st, 2012

Apricots are dried on a Hunza Valley rooftop.
On the flanks of the magnificent Karakoram mountain range, a jagged spine of 25,000-foot-high mountain spires, lies the valley of the Hunza—a place so rich in beauty and long-lived people that it is credited as an inspiration for James Hilton’s novel [...]

  • Breeding peaches

Breeding peaches

  • May 15th, 2012

New peach varieties from MSU are expected to fill the gaps in the profile of the Michigan peach industry.
Photo courtesy of Michigan State University

New peach varieties can be expected in the next few years from the Michigan State University breeding program and Dr. Bill Shane. He has more [...]

  • In support of peach breeding

In support of peach breeding

  • May 15th, 2012

Peach breeder Bill Shane (left) and Michigan Peach Sponsors President Kurt Weber enjoyed the annual educational meeting they jointly prepared.
Photo courtesy of Michigan State University

Over the last 20 years, Michigan Peach Sponsors has provided more than $100,000 in support of Dr. Bill Shane’s peach-breeding program. It was an [...]

  • Finding the ideal peach orchard

Finding the ideal peach orchard

  • May 15th, 2012

Jim Schupp (on tractor) took an active role in evaluating the Darwin blossom thinner and considers it a key to peach profitability.
Photo by Richard Lehnert

Peach growers in Pennsylvania are being urged—by some convincing data—along a path that changes the look of their orchards and the methods they use [...]

  • Last Bite

Last Bite

  • May 1st, 2012

Arctic Snow, patented by Zaiger Genetics and sold by Dave Wilson Nursery, ripens late August to early September. The fruit is freestone, sweet, low acid, with 50 to 60 percent red blush skin color over lime white. It’s said to be a heavy producer and excellent shipper.

The story of [...]

  • Wide scope for rootstock research

Wide scope for rootstock research

  • April 15th, 2012

International Fruit Tree Association members tour a research plot at Wapato, Washington, where a wide range of apple rootstocks are being compared.

Rootstock development is a huge area of research that goes beyond studying the survival, size, and yield efficiency of rootstocks, says Dr. Terence Robinson, horticulturist at Cornell University, [...]

  • Contain root growth

Contain root growth

  • April 1st, 2012

Four-year-old Packham trees on Winter Nelis rootstock planted 22.5 cm (9 inches) apart on Open Tatura (9,876 trees per hectare, or 4,000 trees per acre). Although tree density is excessively high, this simple experiment clearly shows that tree vigor can be controlled, because growth of roots has been restricted. [...]

  • Strategies for controlling bacterial spot

Strategies for controlling bacterial spot

  • February 15th, 2012

The O’Henry peach variety is a poster child, highly susceptible to bacterial spot. Symptoms include fruit spots, leaf spots, and twig cankers. Bacterial spot is a serious problem for peach growers in the eastern United States, but no big worry for western growers. This [...]

  • MAP funds granted for stone fruits

MAP funds granted for stone fruits

  • February 1st, 2012

Dissolution of the California Tree Fruit Agreement created opportunity for Washington State stone fruit, says Ingrid Mohn, FAS market development specialist. About $250,000 was redirected to a new market access program for Washington’s stone fruit.

With federal budget cuts looming, the future is murky for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s [...]

  • Quality fruit is Rice heritage

Quality fruit is Rice heritage

  • January 1st, 2012

Mark Rice chose to go with Kiku, a high quality Fuji fruit strain that is easier to grow than Honeycrisp but can sell at a similar price.
Richard Lehnert

Members of the Rice family are slow to return to the family ­business, says Mark Rice. They sometimes take long detours, [...]