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Photo: Bill Lamont, Penn State
Pumpkin Cultivar Trial Results - Articles Articles

Pumpkin Cultivar Trial Results

Elsa Sanchez, Ph.D., Timothy Elkner, Robert Pollock, Tom Butzler, William Lamont, Jr., Ph.D.

We evaluated twenty-one pumpkin cultivars in 2016 and 2017. More
Enzymatic cell wall breakdown is an irreversible process. Once the fruit stems loosen, there is no way to strengthen them up! Stop drops are plant growth regulators that interfere with the enzymatic breakdown of the cell walls in the abscission zone.
Apple PGRs: Preharvest Drop Control - Articles Articles
As apples mature they begin to produce large amounts of the ripening hormone, ethylene. One of the ripening processes stimulated by ethylene is stem loosening. More
The first step in making the right call on thinning is accurate assessment of initial set.
Apple Crop Load Management: Chemical Thinning - Articles Articles
Chemical thinning applications are probably the most important single spray in a season. More
Ambrosia fruit. Photo: R. Crassweller, Penn State
Orchard Nutrition: Determining Orchard Fertility Needs - Articles Articles
The Mid-Atlantic region is blessed with an abundant supply of good fertile soils that can produce high quality deciduous fruit. More
Photo: Sladjana Prozo
Fruit Disorders: New Tool to Assess the Potential for Bitter Pit in Honeycrisp - Articles Articles
Bitter pit severity varies with cultivar and season, but Honeycrisp is particularly susceptible. Penn State has developed a new model for predicting bitter pit potential. More
Andrena on apple blossom. Photo: David Biddinger
Orchard Pollination: Wild Bees - Articles Articles

Orchard Pollination: Wild Bees

Dave Biddinger, Ph.D.

Managed pollinators like honey bees and mason bees are important pollinators for orchards, but research suggests that wild bees also contribute significantly to fruit tree pollination. More
Osmia cornifrons on an apple blossom. Photo: David Biddinger
Orchard Pollination: Solitary (Mason) Bees - Articles Articles
Growers of bee-pollinated crops, particularly apples, may be interested in the possible use of solitary bees as pollinators. More
Growers dependent on honey bees must constantly maintain a delicate balance between protecting their crops from pests and pathogens and protecting pollinators.
Orchard Pollination: Honey Bees - Articles Articles

Orchard Pollination: Honey Bees

Dave Biddinger, Ph.D.

European honey bees are the primary managed pollinators in orchards because their abundance can be managed from year to year. More
The nearer the pollinizer to the producing tree, the better distribution by the bees of pollen to all blossoms. Crabapples are often used as pollinizers.
Orchard Pollination: Pollinizers, Pollinators and Weather - Articles Articles
Pollination involves the integration of several biological and physical factors, including cultivar compatibility, synchronous blooming, insects, and proper weather conditions. More
Trees trained to a tall spindle system are commonly grown on M.9 rootstock, although new rootstocks are on the horizon.
Apple Rootstocks: Capabilities and Limitations - Articles Articles

Apple Rootstocks: Capabilities and Limitations

Robert Crassweller, Ph.D., James Schupp, Ph.D.

Penn State participates in multi-state apple rootstock trials, such the NC-140 rootstock project. The following rootstock descriptions and comments are based on results from these trials. More
In high-density systems excessive growth is discouraged, and instead of a large, strong framework, a weak-framed tree is desirable. To achieve these ends in a system such as tall spindle, very little pruning is done in early years.
Orchard Production Systems: Selection Considerations - Articles Articles
Factors affecting an orchard production system include cost, spacing, plantsmanship, and labor. More
Goldrush has a long growing season and is an excellent late-season cultivar for south-central Pennsylvania.
Apple Cultivars: Scab Resistance Selections - Articles Articles

Apple Cultivars: Scab Resistance Selections

Robert Crassweller, Ph.D.

Disease resistant cultivars were developed primarily for resistance to apple scab, but some are also resistant to cedar apple rust, powdery mildew, and fire blight. More
Nitrogen deficiency symptoms on peach, which can be prevented by leaf analysis and block-specific fertilization.
Orchard Nutrition: An Overview - Articles Articles

Orchard Nutrition: An Overview

Robert Crassweller, Ph.D.

Nutritional requirements of fruit trees differ from those of agronomic crops, cover crops, and orchard sod. More
Collect mid-shoot leaves on current season’s growth.
Orchard Nutrition - Sample for Foliar Analysis Mid-July to August - Articles Articles
Plant tissue analysis is used to directly measure the amount of nutrients in fruit trees, and for established perennial crops, is usually a better indicator of nutrient status than a soil test. More
A new mobile scouting spreadsheet developed by Penn State enables simple record-keeping on your smartphone.
Orchard IPM: Scouting with Your Smartphone - Articles Articles

Orchard IPM: Scouting with Your Smartphone

Tara Baugher, Tom Jarvinen

An important part of orchard scouting is to keep good records. A new mobile scouting spreadsheet, developed by Penn State, will help you keep track of what you are seeing in the field. More
John Wall, author of How to Build Orchard and Vineyard Trellises, explains the key components of a strong orchard support system. Photo: Tara Baugher, Penn State
Orchard Precision: Engineering Principles for Orchard Trellis Construction - Articles Articles
Properly gauging orchard trellis needs and designing a system that is both cost-efficient and sturdy enough to weather season after season is a challenging, but rewarding, task. More
Tyvek® tree guard. Photo: Rob Crassweller
Orchard Weed Control - Protection of Tree Trunks - Articles Articles
Some of the burn-down herbicides have been implicated as possible causes of damage to young tree trunks that have green tissue on portions of the lower trunk. More
Phytocoris conspurcatus. Photo by Tom Murray
Apple Insect Pest: New Plant Bug Type Injury to Fruit - Articles Articles

Apple Insect Pest: New Plant Bug Type Injury to Fruit

Dave Biddinger, Ph.D., Neelendra Joshi

In last the five years or so growers have noticed increases in what appears to be plum curculio damage to apple fruit. More
Zenik Crespo (back, right) assists Hispanic participants as they identify weeds at Johnston’s Everygreen Nursery in Erie. Photo: L. Follett, Johnston’s Evergreen Nursery
Bilingual Workshops Teach Integrated Weed Management - Articles Articles
Penn State Extension has developed new resources for weed management and is beginning to offer bilingual training opportunities. More
Mowing the sudex cover crop at the blueberry site at Five Elements Farm. The sudex was sown to compete against weeds, and was incorporated to add organic matter to the soil. Photo by J. Bozzelli.
Adding Small Fruits to Your Small Farm - Articles Articles

Adding Small Fruits to Your Small Farm

Marley E Skinner, Robert Pollock, Mike Basedow

Consider diversifying your farm by adding small fruit like blueberries or strawberries. More
Photo: Molly Kelly, Penn State
Incorporating Microbiology Techniques in the Winery - Articles Articles
There are a number of spoilage microorganisms and yeasts that we are concerned with as winemakers. More
'Golden Delicious' on MM.111 rootstock and a 12" M.9 interstem in one of Roy Simons' trials at Illinois. Photo: Rich Marini, Penn State
Apple Rootstocks: Interstem Apple Trees Revisited - Articles Articles
Some growers are considering interstem trees as a way to avoid some of the problems experienced with the more common dwarfing rootstocks. More
Jalysus wickhami. Photo © John Rosenfeld
Spined Stilt Bug - Articles Articles

Spined Stilt Bug

Michael J. Skvarla

Spined stilt bugs are an occasional pest of greenhouse tomatoes that can cause flower and fruit abortion and unsightly feeding damage in mature fruits. More
Soil testing throughout the project helps determine if any soil amendments are needed. Photo: Kristi Kraft
Start Farming: Establishing Farmers Prepare Fields for Fruit Trees - Articles Articles
"Models for the Future" demonstration plots showcase best management practices for producers in the establishing years of developing their farm enterprises. More
Buckeye Gala/M. 9. Photo: Tara Baugher, Penn State
Apple PGRs - Shifting Harvest Window of Gala a Risk in Warmer Climates - Articles Articles

Apple PGRs - Shifting Harvest Window of Gala a Risk in Warmer Climates

James Schupp, Ph.D., Edwin Winzeler, Lynn Kime

Researchers in cooler regions have recommended the 2-pouch rate of ReTain be used to delay harvest by up to six weeks, but this was not possible in Southcentral PA in 2016. More