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During the prior year, we focused on disseminating our research results through technical workshops and academic publications. For this performance period, this project provided research experiences for four graduate students. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? The results have been disseminated through one journal submission and one workshop submission. Findings of the project were also discussed in number of online seminars and conferences organized by commodity groups e. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?
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Log In. Growing a crisp apple, juicy peach, or a perfect pecan is the dream of many gardeners. Backyard gardeners can grow varieties not available in the market. And unlike commercial producers who must harvest and ship weeks before the fruit is ripe, gardeners can harvest fruit and nuts at their peak.
Fruit and nut trees, however, require ample garden space, annual maintenance, and plenty of patience because many do not produce a crop for several years. If properly maintained, fruit and nut trees are productive for many years. This chapter explains some of the challenges and opportunities that gardeners encounter when selecting, planting, and maintaining fruit and nut trees in North Carolina.
Select the site carefully to ensure your fruit or nut trees will thrive for years to come. Begin by identifying what your site has to offer such a tree. How big a space is available with at least six hours or more of sunlight, and how much of that sunlit space is free from interference of walls, eaves, sheds, fences, or powerlines?
If you have less than 10 square feet, consider a berry bush instead. If you have a tosquare-foot area, you can grow a self-pollinating dwarf fruit tree, fig, or persimmon. With more than 20 square feet you can grow a self-pollinating apple, pear, peach, or plum.
Pecan trees require 70 square feet of space. Fruit trees that require cross-pollination need at least twice as much space to accommodate the two or more different varieties needed to get fruit set. That kind of pruning will stress the trees, making them more susceptible to insect and disease damage and rarely productive. With limited space, consider trees grafted on dwarfing rootstock , container trees, or espalier trees. Regional Considerations. More than soil types occur in North Carolina, which stretches miles from the Appalachian Mountains to the Atlantic Coast and ranges in elevation from 6, feet on the top of Mount Mitchell to sea level on the beach.
Altitude has the greatest influence on climate in North Carolina, and year-round there is a degree difference in temperature between the highest and lowest elevations. November is the driest month, while July is the wettest, and all of North Carolina's rivers are likely to flood. In addition, all areas of the state are subject to wind, hail, and ice damage. Each of these factors affects which fruit and nut trees thrive and what weeds, pests, and diseases present challenges.
Because of these considerations, gardeners need region-specific information regarding fruit tree cultivation in North Carolina. The NC coastal plain elevation is generally less than feet. The NC coastal plain includes the NC tidewater area, which is flat and swampy, and the gently sloping, well-drained interior area. Where the cold Labrador Current flows between the warm Gulf Stream and the North Carolina coast, the two divergent currents create major storms, causing rain along the coast.
Tropical cyclones in the fall can cause severe floods. Average annual rainfall ranges from 40 to 55 inches. These fruit and nut tree crops are recommended for eastern North Carolina: apples, chestnuts, figs, pears Asian and European , pecans, persimmons American and Asian , and plums.
Gardeners must confront several challenges to growing fruit trees in the NC coastal plain. Nematodes are more common in sandy soils; use nematode resistant Guardian TM rootstock in the light sandy soils of eastern North Carolina. In addition, there are several variety-specific issues with apples. In the eastern part of the state, peach tree short life PTSL complex causes sudden death of young peach trees in the spring.
The NC piedmont has hard rock near the surface, and the elevation rises from feet to 1, feet. Elevation changes consist primarily of gently rolling hills. Floods covering a wide area do occur, most likely in winter. Recommended fruit and nut tree crops for central North Carolina include apples, chestnuts, figs, pears Asian and European , pecans, persimmons American and Asian , and plums.
The elevation in the NC foothills and mountains ranges from 1, to 6, feet. The soils consist of eroded, rocky materials, with rocks on the surface. Like the subsoil in the NC piedmont, much of the subsoil in the NC foothills and mountains has high clay content.
Depending on the location, average annual rainfall ranges from more than 90 inches to less than 37 inches. Flash floods on small streams in the mountains most commonly occur in spring, when thunderstorm rain falls onto saturated or frozen soil.
Recommended fruit and nut tree crops for western North Carolina include apples, chestnuts, pears Asian and European , and plums. Inadequate chilling can result in little or no fruit.
Different types of fruit and different varieties of the same fruit require different numbers of chilling hours. For example, peach trees may require as little as hours to as much as 1,plus hours. The lower the chilling-hours requirement, the earlier the tree will begin growing once temperatures are warm enough. In North Carolina, wide fluctuations occur in winter and spring temperatures, and the requirements of low-chilling-hour varieties may be met early in the winter.
When that happens, any warm period during the remainder of the winter will cause the tree to bloom prematurely. The next freezing temperature will kill those blossoms. Likewise, varieties that require a high number of chilling hours will suffer if the chilling requirement is not met.
Trees will bloom erratically, produce deformed leaves, and have little to no fruit set in the spring. Typically, throughout North Carolina, gardens receive in excess of 1, chilling hours annually, so insufficient chilling rarely occurs.
To minimize frost and freeze crop losses, plant varieties with a chilling requirement of hours or greater. In North Carolina, varieties with chilling requirements of less than hours suffer frequent crop losses. Cold air is heavier than warm air and thus drains down and settles in low spots at the bottoms of hills.
Adequate air drainage is as important as proper water drainage. In North Carolina, spring frosts and freezes are common, and a small difference in elevation can mean the difference between a full crop and no crop at all.
Select a higher site with an unobstructed, gradual slope that allows cold air to flow downhill away from the trees. Fruit and nut trees need at least 6 hours of sunlight during the growing season.
Avoid areas shaded by taller trees, houses, or buildings. Avoid direct southern exposure because the warmer temperatures on a southern slope can cause early blooming and exposure to frost damage. Light penetration is essential for flower bud development and optimal fruit set, flavor, color, and quality.
Fruit tree buds require direct sunlight to initiate flowers and for high - quality fruit production. Shaded branches do not develop flower buds. Pruning to allow sunlight into the canopy is essential—both for fruit production and to prevent pest problems.
Soil consists of minerals, organic matter, air, and water. Fruit trees must be planted in well-drained soil to prevent standing water from drowning the roots. Even though a tree is dormant in the winter, its root system is still growing and it is susceptible to damage from poor drainage. Water standing in the root zone for two to three days could result in tree death. Poorly drained soils also promote the growth of pathogens that infect roots.
When poorly drained soils are difficult to avoid, minimize problems by planting the trees in raised beds or berms. Form beds and berms by shaping well-drained topsoil from the surrounding area. Raised beds should measure 18 inches to 24 inches high and 4 feet to 5 feet wide.
To determine fertility needs, collect soil samples for analysis. Cooperative Extension centers. Take soil samples from two depths: the first from the top 6 inches to 8 inches of soil and the second from the lower profile, 16 inches to 18 inches in depth. A soil pH of approximately 6. North Carolina soils, however, are typically more acidic lower pH. Follow the directions included with your soil test results to adjust your pH, if recommended, by adding lime to a depth of 16 inches to 18 inches, preferably before planting.
Note that in acidic soils, even when nutrients are present, they may be locked up in the soil and unavailable to roots. In this case, additional fertilizer does not benefit the tree but may run off or leach to pollute storm water. Because it is virtually impossible to change the climate or soils, always select cultivars known to thrive in the given conditions. Fruit and nut trees that look promising on the glossy pages of mail-order catalogs are destined to fail if grown in incompatible climates and soils.
Climatic conditions and soils vary greatly from one region to another in North Carolina, so the best way to minimize stress and limit pesticide use is to choose plants that are well-adapted to a particular environment. Another factor to consider when selecting fruit and nut trees is the level of management required. Low-maintenance crops, such as pecans, figs, and persimmons, grow with little attention to training, fertility, or insect and disease management. Conversely, peaches, nectarines, and plums require intensive management.
Table 15—1 lists fruit trees that grow well and produce reliable crops. Table 15—2 includes often-overlooked native fruit crops that grow well in North Carolina. Tree fruits not included on the lists may grow in North Carolina, but few produce quality fruit on a regular basis. Apricot and cherry trees grow in certain areas where the climate is favorable, but need careful management and will not consistently bear fruit. Most tropical fruits do not grow outdoors anywhere in North Carolina.
Edible bananas, for example, need a longer growing season to produce fruit and cannot survive North Carolina winters. Table 15 — 1. Fruit cultivar recommendations for North Carolina.
Table 15 — 2. Tree fruits and nuts native to North Carolina.
Recently I specified apple trees for a client with a small yard. Along with the name of the apple I wanted, I also specified which dwarfing root stock. Why should we care about what root stock my apple tree is grafted on? The first step to success in selecting dwarf apple trees for small city landscapes is picking the right root stock. I define success as planting fruit trees that stay small but produce lots of fruit and are easy to care for. Please do not buy an apple tree with a tag that only says dwarf. If the tag does not identify the specific root stock you have no idea how big the tree will be.
Simultaneously, others elucidated the importance of light and carbohydrate partitioning during fruit development that helps explain the tree's.
Peach trees are one of the least demanding fruit trees you can grow. Like many fruit trees, peach trees are susceptible to some diseases and pests, but peaches ripen so early in the season that these problems don't usually affect the harvest. And harvesting is usually fairly simple, thanks to the many dwarf varieties that remain just 4 to 6 feet in height. However, the one maintenance task that shouldn't be overlooked is pruning. Your peach trees will be healthier, more productive, and easier to work with if you set up an annual pruning routine. While many fruiting plants are best pruned when they are dormant , this is not the case with peach trees. Pruning them when the weather is still cold makes them susceptible to dieback and causes them to be less cold-hardy overall. Ideally, you should prune peach trees annually in spring, just as the buds swell and begin to turn pink. It's better to prune a little too late than too early. However, you can remove shoots developing in the center of the tree at any time since these will block sun and air from getting to the fruits.
Proper pruning is a critical part of responsible tree care. We can trim your hedge efficiently and professionally, no matter its height or location on your property. Using hand-held power trimmers, pole saws, and hand-clippers, our crew members will create a sharp, beautiful hedge that will enhance your property. Our tree thinning service decreases wind resistance in storms, allows more sunlight to reach the landscape below, and helps open up views on your property.
Fruit trees need pruning for two primary purposes: to establish the basic structure , and to provide light channels throughout the tree so that all the fruit can mature well.
More Information ». Training and pruning are essential for growing fruit successfully. Fruit size, quality and pest management are influenced by training and pruning. Untrained and unpruned trees become entangled masses of shoots and branches that produce little or no fruit and harbor insects and diseases. Training begins at planting and may be required for several years.
Here are some questions and answers that might help you get started or finished with your pruning needs. Are fruit trees different than shade trees? Fruit trees are pruned differently than shade trees. With fruit trees, you are growing a crop, maybe even for monetary gain. When trying to decide what to prune and what to not prune, look for strong branches with wide branch angles, which are more capable of holding a heavy load. You want to keep those! Also, you would not be pruning your shade trees as often or as heavily as you would fruit tree! How should I prune a young tree vs.
all-audio.pro One of the best times to prune is in late Regular pruning of plants Prune most fruit trees late in the.
Tree response can vary when these aspects of pruning are varied. When peach trees are summer pruned properly, one can expect economic benefits, but economic losses result from summer pruning incorrectly. During the s and 90s, several researchers evaluated summer pruning in apple and peach.
The most important time to prune is late winter, before you see any signs of new growth. Prune off damaged limbs as well as branches that grow too close to the main branches. Thin out crowded and crossing twigs. Choose limbs to form another layer of main structural branches above the previous layers, and remove competing branches.
Here are the very best videos that horticulturist and YouTube-curator Charlie Nardozzi found on winter pruning for fruiting plants.
Mountain West Arbor Care is presently servicing our customers in beautiful La Grande, Oregon , where Deciduous and evergreen trees rule the landscape. Lagrande is known for being a humid climate, and with plenty of moisture comes abundant growth and risks of overgrowth. The winter and early spring months are the perfect time to prune your deciduous trees. During the winter your trees are in a dormant stage and without foliage. This is a great time to prune your trees as the impact on your trees health is minimized and it is much easier to understand the tree and limb structure without the added leaf cover.
In this article we discuss why December and January are the ideal months for fruit tree pruning. Read on for fruit tree-pruning tips, including whom to contact for tree pruning services. We also discuss a common conundrum for fruit tree owners: What to do with extra fruit. Why Prune Fruit Trees in the Winter?