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Fall Planting of Apples

Mario Miranda Sazo, Cultural Practices
Lake Ontario Fruit Program

November 20, 2013

 The weather is cooperating, the soil is on the semidry side, and harvest is almost finished in Western NY. This has some growers thinking about a head start on next spring's work.  In recent years, fall planting has become the norm for a few Western NY growers who have successfully planted in the fall for several consecutive years. These new orchards have shown a strong growth the first year compared to spring planted trees. Fall planted trees have also shown better blooming synchrony with older established orchards and thus are more likely to be protected for fireblight with streptomycin spray programs on the farm.  While new spring planted trees bloom later than established orchards when temperatures are warmer, they are at higher risk of blossom blight if left unprotected or with fewer streptomycin sprays.
Fall planting can also be a good strategy to avoid planting delays in the spring due to unpredictable rainy weather conditions and/or late snow cover. Sometimes a grower can lose 30 or 40 days just waiting for the soil to be dry out to the right moisture conditions when trying to plant early in the spring. Fall planting also allows early root establishment and maximum tree growth which are critical for a new high density planting the first year. But is fall the best time to plant, or are there any problems or concerns to consider?
Successful fall planting requires a combination of conditions: (1) a well-prepared site with good drainage, weeds under control and minimal rodent and deer populations, (2) mild weather and warm soil temperatures for several weeks after planting to encourage root establishment, (3) nursery trees that begin their dormancy process early, including leaf drop, (4) a nursery supplier that is willing to fall dig trees, (5) sufficient labor to plant trees quickly without drying, and (6) proper soil conditions to re-close the soil around the roots without leaving air pockets.  The soil should flow when plowed or disced to allow the soil to flow around the roots as the tree planter passes. This last point is probably the most critical.  There are some fall seasons in Western NY that are just too wet and proper soil conditions are never achieved after Oct 15.  It is a costly mistake to 'mud' tree in if the soil is too wet.  This can lead to tree dessication and death. In those years we recommend that the trees be left in the nursery or stored until the spring.
If you can satisfy the 6 conditions listed above, the following practical tips can help you have a successful fall planting:
1. Nursery trees need to experience cool temperatures and short daylengths to encourage dormancy. Frost will promote leaf fall, and some nurserymen use copper sprays to encourage leaf abscission. If the trees are moved before dormancy, they could begin to grow again, which could predispose them to winter injury.
2. Once the trees show signs of dormancy, they can be dug and moved. Total leaf removal is necessary only if trees will be in storage for some time, to prevent diseases. It is critical to prevent roots from drying out, especially since they may not be fully dormant.  Use covering tarps and wet down any roots that seem dry.
3. The roots and soil need to be in intimate contact immediately after planting to ensure the trees survive. Where a tree planter is used, the presser wheels need to be adjusted properly. Hand planted trees should be tramped well around the trunk. A follow-up watering is recommended if a soaking rain does not occur within a few days.
4. There is a risk of winter injury with fall planted apple trees, especially to the lower trunk and scaffold branches, because they are the last to harden off fully. Mounding up soil up to twenty inches around the trunk has an insulating effect against sudden freezes, and can be left to prevent insects from boring into the rootstock but it should be removed the next spring to prevent scion rooting.
If all these precautions are followed, fall planting of apple trees can help your new orchard get off to a quick start next spring.



more crops
Apples

Apples

Apricots

Apricots

Asian Pears

Asian Pears

Blueberries

Blueberries

Cherries

Cherries

Currants

Currants

Gooseberries

Gooseberries

Nectarines

Nectarines

Peaches

Peaches

Pears

Pears

Plums

Plums

Raspberries / Blackberries

Raspberries / Blackberries

Strawberries

Strawberries

Unusual Fruit

Unusual Fruit

more crops

Upcoming Events

2024 Winter Fruit Webinars

Event Offers DEC Credits

February 16, 2024 : Week 1: Implementing Mating Disruption in NY Orchards

These webinars will provide updates on fruit-related topics and research happening at Cornell University. 

Webinars hosted by NYS IPM Program, CCE Harvest NY, CCE LOF Program, and CCE ENYCHP.


February 23, 2024 : Week 2: Hot Topics in Food Safety for Fruit

These webinars will provide updates on fruit-related topics and research happening at Cornell University. 

Webinars hosted by NYS IPM Program, CCE Harvest NY, CCE LOF Program, and CCE ENYCHP.


Event Offers DEC Credits

February 26, 2024 : Week 3: Soil Health for NY Orchards

These webinars will provide updates on fruit-related topics and research happening at Cornell University. 

Webinars hosted by NYS IPM Program, CCE Harvest NY, CCE LOF Program, and CCE ENYCHP.


Event Offers DEC Credits

March 6, 2024 : Week 4: Weed Management for Berries in NY

These webinars will provide updates on fruit-related topics and research happening at Cornell University. 

Webinars hosted by NYS IPM Program, CCE Harvest NY, CCE LOF Program, and CCE ENYCHP.


Event Offers DEC Credits

March 11, 2024 : Week 5: Insect and Disease Pest Management for Berries

These webinars will provide updates on fruit-related topics and research happening at Cornell University. 

Webinars hosted by NYS IPM Program, CCE Harvest NY, CCE LOF Program, and CCE ENYCHP.


Event Offers DEC Credits

March 19, 2024 : Week 6: Stone Fruit - Rootstocks and Disease Management

These webinars will provide updates on fruit-related topics and research happening at Cornell University. 

Webinars hosted by NYS IPM Program, CCE Harvest NY, CCE LOF Program, and CCE ENYCHP.

View 2024 Winter Fruit Webinars Details

LOF Advisory Committee Meeting

March 8, 2024
Spencerport, NY

Please join us for our advisory meeting, join the team as they share their current and future projects and programming. Please pre-register by noon on March 5th.

View LOF Advisory Committee Meeting Details

2024 Orleans County - DEC Certified Pesticide Applicator License Pre-Exam Training

March 14, 2024 : DEC Certified Applicator Pre-Exam Training Day 1
Albion, NY

This training is only for those with experience and does not qualify for the 30-hour official DEC training - you are exempt from the 30 hour training (and eligible for this coaching session) if you have pesticide application experience, either through working on your own farm or through employment on another farm.


March 18, 2024 : DEC Certified Applicator Pre-Exam Training Day 2
Albion, NY

This training is only for those with experience and does not qualify for the 30-hour official DEC training - you are exempt from the 30 hour training (and eligible for this coaching session) if you have pesticide application experience, either through working on your own farm or through employment on another farm.

View 2024 Orleans County - DEC Certified Pesticide Applicator License Pre-Exam Training Details

Announcements

Scaffolds podcast

Many of you probably read Art Agnello's statewide tree fruit updates and recommendations newsletter, "Scaffolds". Dr. Monique Rivera is bringing it back, but in a new audio version. Episode one was recorded this week, and is now available for free online at https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/scaffolds


Save the Date! - Scroll down for Upcoming Events

Have you missed a meeting recently? Scroll down for available recordings or pdf links or visits our YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/LakeOntarioFruitProgram

2024 Events:

23 Feb - Winter Fruit Webinars - Week 2 - 12 - 1:30pm

26 Feb - Winter Fruit Webinars - Week 3 - 1 - 3pm

6 Mar - Winter Fruit Webinars - Week 4 - 12 - 2pm

8 Mar - LOF Advisory Meeting - 10am-3pm, Ogden, Register now

11 Mar - Winter Fruit Webinars - Week 5 - 12 - 2pm

14 & 18 Mar - Pre-Exam Training and Test to Become a Certified Pesticide Applicator - Orleans Co CCE, 8:30am - 12:30pm, Register by March 1st

19 Mar - Winter Fruit Webinars - Week 6 - 12 - 1:30pm

21 Mar - DEC Certified Pesticide Applicator Exam - Orleans Co CCE, Check in 8:30am, Register with DEC

3 Apr - 2024 Respirator Fit Testing - 1-5pm, CCE Orleans County, Schedule Today

4 Apr - 2024 Respirator Fit Testing - 8am - 12pm, CCE Orleans County, Schedule Today

9 Apr - DEC Special Permit Handler Training - CCE Wayne County

10 Apr - DEC Special Permit Handler Training - CCE Orleans County



Food Safety Virtual Office Hours

Cornell Institute of Food Safety "Virtual Office Hours", Tuesdays Noon to 1pm https://cals.cornell.edu/institute-for-food-safety/resources/virtual-office-hours

Past recorded virtual office hours can be found on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZJs5b7KUuvfcquH3ZtQHo5dSmF2m5MdQ


Webinar Recordings & Additional Meeting Materials

Check out the recordings of some recent webinars and/or conference materials from in person events: Recordings and Playlists are available at https://www.youtube.com/c/LakeOntarioFruitProgram

PACMAN Details and Resources, Meeting Recording Links below:
Developers Conference for Precision Crop Load Management of Apples Playlist - 2024
PACMAN Briefing - 2023







2nd Annual Lake Ontario Fruit Program's Winter Fruit Conference - pdfs


Pollinator Resouces

Now available Pollinator Resource Links


Meeting Recordings Now Available

Did you miss the recent meeting?  Check and see if we recorded it and added it to our website or Lake Ontario Fruit Program YouTube Channel.

Honeycrisp Meetup recordings available here.

Why are my trees growing so poorly? recording available here.

Additional Recorded Webinars listing with recording and resource link are available at
https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=838&crumb=crops|crops|apples|crop*38



New Publication on Growing Pawpaws

Are you a fan of pawpaws? These custardy fruits can be hard to come across, so this guide provides information on how to grow your own pawpaw from seed, and how to care for grafted seedlings. Pdf on growing now available.​ https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=799&crumb=crops|crops|unusual_fruit|crop*50

New Weed Management Technology Survey

Want to move away from herbicide reliance? Are you using novel technologies to manage weeds? We want to know about it to inform our weed science research. A team of weed scientists from University of California Davis, Oregon State University, and Cornell University are asking berry, tree fruit, tree nut, and vine crop growers to take 5 to 10 minutes and answer this short and anonymous survey. Weed Technology Survey link: https://cornell.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bEpfAijoP7puQDP

For more information on this survey please visit http://blogs.cornell.edu/swd1/2020/12/02/new-weed-management-technology/


Pollinator Webinar Series - Summer 2020

The Pollinator Webinar Series presented by Penn State cover bee health and pollination services.



Bloom Pesticides for Pollinator Health

A reference table created by Janet van Zoeren and Anna Wallis, is now available at https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=711&crumb=pests|pests.

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