Good Fruit Grower

August 2014

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Page 40 of 63 Good Fruit Grower AUGUST 2014 41 W hen you eat a fresh peach, chances are 50-50 that it came from California. If it's a processed peach, chances are virtually certain, at 97 percent. While Georgia and South Carolina contend for the title of Peach State in the east- ern United States, 75 percent of all peaches grown in the United States come from California. In that state for nearly four decades, how farmers grow peaches has been highly infl uenced by a team of University of California peach specialists— especially Ted DeJong, R. Scott Johnson, and Kevin Day. It was Dr. DeJong who, speaking this spring at the Cornell University In-Depth Fruit School, inspired the title of this series of articles. He spoke about the changes that have occurred during his 33-year career. During that time, the art of growing peaches has been changed to a science by the research discoveries of tree fruit physiologists. What growers do in shaping young trees, how they prune trees as they mature, and when and how they thin the blossoms and green fruit is now dictated by scientifi c principles discovered by physiologists, many of them still working but coming toward the end of their careers. DeJong's early work focused on understanding how tree leaves function. "As I gained experience and understanding of factors controlling the 'supply side' of the carbon balance equation, I later focused on the 'demand side' of the equation and their integration into a functional understanding of how tree carbon budgets work," he said. This required understanding how fl owering and fruit set work, how fruit, shoots, leaves, and roots grow, and how rootstocks control shoot growth. "This led to the development of very sophisticated and complex functional-structural tree simulation models that are not only carbon budget models but also include integrated understanding of architectural development of fruit trees," he said. Art to Science 5 PHOTO COURTESY OF TED DEJONG From the air, parts of California look like wall-to-wall peaches. These are growing in the traditional open vase system that delivers light, without which trees can't produce new fruiting wood. About Plant Patents… The following varieties are protected under United States Plant Patent Law. Any propagation or topworking by unlicensed persons without prior written permission is prohibited. WILLOW DRIVE NURSERY . 1-888-548-7337 3539 Road 5 NW, Ephrata, WA 98823 • Apples: Protected by Trademark Law Peaches: Braeburn: Mariri Red Braeburn (Eve®) USPP #11,604 Joburn Braeburn™ USPP #11,992 Gala: Brookfield® Gala USPP #10,016 Buckeye® Gala USPP #10,840 Ultima Gala™ USPP #13,753 Ambrosia® USPP #10,789 Blondee USPP #19,007 Cameo® Brand (Caudle cv.) USPP #9,068 Jonastar™ Jonagold USPP #20,590 LindaMac™ USPP #12,900 Morning Mist™ Fuji USPP #16,270 Morren's® Jonagored Supra™ USPP #10,401 Pink Lady® Brand (Maslin cv.) USPP #21,412 Royal Red Honeycrisp® USPP #22,244 RubyJon® USPP #10,115 RubyMac® USPP #19,891 Zestar!® USPP #11,367 Allstar® USPP #10,549 Autumnstar® USPP #14,439 Blazingstar®USPP #10,555 Blushingstar® USPP #10,554 Coralstar® USPP #10,547 Glowingstar® USPP #10,556 PF Lucky 13 USPP #14,384 PF-7 USPP #10,490 PF-19-007 USPP #17,578 PF-24-007 USPP #9,939 PF-25 USPP #9,940 PF-35-007 USPP #14,368 Redstar® USPP #10,546 Risingstar® USPP #10,545 Starfire® USPP #10,548 Aztec Fuji® (DT 2 Variety) Danube® Golden Russet Bosc® Golden Supreme® IT® Red Delicious Redchief® Campbell Smoothee® Pears: Cherries: Benton® USPP #15,847 BlackGold™ USPP #17,301 Cowiche™ USPP #21,073 Early Robin® USPP #13,951 Index™ USPP #10,459 Kiona™ USPP #20,526 Kootenay USPP #18,849 Pinedale Ruby™ USPP #21,200 Regina™ USPP #11,530 Skeena USPP #11,392 Selah® USPP #16,135 Sumleta (Sonata™) USPP #11,378 Tieton® USPP #11,385 WhiteGold™ USPP #18,892 Concorde® USPP #9,192 U.S. Plant Patents prohibit propagation of these fruit trees by all except authorized licensees. Please contact us if you would like additional information. Ted DeJong has spent a career fi nding answers to that question. by Richard Lehnert WHAT makes peach trees TICK?

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