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Minnesota Ag News Headlines
UM Duluth Offers Upcoming Orchard Workshops
Minnesota Ag Connection - 02/09/2011

The University of Minnesota Duluth has developed a series of workshops for orchard owners. The workshops are being offered through the UMD Sustainable Agriculture Program and Continuing Education.

-- Restorative Pruning in the Orchard -- Feb 13, 1-4 p.m. In the classroom, we will be discuss the techniques for rejuvenating older apple trees, then head to the UMD Heritage Orchard for demonstration of pruning technique and hands on instruction on how to evaluate a tree canopy and how to decide what to prune to increase tree health and productivity. Handouts and other resources will be provided along with the opportunity to take home "scions" of heritage fruits varieties for grafting onto your own trees. Bring hand pruning tools (bypass pruners, loppers) if you have them, but not required for full participation! Dress for outside, snowshows or skis if you have them.

-- Bench Grafting Workshop --March 22, 6-8 p.m., Through this all indoor workshop you will learn about the process of bench grafting "scions" (fruit variety) onto "rootstock" used to propoagate fruit trees. You will practice the techniques and make a small apple tree to take home for spring planting. Grafting handouts and information on site preparation, planting and training of young trees will be provided. Additional root stock will be available for $7 each at the workshop. Bring leather gloves or sturdy garden gloves; a small, sharp grafting knife if you have one (flat blade), scions from trees you would like to propagate (contact the instructor for more information). All tools and supplies will be provided to ensure for full participation by everyone!

-- Field Grafting in the Orchard -- April 10, 1-4 p.m. In the classroom, we will be discuss the techniques for grafting scions onto older apple trees to replace an older variety with a newer one or simply to add another variety to an existing tree. Through this technique you can have a single tree produce multiple varieties of fruit! Then we'll head to the UMD Heritage Orchard for demonstration and hands on practice of the techniques. Handouts and other resources will be provided along with the opportunity to take home "scions" of heritage fruits varieties for grafting onto your own trees. Bring leather gloves or sturdy garden gloves; a small, sharp grafting knife (flat blade) and hand pruning tools (bypass pruners, loppers) if you have them. All tools and supplies will be provided to ensure full participation by everyone!

-- Intro to Intergrated Pest Management (IPM) for the Organic Orchard -- April 30, 9 a.m.-noon. We will start in the classroom with an introduction to IPM and organic management techniques to address pest and disease threats to your apple trees and UMD resources that will be available throughout the growing season. Then we'll head to the Heritage Orchard meet some bugs and to see how relevant weather and pest monitoring data is collected and how it can be used to increase the quality of fruit your trees produce. Bring notebook; and a 10x magnifying lens if you have one

For more information, go to www.d.umn.edu/cscd/sap/main/index.php or contact Cindy Hale at UMD at (218) 720-4364 (Tues-Wed) or by email at cmhale@d.umn.edu.

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