Charles L. “Charlie” Bennett, 64, who spent his career working on the rootstock development program at Cornell University in Geneva, New York, died February 24.

He began working in the mid-1960s for the New York State Fruit Testing Association in Geneva. He was mainly involved with plant propagation and was skilled at grafting and budding. The Fruit Testing Association supplied fruit trees to commercial orchardists and home gardeners.

In 1978, Bennett became a research technician at the New York State Experiment Station. He worked specifically with the rootstock breeding program. He retired from Cornel University in 2006, but continued to work part-time until last October.

Charlie’s legacy will continue in the thousands of plants that he created. Many of these apple trees are planted at the Experiment Station in Geneva, throughout New York State, and in most apple producing regions in the U.S.