Resources for Tree Fruit
|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.
|Sep 14, 2020||422-017 (SPES-257P)|
|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.
|Sep 21, 2020||422-018 (SPES-258P)|
|Growing Peaches and 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.
|Aug 17, 2020||422-019 (SPES-232P)|
|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.
|Jul 15, 2020||422-020 (SPES-221P)|
|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.
|Jul 15, 2020||422-021(SPES-222P)|
|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.
|Aug 17, 2020||422-023 (SPES-233P)|
|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.
|Aug 17, 2020||422-024 (SPES-234P)|
|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.
|Aug 17, 2020||422-025 (SPES-235P)|
|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.
|Aug 17, 2020||422-762 (SPES-236P)|
|Brown Rot on Peach and Other Stone Fruits||
Brown rot is one of the most destructive diseases of peach and nectarine in Virginia, and also occurs on other stone fruits such as apricot, cherry, and plum. When environmental conditions favor this disease, crop loss can be devastating.
|Mar 18, 2020||450-721 (SPES-24P)|
|Soil Test Note 21: Home Fruit Trees||Apr 14, 2023||452-721 (SPES-489NP)|
|Crop Load Management in Commercial Apple Orchards: Chemical Fruit Thinning||May 31, 2019||SPES-134P|
|Chemical Options for Defruting Young Apple Trees||Apr 14, 2022||SPES-396NP|
|Bringing Apples to Life: A Story of Perseverance, Collaboration, and Innovation||Jun 8, 2022||SPES-405NP|