Chapter 18: Fruit and nut production.
After completing this chapter, you should be able to:
* Identify the benefits of fruit or nut production as a personal enterprise
* Name fruit and nut crops
* Describe how to plan and prepare a site for fruit or nut production
* Identify how to plant fruit and nut trees
* Describe appropriate cultural practices
* List some procedures for harvesting and storing a fruit or nut crop
* Discuss how to prune and why prune
Fruit and Nut Production Business
Today, the production of fruit and nut crops is more a business than a way of life. Production requires the grower to be a good financial manager, as well as a scientist and farmer. The person who is a fruit grower or fruit scientists is called a pomologist. People who work in the industry must be able to propagate fruit and nut trees, as well as plant and transplant, prune, thin, train, and fertilize them.
The production, harvest, and marketing of fruits and nuts is a large industry. The United States accounts for a sizable portion of the combined world crops of apples, pears, peaches, plums, prunes, oranges, grapefruits, limes, lemons, and other citrus fruits. Table 18-1 lists the production of tree fruits and nuts in the United States. Also, Figure 18-1 shows citrus production in the United States for the most recent 10 years.
[FIGURE 18-1 OMITTED]
Types of Fruits and Nuts
The tree fruits and nuts include many types and varieties. Temperate fruit trees and their common and scientific names are listed in Table 18-2. Subtropical and tropical fruit trees are listed in Table 18-3.
Besides their family and scientific name, fruit trees can be identified as drupe or pome. A drupe is a fruit with a large hard seed called a stone. Pome fruits have a core and embedded seeds.
Fruit trees can also be grouped according to their growth habit--standard, semi-dwarf, and dwarf. A standard tree has its original rootstock and grows to normal size (Figure 18-2). For example, a standard apple tree can grow to be 30 feet high. Semi-dwarf and dwarf trees are standard varieties of trees grafted onto dwarfing rootstocks. These rootstocks cause the tree to produce less annual growth, and the size of the tree produced is called a dwarf or semi-dwarf (Figure 18-2). Semi-dwarf trees reach about 10 to 15 feet in height while dwarf trees only reach 4 to 10 feet.
[FIGURE 18-2 OMITTED]
Table 18-4 identifies the common nut trees, and Table 18-1 indicates the average production of some of these nuts in the United States.
Selecting Fruit or Nut Trees
Besides being grown commercially, fruit and nut trees may be grown in home gardens or as a part of a landscaping plan. Growers need to consider the climate, rootstock selection, frost susceptibility, fertility, pollination, and growth patterns and fruiting dates.
Some fruit and nut trees are more suited for one type of climate than another. For example, the citrus fruits grow only in the tropical and subtropical climates such as Florida, Texas, and California (Table 18-3). Growers should seek advice on fruit and nut trees that will grow in their areas.
Rootstock selection is important since many of the fruit and nut trees are propagated by grafting. Disease-free, hardy rootstock should be sought for fruit and nut trees. Nurseries will provide this information about their trees.
Locations for fruit and nut trees should be protected from frost. If an area is susceptible to late frosts, growers should select late blooming varieties. Planting trees on hillsides, near ponds, or near cities will help prevent frost damage. Commercial growers use irrigation sprinklers, heaters, and fans to help reduce frost damage.
Producing high-quality fruits and nuts depends on the fertility of the soil. Generally, a pH of 5.5 to 6.0 is required. Fruit crops need to be fertilized annually, but too much fertilizer can damage the roots and create other problems. Depending on the type of fruit or nut tree grown, growers should seek expert advice for their location.
Most fruit crops require pollination. It is necessary for the fruit to set or form. Depending on the type of fruit or nut tree grown, the pollination requirements can vary. Sometimes trees need to have several varieties that bloom at the same time for adequate cross-pollination. Other trees require a tree just for its pollen. Table 18-5 indicates some of the fruit and nut trees that need a pollinizer. Bees also help with pollination.
Growth Patterns and Fruiting Dates
As Tables 18-6 and 18-7 indicate, growing fruit or nut trees is a longterm commitment. Some trees can take anywhere from 2 to 12 years to bear sufficient fruit or nuts, but they will continue to bear for years.
Most fruit trees go through a vegetative and productive period of growth. During the vegetative period, the tree grows vigorously and rapidly. In some trees, this may be 4 to 5 feet in a single season. When the tree enters the productive period, growth slows and the fruit buds become larger and plumper (see Figure 18-3).
[FIGURE 18-3 OMITTED]
Besides growth patterns, different varieties of the same fruit mature at different times of the year. Selection should be based on this and the variety that will satisfy market demands (refer back to Table 18-5).
Site and Soil Preparation
The site should allow for maximum exposure to the sunlight, since most trees require full sunlight for maximum production. Land with a slight slope and good air circulation helps prevent frost damage. Soil at the site needs to be well drained and of medium texture. Before planting, the soil should be sampled and tested for fertilizer requirements and pH. Also, the soil needs to be deeply plowed so the root systems can penetrate into the soil.
Trees from nurseries can be planted in the spring or the fall. Both seasons have their advantages. Each type of fruit or nut tree will have its own planting distance. Refer back to Table 18-6 for the suggested space per tree needed for some of the common fruits and nuts.
Growers need to follow the guidelines for the actual planting. Each fruit or nut tree will have its own specifications. In general, the hole should be dug to be 1 1/2 to 2 feet wide and about 1 1/2 feet deep. The trees are planted so that the uppermost root is no more than 2 inches below the ground level. With dwarf trees, the graft union should be 2 to 3 inches above ground level. The roots need to be spread out in the hole and dead parts trimmed. Newly planted trees are lost because of the following:
* Roots suffocate by too deep planting
* Water standing in the hole
* Late planting leading to top growing before the roots
* Drought from lack of irrigation or weed competition
* Fertilizer placed in the hole
Mulching newly planted trees with several inches of sawdust, bark, gravel, or plastic will help establishment and early growth. Fertilizers and herbicides should not be applied the first year. Pruning the top immediately after planting to restore the normal ratio of roots to top will help trees become established.
For successful production, trees need fertilizer, irrigation, pruning, and disease and pest control.
After the first season, some trees will need nitrogen (N) to hasten growth. Fertilizer should be scattered under the branches, away from the trunk, after leaf fall and before bloom. Peach and filbert trees require more fertilizer than other fruits and nuts. Trees in grass sod will require much more N than where the ground is clean cultivated.
Depending on the type of tree and the location, trees will need irrigation, even in wet climates. How the trees are irrigated will depend on the area. Some trees may be flood irrigated and others drip or sprinkler irrigated.
Pruning and training of young trees establishes a strong framework of branches that will support fruit. Each tree type has a specific way that it should be pruned. For example, peach trees are pruned for an open center and V-shaped pattern, as shown in Figure 18-4. Apple trees are pruned into a Christmas-tree scaffold, as shown in Figure 18-5.
[FIGURE 18-4 OMITTED]
[FIGURE 18-5 OMITTED]
Disease and Pest Control
Control of diseases and pests is major concern of fruit and nut growers. Since the crops are so diverse, so are the control measures. Refer back to Table 18-5 for a list of some of the pests that need to be controlled in some fruits and nuts. Proper pesticides must be selected and used correctly for the fruit or nut tree being sprayed. Timely and thorough spraying is required to control diseases and insects. Some growers will spray only if excessive damage appears imminent, and insect predators can help keep populations under control.
URBAN AGRICULTURE MOVEMENT Half of the world's population lives in cities. By 2015 about 26 cities in the world are expected to have a population of 10 million or more. To feed a city of this size--at least 6000 tons of food must be imported each day. Recognizing these facts and the importance of food, an urban agriculture movement is gaining momentum. Simply, urban Agriculture is the practice of cultivating, processing and distributing food in, or around a town or city thereby contributing to food security and food safety for those living in the town or city. Since urban agriculture promotes energy-saving, local food production, it is considered a "sustainable practice." Credible agencies recognize the urban agriculture movement. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO; http:// www.fao.org) defines urban agriculture as an industry "that produces, processes and markets food and fuel, in response to the daily demand of consumers within a town, city, or metropolis, on land and water dispersed throughout the urban area, applying intensive production methods, using and reusing natural resources and urban wastes to yield a diversity of crops and livestock." (Smit, J., A. Ratta, and J. Nasr, 1996, Urban Agriculture: Food, Jobs, and Sustainable Cities. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), New York, NY) The Council on Agriculture, Science and Technology, (CAST; http:// ww.castscience. org/) describes urban agriculture as "a complex system encompassing a spectrum of interests, from a traditional core of activities associated with the production, processing, marketing, distribution, and consumption, to a multiplicity of other benefits and services that are less widely acknowledged and documented. These include recreation and leisure; economic vitality and business entrepreneurship, individual health and well-being; community health and well being; landscape beautification; and environmental restoration and remediation." (Butler, L. and D.M. Moronek (eds.) 2002. Urban and Agriculture Communities: Opportunities for Common Ground. Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST). Ames, IA) With new thinking and new designs for productive urban farms, the idea of locating agriculture in the city takes on many characteristics and offers some exciting opportunities for the future.
Harvesting and Storage
Apples are mature when they easily separate from the tree when twisted upward and when they taste good. They should be picked before the core gets areas with a glassy appearance (water core).
Sweet cherries, apricots, figs, plums, prunes, and peaches taste ripe when ready for picking. Ripening will continue after harvest. For canning or drying, they should be left on the tree until completely ripe. Sour cherries are ripe when they come off the tree easily without the stems.
European pears should be picked when still green but when they easily separate from the tree. Most varieties other than the Bartlett require a month or more of cold storage before they will ripen properly. Oriental pears can be picked when they are sweet and juicy.
Figs are ripe when they are very soft and droop on their stems. Persimmons ripen late in the fall when they become soft and lose astringency.
Nuts fall to the ground when they are mature. They can be gathered after falling to the ground or they may be shaken to the ground or into a harvester. Nuts are dried for storage, and dried nuts can be frozen.
Fruit needs to be stored cool (near 32[degrees]F) but not frozen. A good storage room is insulated against heat and freezing. Humidity in the storage room should be moderate.
National Grower/Horticultural Organizations
The following organizations address growers' concerns nationwide through dialogue, annual meetings, and publications.
* American Pomological Society. 103 Tyson Building., University Park, PA 16802.
* American Society for Horticultural Science. 701 N. St. Asaph Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-1998.
* International Apple Institute. P.O. Box 1137, McLean, VA 22101, (703) 442-8850.
* International Dwarf Fruit Tree Association. 14 S. Main Street, Middleburg, PA 17842.
1. Fruit and nut trees are grown on a commercial scale or by home gardeners.
2. Trees are adapted to a variety of climatic conditions, but all trees are susceptible to frost damage.
3. Trees can be standard size, semi-dwarf, or dwarf.
4. Fruit and nut trees can be found for temperate climates and subtropical or tropical climates.
5. Depending on the type of tree selected, a variety of cultural practices are necessary.
6. Proper site selection, soil type, and fertility need to be considered when planting trees.
7. Many trees require pruning.
8. Trees pollinate by wind or insects, and some growers bring in bees to increase pollination.
9. Harvest and storage depend on the crop. With proper storage conditions, the fruit or nut can be kept fresh longer.
Something to Think About
1. What type of sunlight requirements do most fruits require?
2. How deep should the hole be to plant a fruit tree from a nursery?
3. Name five fruit trees and five nut trees.
4. List four drupe fruits.
5. Identify two temperate fruit trees and two subtropical fruit trees.
6. Describe the storage of apples.
7. Why are fruit trees pruned?
8. Compare the advantages of planting in the spring to planting in the fall.
9. How are fruits and nuts harvested?
10. Compare standard, semi-dwarf, and dwarf trees.
Barritt, B. H. 1991. Intensive orchard management. Yakima, WA: Good Fruit Grower.
Childers, N. F., and W. B. Sherman, Eds. 1988. The peach: World cultivars to marketing. Gainesville, FL: Horticultural Publications.
Galletta, G. J., and D. G. Himelrick. 1990. Small fruit crop management. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Janick, J., R. W. Schery, F. W. Woods, and V. W. Ruttan. 1974. Plant science. An introduction to world crops (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: W. H. Freeman and Company.
Litz, R. E. 2005. Biotechnology of fruit and nut crops. Cambridge, MA. CABI Publishing.
McMahon, M., A. M. Kofranek, and V. E. Rubatzky. 2006. Hartmann's Plant science, 4th Ed., Growth, Development, and Utilization of Cultivated Plants. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Career & Technology.
Rom, R. C., and R. F. Carlson. 1987. Rootstocks for fruit crops. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Westwood, M. N. 1993. Temperate-zone pomology: Physiology and culture 3rd Ed. Timber Press, Inc.
Internet sites represent a vast resource of information. The URLs for Web sites can change. Using one of the search engines on the Internet, such as Google, Yahoo!, Ask.com, and MSN Live Search, find more information by searching for these words or phrases: fruit production, fruits and nuts, nut production, fruit pests, fruit diseases, apples, apricots, cherries, figs, olives, pears, peaches, plums, prunes, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, and orchards.
Table 18-1 Noncitrus Fruit and Nut Production Average production Crop (1,000 ton) (1) Apples 5,420 Apricots 98 Cherries 336 Figs 50 Nectarines 220 Olives 109 Peaches 1,148 Pears 924 Plums & Prunes 853 Tree Nuts Almonds 436 Hazelnuts 26 Pecans 116 Walnuts 224 (1) Production of three recent years. Courtesy of National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Table 18-2 Temperate Fruit Trees Group Common name Scientific name Pome fruits Apple Malus domestica Pear Pyrus communis Drupe or stone fruits Peach Prunus persica Nectarine Prunus persica Plum Prunus spp. Cherry Prunus spp. Apricot Prunus armeniaca Table 18-3 Subtropical and Tropical Fruit Trees Group (family) Common name Scientific name Citrus Orange Citrus sinensis Grapefruit Citrus paradisi Lemon Citrus limon Tangerine Citrus reticulata Limes Citrus aurantifolia Tangelos C. reticulata x C. paradisi Lauraceae Avocado Persea americana Oleacea Olive Olea europaea Palmae Date Phoenix dactylifera Moraceae Fig Ficus carica Musaceae Banana Musa spp. Caricaceae Papaya Carica papaya Anacardiaceae Mango Mangifera indica Table 18-4 Nut Trees Family Common name Scientific name Rosaceae Almond Prunus amygdalus Juglandaceae English Walnut Juglans regia Pecan Carya illinoensis Betulaceae Filbert Corylus avellana Proteaceae Macadamia Macadamia ternifolia Table 18-5 Fruit and Nut Tree Production Guidelines Space per trees Pollinizer Approx. years Crop (ft) (1) tree needed to bearing Apples 5-40 Sometimes 2-10 Apricots 15-25 No 6-7 Butternut 30-40 Yes 3-5 Cherries, sour 14-20 No 3-5 Cherries, sweet 20-35 Yes 6-7 Chestnut 20-40 Yes 5-7 Figs 12-20 No 5-6 Filberts 15-20 Yes 5-6 Hickory 20-40 Yes 10-14 Papaw 15-20 Yes 10-14 Peaches, nectarines 12-15 No 4-5 Pears 10-20 Yes 5-7 Persimmons 15-20 Yes 8-10 Plums/Prunes 10-20 Some varieties 3-5 Walnuts, black 30-40 No 10-12 Walnuts, English 40-50 No 10-12 Sprays usually Crop required to control Apples Codling moth, (2) scab Apricots Brown-rot bacterial canker Butternut None Cherries, sour Fruit fly (2) Cherries, sweet Fruit fly, (2) bacterial canker Chestnut None Figs None Filberts Filbert moth, (2) bacterial blight Hickory None Papaw None Peaches, nectarines Leaf curl, borers, coryneum blight, brown rot Pears Fire blight, scab, codling moth (2) Persimmons None Plums/Prunes Crown borers, brown rot Walnuts, black Husk rot (2) Walnuts, English Husk fly, (2) blight (1) The vigor of the variety and the rootstock, and the amount of pruning, also determine space requirements. (2) Insect, if uncontrolled, causes wormy fruit or nuts. Courtesy of Oregon State University Extension. Table 18-6 Starting and Bearing Time for Fruit Trees Tree Years to start Years bear Apple 3-10 50-100 Apricot 3-4 10-25 Cherry, sour 3-4 15-25 Cherry, sweet 4-5 25-75 Peach 2-3 5-15 Pear 3-5 25-75 Plum 3-4 10-20 Quince 3-4 10-20 Table 18-7 Some Fruit and Nut Varieties and Approximate Time of Maturity Approx time of Variety maturity Comments Apples Lodi July 15-30 Yellow, won't keep Earlygold Aug. 1-15 Yellow, crisp Stark Summer Treat Aug. 1-15 Red, good flavor Summer Red Aug. 1-15 Red, good flavor Gravenstein Aug. 15-30 Pollinated by Lodi, not hardy, best sauce apple Jonamac Sept. 1-10 Red, McIntosh-like Elstar Sept. 10-20 Tart, good flavor, cool climate Gala Sept. 15-25 Sweet, good flavor, heat-tolerant Jonagold Sept. 15-30 Big, good flavor, cool climate, need pollinizer Spartan Sept. 20-30 Red, productive Delicious Sept. 25-Oct. 5 Standard red, scabs badly Golden Delicious Oct. 1-10 Yellow, flavorful, very productive Empire Sept. 20-30 Small, red flavorful Braeburn Oct. 5-15 Flavorful, stores well, productive Fuji Oct. 10-25 Sweet, flavorful, stores well Granny Smith Oct. 15-30 Tart, stores well Newtown Pippin Oct. 10-20 Green, tree vigorous, slow to produce Apples, scab-resistant varieties Redfree Aug. 5-15 Small, red, mild Chehalis Aug. 15-25 Yellow, big, long picking season Prima Sept. 1-10 Big, red, pits Nova Easygro Sept. 10-20 Good flavor Liberty Sept. 20-30 Best flavor, red Jonafree Sept. 25-Oct. 5 Medium, good flavor Apricots Puget Gold July -- Rival July Mild flavor Royal (Blenheim) July Self-fruitful Moongold July Cold-hardy, pollinized by Sungold Sungold July Pollinized by Moongold, hardy Chinese July Resist frost Cherries, sour varieties Montmorency July Michigan strain best North Star July Dwarf variety Cherries, sweet varieties Royal Ann Mid White, pollinized by Corum Bing Mid Black, pollinized by Van, Corum Lambert Late Black, pollinized by Van, Corum Van Early Black, pollinized by Bing, Lambert Sam Mid Black, pollinized by Lambert Bada Mid White, pollinized by Royal Ann, Bing, Lambert, semi-dwarf Stella Mid Self-fruitful, black Compact Stella Mid Smaller than Stella Chestnuts Revival Sept. Pollinized by Carolina Carolina Sept. Pollinized by Revival Layeroka Sept. Reliable producer Chinese seedling Sept. Pollinizer for Layeroka Figs Brown Turkey Aug. Large, brown Desert King Aug. Green, large, sweet Lattarula Aug. Green, golden inside Filberts (some regions too cold) Barcelona Oct. Standard variety, pollinized by Davianna Davianna Oct. Light producer, pollinized by Barcelona Nectarines (fuzzless peaches) Stark Red Gold Aug. Southern and northeastern Oregon only Harko Aug. Better fruit set Genetic dwarfs Aug. Grown in pots, take inside for winter Peaches Veteran Aug. 20-25 Regular bearer Red Haven Aug. 5-10 Most popular, clingstone until fully ripe July Elberta Aug. 1-20 Old favorite Early Elberta Aug. 24-28 Old favorite Rochester Aug. 24-30 Old favorite Reliance Aug. 5-10 Resistant to cold Frost Aug. Resists leaf curl Genetic dwarfs Summer Very small trees, grow in pots, indoors in winter Pears, European varieties Bartlett Aug. 15-30 Pollinized by Anjou, Fall Butter Anjou Sept. 5-20 Pollinized by Bartlett, needs 45-60 days of cold storage before ripening Bosc Sept. 10-30 Pollinized by Comice Cascade Sept. 10-30 Pollinized by Bosc, needs 45-60 days of cold storage before ripening Seckel Aug. 30-Sept. 10 Pollinized by Anjou, Bosc, Comice Pears, red varieties Red Bartlett Aug. 15-30 Pollinized by Anjou, Fall Butter Reimer Red Sept. Pollinized by Bartlett Red Anjou Sept. Pollinized by Bartlett Starkrimson Aug. 1-15 Pollinized by Bartlett Pears, Oriental varieties Chojuro Sept. Pollinized by Nijisseiki, Shinseiki Nijisseiki Sept. Pollinized by Chojuro, (20th Century) Shinseiki Shinseiki Aug. Pollinized by Nijisseiki, Chojuro Kikusui Aug. Pollinized by Chojuro, Nijisseiki Persimmons Fuyu Nov. Seedless Japanese Garrettson Nov. American, small Early Golden Nov. American, small Plums, cold-resistant varieties Mount Royal Sept. Self-fruitful Superior Sept. Pollinized by Pipestone Ember Oct. Pollinized by Superior Plums, European varieties (prunes when dehydrated) Italian Sept. 10-30 Tart, "purple plum" Brooks Sept. 20-30 Bears regularly, large Parsons Sept. 1-15 Pollinized by Stanley, sweet President Plum Sept. 20-30 Pollinized by Stanley Moyer Perfecto Oct. 1 Best dried, sweet Stanley Sept. 1-15 Bears but brown rots Plums, Oriental varieties Early Golden July Apricot-like flavor Red Heart Sept. Pollinized by Shiro Shiro Aug. Pollinized by Red Heart Burbank Aug. Pollinized by Elephant Heart Walnuts, black varieties Thomas Oct. Seedlings inferior Ohio Oct. -- Myers Oct. -- Walnuts, English varieties Franquette Late Oct. Standard variety, limited hardiness Spurgeon Late Oct. Late bloomer, hardy Chambers #9 Late Oct. Heavy producer, moderately hardy Courtesy of Oregon State University Extension Service.
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|Title Annotation:||PART 5: Plants and Society|
|Publication:||Fundamentals of Plant Science|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2009|
|Previous Article:||Chapter 17: Small fruits.|
|Next Article:||Chapter 19: Flowers and foliage.|