Resources by Greg Peck

Title Available As Summary Date ID Author
Growing Pears in Virginia
Pears are the second most important deciduous tree fruit after apple, and it has been grown in Europe since prehistoric times. Pears belong to the genus Pyrus and probably originated near the Black and Caspian Seas. French and English colonists brought pears to America and the first record of pears in the North America was in Massachusetts in 1630. Although pear is a popular fruit, it is not grown as widely as apple. Pears can be grown throughout much of North America because they tolerate a wide range of climatic conditions.
Feb 19, 2015 422-017 (HORT-97P)
Growing Cherries in Virginia
Cherries are grown in many parts of the world, but they have never gained the popularity in North America that they have in Europe and the Middle East. Cherries probably originated in the region between the Caspian and Black Seas, where trees still grow in the wild.
Feb 26, 2015 422-018 (HORT-166P)
Growing Peaches & Nectarines in Virginia
An orchard is a long-term investment and careful planning is essential to ensure economic success. Establishing and maintaining a peach planting to bearing age (three years) costs about $3,500 per acre. Mistakes made at planting often cannot be corrected; other mistakes that can be corrected could seriously jeopardize the economic success of the orchard. Because profit margins for commercial fruit plantings are small, orchards should be established only under the most favorable conditions for success.
Feb 17, 2015 422-019 (HORT-96P)
Pruning Peach Trees
Annual pruning is a critical management practice for producing easily harvested, heavy crops of high quality peaches. However, pruning is not a substitute for other orchard practices such as fertilization, irrigation, and pest control. Pruning practices vary slightly in different regions of the United States, but have changed little in the East during the past 70 years. Although pruning may vary slightly for different varieties and localities, certain general practices should be followed. The successful pruner must understand the principles of plant growth, the natural growth habit of the tree, and how the tree will respond to certain types of pruning cuts. Improper pruning will reduce yield and fruit quality.
Jan 28, 2015 422-020 (HORT-93P)
Training and Pruning Apple Trees
Proper training and pruning of trees is a major component of a profitable apple orchard operation. Successful pruning is an art based upon scientific principles of tree growth and physiology and an experienced understanding of tree response to various pruning cuts and practices. Each tree is an individual and should be treated accordingly. Varieties differ in growth characteristics and response to pruning cuts, rootstocks, soil, and growing conditions. It is important that orchard designs, objectives, and goals be clearly defined and that pruning principles are developed accordingly. Mediumto high-density plantings require greater commitment to detailed training and pruning than low-density orchards and should not be attempted unless such a commitment is made.
Jan 30, 2015 422-021(HORT-94P)
Growing Apples in Virginia
Growing apples in the home garden can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, but consistent production of high quality fruit requires knowledge of tree and fruit growth and a willingness to perform certain practices at the appropriate time. Virginia is on the southern fringe of the U. S. apple producing region. Most apple varieties produce the highest quality fruit when night-time temperatures are cool (less than 60°F) at harvest time. Apples grown under warmer conditions tend to be large, soft, poorly colored, and less flavorful than when grown under cooler conditions. Our warm humid summers are also conducive for infection of many diseases. For these reasons, the best Virginia apples are grown at elevations higher than 800 feet above sea level in the western part of the state. However, even apples grown in eastern Virginia usually have quality superior to apples purchased in the supermarkets.
Feb 16, 2015 422-023 (HORT-95P)
Training and Pruning Apple Trees in Intensive Orchards
Since the mid 1970s in the U. S., the number of apple trees per acre in new orchards has gradually been increasing. Orchard intensification is motivated by the desire to produce fruit early in the life of the orchard to rapidly recover establishment costs. Intensification is possible by using dwarfing rootstocks that control tree size, induce early cropping, and produce large quantities of fruit relative to the amount of wood produced.
Feb 24, 2015 422-024 (HORT-99P)
Physiology of Pruning Fruit Trees
Woody plants are pruned to maintain a desired size and shape and to promote a certain type of growth. Ornamental plants are pruned to improve the aesthetic quality of the plant, but fruit trees are pruned to improve fruit quality by encouraging an appropriate balance between vegetative (wood) and reproductive (fruiting) growth.
Feb 26, 2015 422-025 (HORT-98P)
1995 Apple Variety Evaluations
There are more than 2,000 apple varieties and new varieties are becoming available each year. Some apple varieties perform optimally under specific climatic conditions. Therefore, varieties must be evaluated in many geographical locations to determine adaptation to local conditions. Results from one such evaluation trial are presented in this bulletin. Fifty apple varieties on the dwarfing rootstocks M.9, MARK, or M.26 were planted in 1986 or 1988 near Blacksburg, Virginia. Blacksburg is located in the Allegheny mountains at 2,200 feet above sea level. All varieties were evaluated for at least three years.
Feb 24, 2015 422-760 (AREC-130P)
1988-1995 Apricot Variety Evaluations in Virginia
Many apricot varieties are available to tree fruit producers. Therefore, growers should become acquainted with characteristics of various varieties grown under Virginia climatic conditions. Currently, apricots are not produced commercially in the mid-Atlantic area because trees bloom early and are susceptible to spring frost. Flower buds are quite resistant to low winter temperatures and there are active apricot breeding programs in Ontario, New York, West Virginia, New Jersey, and Arkansas, as well as in California. If late-blooming productive varieties are planted on the most frost-free sites, and bloom delaying techniques are employed, Virginia fruit growers may be able to profitably produce limited acreages of high-quality apricots.
Feb 24, 2015 422-761 (HORT-100P)
Peach and Nectarine Varieties for Virginia
Peach and nectarine are both members of the genus and species Prunus persica, and probably differ by only a single gene for skin pubescence (hairs on the fruit surface). One probably originated as a mutation of the other, but we do not know which came first. The species originated in China and was taken by traders from there into Persia, Greece, Italy, and other temperate areas of Europe. Peach and nectarine varieties may have yellow or white flesh. In Virginia different varieties ripen over a wide range of dates, from early June until mid-September. Varieties also differ in fruit size, susceptibility to some diseases and susceptibility to low winter temperatures, chilling requirements, and fruit disorders such as fruit cracking and split-pit. Descriptions of some of these characteristics are included in the next section of this publication.
Feb 23, 2015 422-762 (AREC-128P)
Tree Fruit in the Home Garden
It is desirable to locate the fruit planting as close to your home as possible. Where space is limited, fruit trees may be set in almost any location suitable for ornamental plants. Consider the mature size of the tree when designing the planting.
Feb 11, 2015 426-841 (HORT-101P)
Impact of Composting on Drug Residues in Large Animal Mortality
Mortalities are inevitable in animal agriculture. For most animal operations in the United States, the average annual mortality is estimated to be between 4.5 and 6 percent of the livestock population. Common methods of mortality disposal include burial, rendering, incineration, and use of a landfill. The availability of options for disposing of mortality, particularly rendering, have changed in recent years, and financially and environmentally sound alternatives are needed
Sep 25, 2014 APSC-59P
IMPACT: Virginia Winter Fruit School Impact
Tree fruits are important to the agricultural economy in Virginia. The commonwealth ranks sixth in the nation in apple production, with a crop valued at more than $68 million, and 20th in peach production, with a crop valued at $4.5 million. Although smaller in acreage, cherries, pears, and plums also play an important role in some areas of Virginia. These fruit crops are susceptible to an everchanging array of insects, plant diseases, and weeds, and pest management programs are complex and knowledge-intensive.
May 13, 2015 AREC-135NP
Assessing the Economic Feasibility of Growing Specialized Apple Cultivars for Sale to Commercial Hard Cider Producers
This publication describes a set of associated budget spreadsheets that utilize a systematic means to assess the feasibility of growing specialty apple cultivars for sale to commercial hard cider producers.
Sep 30, 2013 AREC-46P