UC research on dwarf fruit trees featured on local news

Aug 15, 2014

Kevin Day, a UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor for Tulare County, has been comparing the quality of fruit on stone fruit trees pruned conventionally, in hedge rows and other configurations for 17 years. Now he and his colleague Ted DeJong, UCCE specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, are taking a new look at small-sized trees, reported KSEE Channel 24 news in Fresno.

The idea is keeping the fruit trees short so ladders won't be necessary for harvest and other orchard operations, while at the same time maintaining excellent yield and fruit quality.

Day talked to the KSEE news crew in a peach and nectarine orchard at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier. 

"This is good news for farmers and farmworkers," said reporter Theresa Sardina. "This means safer working conditions for workers and less money out of farmers' pockets."

Day said the researchers are trying to better understand the labor savings aspect of small fruit trees, but he believes they will be proven to be significantly more cost effective.

"You can save a minimum of 25 if not up to 50 percent on any particular labor operations," Day said.

The lead agricultural technician at Kearney, Rudolfo Cisneros, was also interviewed for the story.

See the video on the KSEE Channel 24 website.

By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist