Good Fruit Grower

June 1

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There's a wait-list for apples; cherries and soft fruit tree sales have stabilized. by Melissa Hansen C alifornia tree fruit nurseries are as busy as ever. For apple tree sales, there seems to be no slow- down in the buying boom yet, though cherry sales are stabilizing. Acreage downsizing has occurred in the soft fruit industry, which some believe will better position growers in the near future. "It's been a crazy market," said Alison Clegg, sales rep- resentative for ProTree Nursery in Brentwood, Califor- nia. "Growers are still buying apple trees. We keep asking 'when will it end?'" Sales of cherry trees have slowed down in recent months, she said, likely a reflection of the mediocre to light cherry crops last year and this year. "That's probably dampened the interest in more cherry acreage." But apples sales are brisk. "We're selling everything we grow and we're maxed out on what we can grow," Clegg said. Honeycrisp and Gala varieties continue to be the apples most in demand by growers. "Those two have just about been our whole market." Demand has been good for the new Geneva root- stocks, she said, adding that although they don't do a lot of Geneva rootstocks, they could sell more if they had them. The Geneva rootstock series, developed through a joint breeding program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Cornell University, are bred to be resistant to a variety of North American apple mala- dies, such as fire blight, phytophthora, woolly apple aphid, and replant disease while still being dwarfing or semidwarfing in size. Clegg told Good Fruit Grower that popular cherry vari- eties in California have been Coral Champagne, Rainier, and the Pearl series from Cornell University. Lapins has been popular with Washington growers. Dale McHaley, stone fruit specialist at the Reedley, California, office for Dave Wilson Nursery, also has seen a stabilizing of cherry tree sales. Cherry tree sales are a little weak in the southern San Joaquin Valley but stable in the northern end of the valley. "Some growers are planting almonds where fruit trees were, which makes room for someone else to add more stone fruit acreage," McHaley said in an e-mail to Good Fruit Grower. "It's a good give-and-take situation." Nut crops like almonds have been extremely popular in California because grower returns have been at record prices and the crop can be mechanically harvested. The National Agricultural Statistics Service recently esti- mated that California almond acreage in 2013 was at an all-time record of 940,000 acres. Of the total acreage, 100,000 acres are estimated to be nonbearing. In 2010, almond acreage was estimated at 825,000 acres. 12 JUNE 2014 GOOD FRUIT GROWER New Varieties Coral Champagne is still a popular variety for new plantings in California. 120 N. Naches Avenue Yakima, WA 98901 509.853.3000 1420 Fifth Avenue Suite 3000 Seattle, WA 98101 206.626.6000 Sustained success takes vision and teamwork. At Stokes Lawrence Velikanje Moore & Shore, we see each client's unique vision as the driving force of our legal practice. We have decades of experience working with agricultural clients and deep knowledge of the business and legal issues faced by growers, packers and distributors. Let's reach your goals together. Realizing Your Vision Ryan Griffee | Ellen Jackson | Garon Jones | Brendan Monahan Andre Penalver | Sean Russel | Morrie Shore | George Velikanje Sarah Wixson | Dustin Yeager We have over 50 years of experience in the nursery business and are now taking growing contracts for: Ultima™ Gala, Banning Red Fuji, Honeycrisp,™ Granny Smith, and many others. Taking orders for benchgrafts. 4000 Grant Road, East Wenatchee, WA 98802 Banning Red Fuji appears to be 7 to 10 days earlier than other late Fujis! Now Accepting Contracts for Spring 2015 and 2016! CALIFORNIA nursery sales brisk

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