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The original laboratory of S. W. Frost (entomologist) and R. C. Walton (plant pathologist) in the former Arendtsville Hotel, 1918-1922. Photo: Penn State Archives
Early History of the Arendtsville Fruit Laboratory - Articles Articles
In the letter below, Dr. Frost describes the challenges faced by the first scientists who started the Arendtsville Fruit Lab, which went on to become the Fruit Research and Extension Center. More
Apple Top-Working: Managing the New Grafts
Apple Top-Working: Managing the New Grafts - Articles Articles
Top-working is the name for grafting established trees to another variety. The existing tree, the “stock”, is cut back, leaving just one or two limbs (nurse limbs) to supply the tree with energy. More
Frost-induced russet also known as Frost Ring. Photo: Jim Schupp, Penn State
Apple Skin Disorders: Scarf Skin and Russet - Articles Articles
Scarf skin and russet are skin defects that can diminish the market value of fresh fruit. More
Peach Crop Load Management: Blossom Thinning and Fruit Size
Peach Crop Load Management: Blossom Thinning and Fruit Size - Articles Articles

Peach Crop Load Management: Blossom Thinning and Fruit Size

Tara Baugher, James Schupp, Ph.D., Paul Heinemann, Ph.D.

Many growers are hesitant to thin peaches at bloom because they fear the chance of bud loss to frost at this early stage of development. More
Quad V. Photo: Edwin Winzeler, Penn State
Peach Tree Pruning: Trials, Tribulations, and Looking to the Future - Articles Articles
The ideal peach training system would be productive and pedestrian, precocious and produce high quality, well-colored red fruits. 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
Bitter pit begins to show up on Honeycrisp several weeks before harvest and the incidence can increase two- to four-fold after a month in storage. Photo: Tara Baugher
Apple Fruit Disorders - Crop Load and Nutrient Management to Prevent Bitter Pit - Articles Articles

Apple Fruit Disorders - Crop Load and Nutrient Management to Prevent Bitter Pit

Tara Baugher, Rich Marini, Ph.D., James Schupp, Ph.D.

Multiple years of studies in grower orchards are providing additional clues for managing Honeycrisp in the orchard to prevent bitter pit following storage. More
Photo courtesy of PA Cider Guild.
Using Mid-Atlantic Processing Fruit in Hard Cider Production - Articles Articles
Exploring the potential for using Mid-Atlantic processing apple varieties in hard cider production. More
Photo: Tara Baugher
Fruit Tree Pruning - Mature Semi-Dwarf Apple Orchards - Articles Articles
Blocks of larger semi-dwarf trees at medium density still exist on many farms, and often these blocks still have a significant role to play in the orchard enterprise. More
Soggy breakdown on 2014 PA fruit. Photo courtesy of Yosef Al Shoffe, Cornell
Fruit Disorders - Harvest Practices to Prevent Storage Disorders in Honeycrisp - Articles Articles

Fruit Disorders - Harvest Practices to Prevent Storage Disorders in Honeycrisp

Tara Baugher, James Schupp, Ph.D., Rich Marini, Ph.D., Robert Crassweller, Ph.D., Chris Walsh

There are many factors that affect Honeycrisp storage behavior, and some occur during harvest. More
Pruning just before a cold snap increases susceptibility to injury.
Tree Fruit Cold Hardiness - Pruning Effects - Articles Articles

Tree Fruit Cold Hardiness - Pruning Effects

Rich Marini, Ph.D., James Schupp, Ph.D.

Fruit trees begin to go dormant in response to shortening day length in the fall. Exposure to freezing temperatures accelerates the onset of dormancy. More
An effective chemical thinning program is essential to obtaining adequate return bloom. It is also important to use return bloom sprays on apple cultivars that tend to be biennial.
Apple PGRs - Modifying Tree Growth and Increasing Return Bloom - Articles Articles
Plant growth regulators are useful tools for increasing branching, suppressing shoot growth (for example to manage fire blight), and increasing return bloom. More
Apple PGRs - Factors that Affect Performance in Orchards
Apple PGRs - Factors that Affect Performance in Orchards - Articles Articles
PGRs must be applied with adequate coverage, and then be absorbed and translocated to the site of activity in sufficient concentration to give the desired response. More
Apple Crop Load Management - A Hand-thinning Gauge
Apple Crop Load Management - A Hand-thinning Gauge - Articles Articles
The Equilifruit disc, developed in France, has potential as a hand-thinning gauge in tall spindle apple. More
Orchard Production Systems - Apple Blueprint
Orchard Production Systems - Apple Blueprint - Articles Articles

Orchard Production Systems - Apple Blueprint

James Schupp, Ph.D., Tara Baugher

Many cultural practices and pest control methods utilized in the past require abundant labor resources to be profitable, and these no longer exist in today’s agricultural community. More
Photo: Amy Tabb
Orchard Precision - Sensor Technologies and Weather Modeling - Articles Articles

Orchard Precision - Sensor Technologies and Weather Modeling

James Schupp, Ph.D., Tara Baugher, Robert Crassweller, Ph.D., Grzegorz (Greg) Krawczyk, Ph.D.

Sensor and imaging technologies, along with weather modeling, are being investigated for applications in intensive orchard systems. More
Renewal cuts; L: showing branch renewal after 1 year; R: newly cut.
Fruit Tree Pruning - A Rules-Based Approach - Articles Articles
With the advent of uniform narrow canopy training systems, the “artistry” of pruning can be phased out in favor of pruning to a few scientifically sound principals. More
Orchard Automation - Mobile Work Platforms
Orchard Automation - Mobile Work Platforms - Articles Articles

Orchard Automation - Mobile Work Platforms

Tara Baugher, James Schupp, Ph.D.

Mobile orchard platforms increase efficiency of pruning, thinning and harvesting tall spindle systems trained to a fruiting wall. More
Orchard Automation - Harvest Assist Technologies
Orchard Automation - Harvest Assist Technologies - Articles Articles

Orchard Automation - Harvest Assist Technologies

James Schupp, Ph.D., Tara Baugher

Labor costs associated with fruit harvest are roughly 40% of an orchard enterprise annual budget, and fruit industry has identified harvest mechanization and automation as a research priority. More
Photo by Ed Weaver
Fruit Harvest - Handling of Frozen Apples - Articles Articles
Apple fruit will withstand up to 4 hours at 28°F before serious injury occurs. Recovery depends not only on the extent of freezing, but also the rate of thawing. More
Mechanical Thinner
Orchard Automation - Crop Load Management - Articles Articles

Orchard Automation - Crop Load Management

James Schupp, Ph.D., Tara Baugher

Mechanical thinning research has resulted in new technologies for reducing labor requirement in orchards. More
Orchard Automation - Dormant Pruning
Orchard Automation - Dormant Pruning - Articles Articles

Orchard Automation - Dormant Pruning

James Schupp, Ph.D., Tara Baugher

To reduce labor inputs in orchards a multi-state, multi-disciplinary team is developing innovative technologies for automating pruning on apple trees. More
Return bloom of 8th leaf Honeycrisp/M.26 apple trees at FREC, May 1, 2015. Row on the left received no return bloom sprays. Row on the right received 3 “sides” of RB sprays - one spray of NAA and 2 sprays of ethephon - June/July, 2014.
Apple PGRs - Promoting Return Bloom - Articles Articles
A return bloom program should begin after the current year’s crop becomes unresponsive to chemical thinning but before the crop becomes sensitive to the ripening effects of NAA or ethephon. More
Apple PGRs - Prevention of Preharvest Drop in Apple Orchards
Apple PGRs - Prevention of Preharvest Drop in Apple Orchards - 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
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
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