OSU Extension to present comprehensive fruit pruning seminar

December 19, 2007

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Linn and Benton county offices of the Oregon State University Extension Service are presenting what they say is the "largest and most comprehensive fruit pruning field seminar" ever offered in the state of Oregon, and possibly the Pacific Northwest.

The general public, Master Gardener volunteers and nursery professionals are invited to sign up.

Three separate sessions will feature pruning for: fruit trees, blueberries and table grapes. The sessions will be held at OSU's Lewis Brown Horticulture Research Farm at 33329 S.E. Peoria Rd, near Corvallis on Jan. 26 and March 15. Both are Saturdays.

"These will be truly hands-on workshops," said Barb Fick, OSU Extension horticulturist. "You will have the opportunity to prune multiple plants."

Each session will begin with expert instruction. Then, workshop participants will have the opportunity to prune a bush or tree under the tutelage of the instructors and other experienced pruners.

"When you prune your plant to the satisfaction of the instructor, you will be assigned an additional bush, vine, or tree to prune," explained Fick. "Then, after check-off, you will prune several more plants." Each session will conclude with the group sharing a question-and-answer period.

Blueberry pruning will be covered in the first session, held from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Jan. 26. The featured instructor will be Bernadine Strik, OSU professor of horticulture and berry crops research leader. Assisting her will be OSU field science technician Will Fummerton; pioneer and farm stand blueberry grower Pete Romans; and commercial grower and grower association member Mindi Thornton.

Table grapes pruning will make up the second session, held 1 to 3:30 p.m., also on Jan. 26. Strik also will direct this session, assisted by grape rootstock expert Ray Ethel, owner of Broadacres Nursery of Hubbard, and other local growers.

Tree fruit pruning techniques will be taught in the third session, to be held March 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Featured Instructor will be Ross Penhallegon, OSU Extension agent and a commercial fruit and nut tree specialist. Assisting him will be Anita Azarenko, head of OSU's Horticulture Department; Scott Robbins, manager OSU Lewis Brown Horticulture Farm; and commercial, roadside and backyard orchardists.

Sessions on planting fruit trees and pruning peaches will follow the tree fruits session on March 15. There also will be a presentation on pruning, planting and training of young fruit. Additionally during that session, Harry Lagerstedt, OSU horticulture professor emeritus, who has maintained a commercial peach operation in the Willamette Valley for more than 25 years, will demonstrate the elements of pruning peaches on live trees.

Participants should bring their own pruning tools. Following instruction and demonstrations, attendees will be assigned their own bush, vine, or tree to prune. Students will be able to prune several more plants.

"We hope you become capable and confident to prune your own plants in a manner suitable to you," said Fick.

Registration deadline for the Jan. 26 workshop is Thursday, Jan. 24. Register for the March 15 workshop by March 13. The fee for each session is $10; or you may attend all three sessions for $25. The fee includes handouts of relevant Extension Service publications.

Complete information and directions, including the sign-up form can be found at the Linn and Benton County offices of the OSU Extension Service Extension Home Horticulture web pages:

Benton County
Linn County

Interested persons may also contact the offices by telephone at 541-766-6750 (Benton), or 541-967-3871 (Linn), or toll free 1-888-883-0522. Mention "Pruning Field Seminar" when you call.

Author: Carol Savonen
Source: Barb Fick