Land-Grant Institutions Work Across State Lines to Increase Fruit Tree Production

Michigan State University is one of 29 land-grant institutions working across state lines to increase fruit tree production.

Michigan cherries

WASHINGTON, DC – Nearly 30 land-grant institutions, representative of the Western, North Central, Southern, and Northeastern regions, are working together to increase the productivity of temperate-zone fruit trees by developing better rootstocks. Rootstocks (a plant’s root system or other part of a plant where new growth stems from) are integral components of a high-density orchard because they control final canopy size, and a smaller tree canopy means more trees per acre. However, rootstocks that are currently available have many weaknesses that make them susceptible to pests and diseases and unsuitable for certain soils and climates.  That’s why researchers from Multistate Research Project NC-140 – Improving Sustainability in Fruit Tree Production through Changes in Rootstock Use – are researching and sharing information about sustainable, higher-yielding, easier to manage rootstocks.

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