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accurate varietal descriptions

Posted by Todd Parlo 
accurate varietal descriptions
December 06, 2013 08:23PM
We are setting up a detailed study here in Walden to assess apple and pear varieties. The original impetus in establishing so many types was honestly for the fun of it. Lately, however, it has become more of a mission. To be specific, a good deal of disinformation is thrown around out there on the shortcomings and merits of selections. Our own nursery description, originally taken from various narratives, is constantly being revised as our own experiences differ from other sources. Since there is scant information (ie unbiased study) on the subject, we are engaging in one directly.

Scab is a case in point. Take "Lodi" for example, a variety reported by nearly every university, extension service and nursery (ours included) as scab resistant. Um, not so. Although it did show some initial resistance here (almost showing full blown immunity), trees in the earlier planted block are at this point as nearly susceptible without sprays as McIntosh. Assuming this doesn't announce a new scab strain (though possible), and surely is seeing pressure from more inoculum in this older section (other sections show little damage on Lodi), it can be reported that the variety is susceptible to scab plain and simple. This is one example among many.

This is why 1. we are attempting to create a study that will stand up to a peer review. 2. Why a system (with good protocol) like the scab monitoring in this forum, is important.

I am amazed at how much (mis)information is passed on, source to source without fact checking, and this subject is no different. It is why many of us should conduct our own research, and why we all should communicate our experiences at our different farms. This is the great strength of forums like this, and it would be nice to have a bit more feedback from the members.

(A bit more regarding our own study is mentioned in the Apple section of the varieties link)

Walden Heights Nursery & Orchard
Zone 3 in Vermont

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/05/2014 03:48AM by Michael Phillips.
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