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This Tree Fruit and Nuts chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook explains how to select, plant, and maintain home orchard trees. This chapter also discusses common problems and integrated pest management solutions.
This publication focuses on the management techniques and economic analysis of orchards with more than 150 to 180 trees per acre.
This publication explains how to plant and take care of fruit trees in the home garden or yard.
This publication explains how to start and maintain a successful pecan orchard on a large or small scale.
Growing apple trees in the home garden can be fun and rewarding. Several factors are important to consider before planting for successful apple production. Apple variety and rootstock, site selection, proper planting, training and pruning, adequate fertility, and pest control all contribute to healthy and productive trees. A brief discussion of these considerations follows.
North Carolina’s climate and soils are well suited to grow many types tree fruits. This publication will focus on the three main tree fruits produced for market in North Carolina: peaches, apples, and pecans. In addition to these main crops, information on pears, persimmons, plums, nectarines, Asian pears, and figs is presented as they grow well in North Carolina’s temperate climate. These tree fruits require similar management regimes described in this publication.
The oriental persimmon is an easy-to-grow tree which is adaptable to much of North Carolina. The tree has a compact spreading growth habit and low maintenance requirements. The ornamental beauty of its orange fruit and bright red foliage in the fall makes it an attractive plant in the home landscape. The tree is winter-hardy in eastern North Carolina, as well as the Lower Piedmont and Coastal Plain areas.
The commercial apple industry worldwide is in the midst of a major change in fruit production management systems. With size-controlling rootstocks tree size has been reduced and the number of trees per acre, referred to as tree density, has increased significantly. Some orchards in Europe have exceeded 5,000 trees per acre. However, in North Carolina, tree densities that are being commercially evaluated are around 450 trees per acre with a maximum of approximately 1,100 trees per acre.
With training and pruning, fruit trees will develop the proper shape and form to yield high-quality fruit sooner and will live longer. Learn how to train your trees for productivity and prune to remove dead, diseased or broken limbs. This publication includes descriptions of dormant pruning, summer pruning, types of pruning cuts and different training systems.
This publication covers site selection, variety selection, weed control, pruning, diseases and insects and harvesting for peach growers in North Carolina.
Commercial apple orchards with trees planted close together on dwarfing or size-controlling rootstocks are referred to as high density plantings. When size-controlling rootstocks are used, tree densities increase from traditional densities of 150 to 250 trees/acre to 500 to 1,000+ trees/acre. Benefits of planting higher-density orchards include earlier production (especially with "fad" varieties); quicker return on investment; training, pruning and harvesting from the ground; potential increased fruit quality; and greater pesticide application efficiency.
This factsheet offers information on the chilling requirements for a variety of peach trees.
This publication offers fertilizer suggestions for a variety of crops, including field, pasture and hay crops, tree fruit, small fruit, ornamental plants and vegetable crops.
The objective of this leaflet is to discuss orchard floor management options in pecan orchards, along with herbicide considerations, and potential herbicides. It should be used as a guide for producers making orchard floor management decisions.
Orchard management guide for apples, with information on insect, disease, weed, and mammal control, plus horticultural and fertility practices, use of IPM, prevention of insecticide resistance, and sprayer calibration.
This publication will help you identify voles and vole damage and determine when, where, and how to control vole populations using environmentally sound and economical methods.
SmartFresh℠ (1-methylcyclopropene, MCP) is a relatively new tool for postharvest management of apples. In 2002, SmartFresh was approved for commercial use on apples by the Environmental Protection Agency under a reduced risk program because of the very low toxicity of the product and the fact that treated fruit have no detectable residue. It is thought to bind irreversibly to the ethylene receptors in plant tissues making the crops insensitive to ethylene and subsequently retarding many of the ethylene mediated responses such as fruit softening in apples. SmartFresh can maintain apple firmness and acidity and decrease scald and greasiness even when stored under less than ideal storage temperatures.
Blooming and ripening timing of apple varieties with overlapping periods are optimal in apple production; for example 'Gala' and 'Empire'. While some varieties do not require pollinizers, fruit size and fruit set will be greater if cross pollinated with 2 to 3 apple varieties with overlapping blooming periods per season.
This factsheet presents the advantages and challenges of growing apple, peach, and pecan trees.
How to manage pesticides to control insects, diseases, weeds and other crop pests of pecans in North Carolina are covered in detail.