Oct 8, 2019
Penn State offers online course on orchard cultivars, rootstocks, systems

Penn State Extension is offering a new online course, Orchard Management: Cultivars, Rootstocks and Training Systems, for beginning commercial tree fruit growers.

This self-paced course is recommended for new producers, orchard managers and young growers returning to the family farm.

Participants will learn about which fruit types and cultivars are most adaptable to Pennsylvania growing conditions, as well as how to choose rootstocks that are suitable for individual orchard conditions. The course also will cover how to manipulate tree densities and arrangements to harvest optimum sunlight and how to plan orchard training and support systems to increase yield and fruit quality.

The course concludes with a section on planning a tree order, preparing growers to select high-quality nursery stock that’s appropriate for their new operation.

This is the second course in the Orchard Management series. The first course, Site Planning and Preparation, is helpful but not necessary – each course is designed to stand alone. A discount is available with the purchase of both courses.

“Locally grown tree fruits are in high demand, and, it’s a good time to start a small orchard or to add tree fruit to an existing direct-sales operation,” said Tara Baugher, horticulture Extension educator. “Not only do you want to produce fruit that customers will buy, but your trees must also thrive under your local growing conditions. This course provides a solid, research-based foundation on which to build knowledge and plan an orchard.”

To learn more and register, visit extension.psu.edu/orchard-systems  


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