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15. Tree Fruit and Nuts

By: Michael Parker

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.

High Density Apple Orchard Management

By: Michael Parker, C. Richard Unrath, Charles Safley, David Lockwood

This publication focuses on the management techniques and economic analysis of orchards with more than 150 to 180 trees per acre.

Growing Pecans in North Carolina

By: Michael Parker, Kenneth Sorensen, Jason Brock

This publication explains how to start and maintain a successful pecan orchard on a large or small scale.

North Carolina Production Guide for Smaller Orchard Plantings

By: Nicholas Basinger, Janet Owle, Abbey Piner, Michael Parker

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.

Training and Pruning Fruit Trees in North Carolina

By: Michael Parker

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.

Voles in Commercial Orchard and Ornamental Nurseries

By: Peter Bromley, Michael Parker, William Sullivan, Karl Larson Wildlife Damage Management

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.

Opportunities in Growing Fruit Trees

By: Michael Parker

This factsheet presents the advantages and challenges of growing apple, peach, and pecan trees.

Maximizing Your SmartFresh℠ Investments

By: Michael Parker, Steve McArtney, Robert Tom Hoyt, J.D. Obermiller Horticulture Information Leaflets

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.

Producing Tree Fruit for Home Use

By: Michael Parker

This publication explains how to plant and take care of fruit trees in the home garden or yard.

Apple Rootstocks and Tree Spacing

By: Michael Parker Horticulture Information Leaflets

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.

Bloom and Ripening Timing of Apple Varieties in North Carolina

By: Michael Parker Horticulture Information Leaflets

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.

Chilling Requirements of Selected Peach Varieties

By: Michael Parker, Dennis Werner Horticulture Information Leaflets

This factsheet offers information on the chilling requirements for a variety of peach trees.

High-Density Apple Orchard Management Techniques

By: Michael Parker Horticulture Information Leaflets

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.

Growing Oriental Persimmons in North Carolina

By: Michael Parker Horticulture Information Leaflets

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.

Orchard Floor Management in Pecans

By: Michael Parker, Wayne Mitchem Horticulture Information Leaflets

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.

Growing Apple Trees in the Home Garden

By: Michael Parker Horticulture Information Leaflets

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.