Fruit Presenter Panel Discussion of the Week's Horticultural Topics

March 4, 2022

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Video Transcript

 Thanks for joining us for this conference. I definitely want to just throw that up, throw the sponsors up there real quick again and say thank you. But right now, we are on our Friday panel discussion of our horticulture week with the fruit track. This week you've heard presentations about site selection and a general planning from Emily. Cheyenne really gave us a big fun discussion on soil nutrition. And then Anna and myself really, we had a fun tag team and talked about tree fruit and Small Fruit pruning training and a little bit on crop load management. And then Bill and Cheyenne came back again and gave us some good insights on tree fruit and small fruit varieties. Which ones are good for Michigan, how to choose the right ones? And all of that. So, but now we have Cheyenne, Emily, Anna's back, Bill it's supposed to be here, but he is not in yet. I'm sure they'll show show up anytime soon, so we have everybody back to continue answering some questions that didn't get answered before and any new questions. So with that, I will go ahead and stop sharing so that we have all of our faces nice and prominent in case anyone else wants to join in. I see Bill showed up. Awesome Bill. Thank you for coming. And so I can start off with a couple of questions from the first day and get people going. Actually, if Emily, if you're willing to be the, the, the first one again, just to kind of get us back to Monday. Couple of people were asking about some soil amendments. Bio char in particular, and peat moss, and a couple of others. Do you have any more information on that that you can share with the group? Sure, I'm happy to do that. I just have a couple slides here. This is much less formal, but just some information. to talk through. so Here we go. So I was looking at some more information about bio char, and essentially it's black carbon and it's produced by combining things like wood chips, other plant residues like grass or manure or ag waste products. And it's, it's essentially burned. And so it is transformed from a rapidly decomposing form like grass, you know will rapidly decompose. But when it's burned, it becomes a lot more stable. And so it becomes a more stable form of carbon and like a form of charcoal essentially. And so what researchers and some other folks have been using it for is to help increase organic matter and to improve how the soil holds moisture. And we talked a lot about, I think between Cheyenne and I talked a lot about organic matter and how that can be beneficial to support microbes. And did I think Bio Char also kind of acts as a nutrient bank, so it holds on to nutrients as well. And folks have been applying it into their, mixing it into their soil. It can be especially beneficial for more sandy soils. Just again, kind of adding that organic matter. But as I was learning more about it, there were some notes about when you apply it, you really want to apply it with compost or another fertilizer. So it's not adding nutrients to the soil really. And it can, because it can hold on to them, it might make some of those nutrients less available to plants. So you want to make sure that you mix it in with compost or fertilizer or manure before you add it to the soil. And you want to keep it in the root zone so that top four to six inches of soil. When you incorporate it. You can buy, there are a number of different products that you can buy. Bio char in various forms. And basically the difference for that is what, what was used as a material. So you know how the proportions of wood chips or other plant residues or manure. But there were quite a few options out there. Some people it sounds like they're making their own. I don't know much about that process and I wouldn't recommend it, at least to start out until you have a better idea. But this product, this product actually, it's fairly new as far as how we understand how it's beneficial and how to use it well. So there aren't strong recommendations for it at this point, but there's quite a bit of research going on. to. better understand how we can use this product in agriculture. So how to, a slide 2 on mulching and Shianne feel free to jump in too. I see you nodding your head and if you have things to contribute, feel free to jump in. I see you, I know you've been doing this for a long time - you are doing a great job okay, so for mulching. We can use mulching strawberries, blueberries. we can use it in tree fruit as well. So it can be done basically anytime of year. Mulching really helps keep moisture in the soil and also helps moderate temperature. So to have it build your soil the best in the season and kind of protect your soil, its best when its applied in June after the soil starts warming up. So if it's on earlier than that, you have it on over the winter, that's fine. But it will keep the soil cooler for longer. So that's why there's that recommendation of putting it on in June once the soil's already starting to warm up, if you need it for winter protection like strawberries, we often put mulch on for winter protection. You can do that in November, but you want to make sure that you put it on after there have been some frost events and that way the trees are already starting to get acclimated to the cold. And so if you put it on too early, the plants might not hurt enough as they need to, so they might get hurt by those frost events. So other amendments that growers have used and homeowners have used are straw, hay, wood chips, ground bark, saw dust, leaves, grass clippings and pine needles. And so again, when you incorporate it into the soil, you just want to keep it in that root zone. So you can apply two to six inches thick and then incorporate it into the soil as you can. And just a quick note here. So if you are applying mulch that has a really high carbon content, what can happen is those microbes in the soil. Will digest that carbon, but they also need nitrogen to function. And so what can happen is they'll actually pull that nitrogen and use it away from plants. So your plants, my end up being nitrogen deficient. So just something to watch out for. If you're applying really high carbon sources like wood chips. You can also apply nitrogen fertilizer to help with this issue. And I just, sounds like Mike, you're going to hit this in a little bit so I won't cover that. Just kind of reviewing what a soil test is here. And then some additional amendments we talked about peat So peat is basically a decomposing matter of fibrous material, so includes mosses and other plant matter. And so peat is formed in these bogs and this buildup of peat happens over a long period of time. But it can be a really helpful amendment, especially for sandy soils and for blueberry because that typically will help acidify the soil, especially Sphagnum peat And they can help lower pH. So do you want to jump in Mike? well, I was going to bring that up because I know some of the ground, some of the mulching options you provided a couple slides ago will have different acidifying effects on the soil. So we've had pH questions come up repeatedly through the week. And so that is something to be aware of when you're picking these organic mulches, because they,  different ones will have different impacts on pH, on your phosphorus versus potassium ratios of what's going into the soil. So just be, be thinking about more than just what you're doing to the organic matter changes. Think about what you're modifying as far as your macronutrients as well because it may or may not be in the correct ratio for what you need. Yeah. And also for people with blueberries, never use chicken manure or turkey manure. Right Thank you. Thank you.  Absolutely. Absolutely. Thank you, Carlos for that. glad you're you're not officially one of the presenters earlier this week, but it's glad to have you sticking around here just in case. So thank you. Absolutely. That's a good catch, especially with that and not just chicken manure. But if you're dealing with any animal manure, there are some restrictions to be concerned about thinking about how long that has been around before you use it. There's potential food safety concerns depending on how you're applying it or how old it is and its impact on those nutrient ratios and it's going to be different yet again, and Cheyenne can probably go into more detail about those ratios, but that's just what I think about. You also have to be careful whether you use horse or cow manure  because they are quite a bit different in their properties Yep. Yeah. I even saw one person asking about alpaca manure. So. I don't know what those nutrient differences are for alpaca specifically, but I'm sure it's written somewhere out there on the in the Internet. But yes, each animal is going to have its own setup. Yeah, that's great. I think you all kind of hit on some of the other points to here for using compost and manure, but making sure that you let it set for a little bit so it doesn't burn the plants and especially for compost too. So it goes through the active heating process, to decompose and kill pathogens that might be in the compost material and with manure, like you mentioned, you know letting that sit, I saw six months. I'm sure there are some other recommendations too and then not applying it too close to harvest. So three or four months before harvest for those food safety concerns. So that was all great great contributions there to, from you all. Thank you. Well, you mentioned the six months that does remind me someone was asking about the possibility of using. They mentioned strawberries in particular, I've heard some people talk about other crops for different reasons, but the idea of allowing livestock into your orchard or whatever after harvest to help with picking up, eating the rest of the fruit that were not harvestable, mowing down the strawberries. Some people have talked about organic pest management for codling moth and apples for various reasons, which is fine. But like you said, that there's a  when they're walking through that orchard, they're providing you with really fresh compost. And that requires a six month period before it can be used in an - in the orchard setting. So the general understanding is that land, that livestock has to be out of the field six months plus before harvest. So you're talking that the way I understand it is the animals need to be out of that block of fruit by mid winter at the latest. I don't know if anyone has any other more pertinent information on that, but that's what I keep hearing. So actually, do you have any more slides, Emily, that you wanted to share? or does that hit it? because we can, I'm willing to share this soil test if we want to. Yeah. They go a little more. Yeah. Yeah, I think that's great. I have one more that talks about pharmacy if folks have questions about that. But I think doing this little test now fits really well. Okay, why don't I share that and then let you guys kind of dig through it. I don't know if Cheyenne, you want to start and see what you see and we can go from there. So the big questions he was having, were looking at the CEC, thinking about water. Percolation is part of it, but thinking about the total organic matter, any possible ph modifications. And then discussing this fact that the, what do you do if you see a soil tests where you're seeing things above optimum to you  is that a concern? Do you modify? How do you modify? What do you do? So what are you seeing here and what do you want to get? This this is Bill. Yeah. I really I don't understand it above optimum at all. I want to get just some kind of relativity on the CEC. Is that marginal? Okay, pretty good. What have you and just based on what I've learned  this week. A pH of six is probably good for apples and cherries. If I'm right. What I struggle with is kind of the recipe that I for the planting one. I put these trees in the ground in may relative to organic matter or peat or sand. And when I talk to the extension a few years ago, when this test was taken, he said You really don't have to do anything, maybe a little nitrogen. But other than that, you look pretty good. And at that time I didn't really understand CEC or any of that other stuff, but I've got a substantial investment going in trees this year and I want to give them their best shot out of the gate. So any any opinions on some of these key items would be greatly appreciated. sure, and we're going to use you as a test mule so this is, even though this is for you, we're using this as an example to share with everybody else and say, this is how you read it and this is what you do. So any thoughts from the group? So when you see above optimum, it's just not necessarily, I'd, I personally wouldn't be super concerned about it just because it's not there's not a whole lot that you can necessarily, like you, like, I would not put on phosphorous or potassium if you can avoid it because you already have plenty of it. So you don't have to. Well, at what point do you get concerns for toxicity? I mean, are you ever worried about phosphorous or potassium toxicity? Not really at his pH because like phosphorus is less available at 6. And then potassium is like starting to taper off because it's 6.1. So maybe if he was at a slightly more basic pH, I would be a bit more concerned. But especially because like phosphorus can be, can really burn your plants up. But just because of the pH and stuff like that, I don't think that I wouldn't be super worried about the P or the K or the magnesium being above optimum. And then the CEC being at 11 just means that there's not it's probably pretty sandy soil. I think its loam is what he was saying It was a couple of different types of loam. Okay. My guess would be on the slightly sandier side, there's like a  There's, what was it what's the word? ranges that you have within the loam. So you can have like 20 percent I don't I'm going to be making numbers up. I can't remember exactly what the soil texture triangle. And I asked too Mel, what management has been done on this before on your land. This is basically an old cow pasture, old cow Farm that had a few apple trees that we are kind of converting to apples and cherries exclusively. But I used to mow a lot because there's a lot of grasses and a lot of clover and what have you. But I really don't mow it at all now because I'm concerned about bees. And I used to see a lot of bees, but I can count on one hand the honey bees and bees I saw last year at the farm and so on, all the clover and things that come through, I just I leave it there. But it's been pretty fallow in general. Do you know when the whoever had it before, when they were keeping it as a pasture, did they do any amendments to the the grass to promote growth. Or is I'm wondering, if all of that phosphorus and potassium came from cow manure, if they are or did they amend that? It it it I would guess it was from the cows because this is a pretty pretty rudimentary place. So my first thought on looking at this is, as you got from your county educator, is you're fine on the P and the K and the magnesium. Yes, it's above optimum but that doesn't mean you are in any concern for toxicity at the moment. I that's what I I'm glad you thought about the pH there Cheyenne, I hadn't gotten to that level on it. PH is the most important, not always but big PH gal over here. Like if I learned anything in all of my experiences it's that the pH is the problem 99% of the time. Yes. But nitrogen is always something to be aware of because plants are always pulling the nitrogen out. So some equilibrium of regular nitrogen addition is something to always be aware of. So there's no such thing as you can ignore nitrogen completely for a long period of time. You can ignore potassium for quite awhile, but not nitrogen. Now, what is the range for apples and cherries for optimum pH? I always think 6.5 is really good, but what is the range for cherries and apples? for PH, Yeah, go ahead, Bill 6.5 to 7.3 is a good range. So six months you start getting little tart cherries that when you start getting a low range of six. But that one's a little fussier of a crop So when doing your  nitrogen addition, you can pick some different types of nitrogen that will help with pH management. So pick something that will help. You know, when you reduce some of that acidity. Lyman is the more preferred way of doing that. I mean, most of the cheaper nitrogens are, are, are acidifying And but you know so one thing I'd mentioned about magnesium is that you when you, if you do line, you don't want a dolomitic lime. You want a high calcium lime because you don't want the extra magnesium. So you have to pay a little bit attention to that. Yeah. The other thing is I would mention then I'll get off is that CEC is we consider that a Great level. We're typically having values of 4 here at the sandier soils. So you know your, if anything you're going to have, I would guess, a fairly rich soil that the trees are going to want to grow. So holding back on the nitrogen might be more of a tenancy  in a site like that. One last quick question. So let's assume that my the holes in the ground with the soil mixture to plant the trees or let's say they're four cubic feet. And if I wanted to try and bumped this pH up a little bit in the interests of those trees based on your opinion, would that be like maybe a pound of lime per four cubic feet or any any kind of relativity on how much lime per tree in this type of situation? I don't have an answer to that,  are you putting the lime in the holes with the trees or just around Yeah. Yeah. What I do is I take the native soil out, put it in a mixing bin, throw it, throw it in a rototiller and then just start tiling in the amendments so it will all be blended in. Well, that'll, that'll amend the pH right in, right around those roots at the moment. But the concern is when those trees try to start outgrowing that amended soil, you're basically creating almost a pot type of experience where the tree might have a tendency to want to create roots within that more amenable soil. And almost I hate to say pot bind itself, but almost something like that where it will not want to grow its roots out beyond that. So they will be lazy it, well, they're not as lazy as blueberries. Blueberries are freaking lazy plants, but Apple's probably will do something similar. but You can shovel dirt at the edges of yours and then kind of do a transition. Okay. That's great. Thank you very much. Sure. can I make a quick comment too sure. So can you tell us what kind of apple varieties that you are growing? And Ana, Bill, Cheyenne, may be able to jump in here a little bit more. But one of the common issues with apples is something called bitter pit. And that's a calcium deficiency. And the competitors with calcium and the soil, are magnesium and potassium. So if you have high values of magnesium and potassium, you may not get as much calcium as you need. And so,  varieties that are really prone to this, the main one that we think of as honey crisp Yes. you know what That's exactly right. That's what I got out there. And frankly, those trees are struggling. Okay. Yeah, so I would really recommend liming your soil with a high calcium source, like Bill mentioned. And you may want to think about doing foliar sprays of calcium to make sure that your trees are taking up the calcium that they need. There are some other root stocks too that There are some root stocks that are actually preferentially taking up potassium over calcium. And there are some that are better at not taking up as much potassium. So depending on the root stocks that you're using, that might be something to consider as well. We're kind of just learning about that. The difference in root stocks for selecting various nutrients. But you may, you may just consider planning other varieties that are not as prone to bitter pit as well. Okay, I really appreciate the information. Thank you. Sure. Sure. And before we move on to some of these other topics, there was one question that did come in via email that I feel like we want to double-check with that, but Specifically asking the idea of growing blueberries in peat moss bags. And I bring this up now because we're talking about soil nutrition, we're talking about amendments. And so when we're talking about planting in the field, we're talking about how we can do these small changes, these, the small amendments to the long-term health of the soil. But when we're talking about growing some of these small fruit in peat moss bags or something like that. We're talking about almost a semi greenhouse kind of culture here. So how do we Cheyenne, I don't know if you have some thoughts given where your experiences, but do you know how do, how successful can we grow these smaller fruits or young crops in a culture such as potting or peat moss bags or something like that. Blueberries are pretty successful if you get it You have to get a pretty, I don't know exactly how big like a bag of peat moss normally is Because blueberries can get really, really big if you let them. So, but like blueberries grew up and evolved in bogs and stuff like that. So they really like the super organic matter, very acidic soils. So I don't see why you couldn't do it in a peat moss bag. I also don't know why you'd necessarily want to like you or you could just like put it all in a big pot, I guess it depends on what you were trying to accomplish. If you just wanted a couple blueberries on your porch or you're trying to grow blueberries inside, in like a greenhouse setting. because I know there's a couple of people here, actually near where I am who are growing low bush blueberries, which require a lot, which don't like the cold. As much in greenhouses and stuff like that, but I'm pretty sure they're growing them in under like hoops as opposed to like a true greenhouse sort of thing where they're in pots and stuff like that. So I would say yes, you could do it successfully. But it would also kind of depends on what you're trying to accomplish with your blueberries in a peat moss bag. Okay. Well, for the sake of time, let's let's kinda shift topic areas a little bit. There were a number of questions, a couple of questions that came in via email and in the chats regarding more varietal understanding. You know, one person was asking about more more information on paw paw culture, understanding heritage fruit varieties. Do you guys have any thought I shared that e-mail with one of those emails in particular with a couple of you. Do you want to look at those a little bit? Like, for instance, one person she was asking I'll just go ahead and start here. Queen and sweet cherry. That's an old variety. Is it still around? Are there any other alternatives to that? Yeah, rainier is the higher quality version of that. Another name for Royal is Napoleon. So you might look for it under that. Getting a good, There's a washing gold cherry that's fairly decent. There's one called Nugent. That's that's a fairly decent one, is pretty hearty. You may not be able to get your hands on that one. There's also gold is one that if you don't care as much about the blush, there is a really firm Cherry. Good flavor, very productive. But it doesn't really get the blush on it. So there aren't a lot of yellow blushed cherries that are out there that are near that I mentioned has the disadvantage that it's a little bit more cold, tender, but it's a really excellent flavor cherry. So beyond that, thinking about some of the other fruits, you know you and I Bill have talked about cherries. You really don't have a whole lot of heirloom cherry types because we've really developed those varieties over the years, but people  still have a lot of interest in apples and pears. These heritage varieties. Do you have any thoughts on what's still around that people are still interested in quality heirloom varieties. In these pome fruits. I mean, there's, there's, if you go through the various catalogs, online catalogs, there's still quite a few miscellaneous ones. It depends on. How old you want to go with varieties? Know if it's fifty years ago is considered heritage to you, or do you want to go back a 100 years or so? There is a reason why those older varieties are no longer being grown. Over the years. People have done, you know, made a selection. It's the people's choice I look at it. So and it depends on what you're trying to accomplish. I think going back to some of those so Yeah. So you if you hunt around a bit, you can find those older varieties. Yeah, and we can extend that to say some of the more minor varieties too, We didn't mention some other unusual varieties like on the tree side, Quince, persimmon on small fruits side we really didn't bring up sea buckthorn, aronia, Golgi Berry. There are a number of these minor fruits that can be grown. I mean, there some that we think that people keep asking about with any of you guys that that we, they say, Oh, I'd love to grow this, but we say you really can't. Or most of these fruits like Quince, persimmon, these other ones I mentioned, can they be grown around here? Certainly Quince, persimmon. We're kind of out of the zone for that one. That's more of a you see quite a bit more of those as you go further south. I saw a persimmon variety trial at Clemson University and that you can grow them around here, but it's, it's not something that you'll see commercially. And I've heard people talk about some of these hardy figs or even some of the hardiest varieties of almonds. Theoretically, by looking at the USDA hardiness map. Yeah, theoretically they can be done and maybe the southern reaches of the state, but we're really on a little too far north such that they could grow commercially. does that fit with your thoughts, Bill? Yeah. You'd need to protect figs. Definitely. Kind of a a heated greenhouse situation in the wintertime. Yeah. You could probably, if you said you mentioned Golgi berries, you could probably grow Golgi berries in like along the fruit along the Michigan. Lake Michigan. What does the word? The floor line? Yeah, the fruit belt Golgi berries you could probably do. I don't know of anywhere that they produce Golgi berries commercially here in the United States, though. I've gotten a lot of questions about elderberries recently. Like I've got a lot of questions about elderberries And elderberries would also be another one that you could grow probably in most of Michigan. And they're pretty cool in my personal opinion, but they're just another minor crop So you might have a hard time finding one especially commercially And a lot of those, you may not have varietal options or named variety options because they are a lot newer into the commercialize space. Yeah, makes sense. Now, thinking about some of these varieties and this is more of a tree fruit question. And I, and I hear it mostly in apples and pears, but biennial bearing. What what is really causing biennial bearing? How can you manage it? And how does what sort of varieties are commonly out there that we need to be aware of when thinking about how to manage concerns for biennial production. Anna do you want to jump in on that one? Sure, I can take that question. So I talked  just a tiny bit about biennial bearing during our presentation on Wednesday, but it's a natural tendency of a lot of, especially apple trees to bear really heavy in one year and really late in the next year. And what's happening in the plant hormonal level is these gibberellins. It's a plant hormone that are being produced in seeds of the fruit. And they actually suppress chlorophyll development. So the more seeds you have in your tree, or the more floral beds you have in one year, That's actually suppressing the number of flower buds you're going to produce and the next year. So when we talk about crop load management  it's really important in every year to have a balanced crop. And that's partly so you have a good crop in a single year. You've got a good number of fruits in there, good size and quality. But also because the seeds in all of those fruit are Producing gibberellins, a hormone, that's going to suppress bud formation for the next year. And so the floral bud formation is happening just after gloom for the subsequent year. So last year in 2021, for example, about 30 to 60 days after blooming apples to 60 days after bloom and Apple's. Those buds are already deciding their fate for the next year, whether they're going to be floral or vegetative So we have to be removing fruit. At that time. We could be doing thinning just after bloom to manage the crop for the 2021 season then also for the 2022 season So I think, did that answer the question, It's important to be balanced in every year to maintain that consistency. year after year Otherwise, if you end up with a really heavy crop in one year, it will suppress almost all floral bed formation for the second year. And then there'll be no GA's produced and there'll be a huge production of flower buds. And so for different varieties, that's really, that's really different. Honey crisp and jonah gold, are two that are really sensitive to that. Gala tends to produce really heavy every year in my experience. So it just depends on the variety. Anything you want to add, any other Apple people, or other fruits that where this is a problem. I'm most familiar with apple. I would add in that not only crop load, but any sort of plant stress. Now if you have a drought thing going on right at the fruit bud set that has the same effect as the heavy crop load or freeze off of the buds so that you just don't have a crop of a particular season yea initiate that I hear that regularly in chestnuts as well. yea, commercial guys will go in and put on a growth regulator spray in the summer time to kind of encourage the bud settlement next year. That they know that they've got a variety that's prone to it. A couple of sprays. Yeah, that's a good point about how to manage it. there are thinning sprays. I mentioned that just now, but I guess maybe not everyone knows about that very well. In the commercial production, plant growth regulators or there are you could hand removed ringlets so you don't have too many trees to a target crop. to keep that balance And then usually after that thinning window, just after bloom, there'll be this june drop period where the trees actually drop a lot of fruit on their own. So they know that they can't support all of the fruitlets that they create. So after the June drop then you can go back in and reassess your trees and do some hand thinning, which is where you Just continue to remove fruit by hand. We like to have one fruit whisperer So the back fruit can grow and develop really well. And depending on the size of your tree, how many fruit you'd like to have on the whole tree. We actually start now with our crop management. So pruning during the dormant season is reducing the crop that you have. And you can kind of tell the difference between the floral and vegetative buds because the floral buds are starting to swell. They're usually a little bit bigger when we talked about where they are on the plant, whether they're on a terminal bud or if they're on a lateral bud. depending on the species or you could actually cut buds open and look at them under a magnifying glass, and you can see if you have a good magnifying glass, you can see some of the floral parts that are already starting to develop. And so you could check yourself, see if you are able to identify floral buds versus vegetative buds. And look at your tree and maybe count some buds and get an idea of how many fruit you can expect. Thank you. Thank you for that. I'm sorry. I was slow to catch in I'm reading one of the questions in the chat talking about soil wetness. I don't know if you can address that, Cheyenne, or if you want to sit on that for a second because I want since we're talking about biennial bearing, we're talking about winter management. I thought this would be a good point to have Emily come back and talk about a question that was asked on Monday about dormancy and shielding requirements. And I I know chilling requirements are different from crop to crop, from variety to variety. But generally understanding what that means  would be a good idea. You want to jump back in there, Emily? muffled sounds muffled sounds You good Emily? are you ready to start? yep, getting my screen up. Yeah. Maybe. Yep. All right. there we go. So I just have one slide. We can talk about it a little bit more. I think others are doing more work into dormancy than I am. But typically we think of two types of dormancy. So when plants are during fall time plants are kind of getting ready for winter. And so. Um, what happens is the plants have internal mechanisms to be able to sense how many days there are above freezing. And so as the season goes on, we have more and more hours that are below freezing. And so as as the weather changes and we get fewer and fewer days above freezing, the plants start moving into dormancy. And so those internal mechanisms are what we call Endo dormancy. And so when this  response happens, even if it, you know, if you have an apple tree and it's in a pot and it's outside. and its getting we're going into winter time. If the leaves fall and it looks like it's dormant, but you bring it inside. These internal mechanisms are not going to respond to warmer temperatures because there are the tree itself is controlling the dormancy at this point. So hopefully that made sense the way that I just explained it there. But so basically that's the internal genetics of the tree or a plant that's controlling that piece of dormancy. So once the, what we call the chilling requirements are met  then the plant can come out of dormancy. So during the winter time we know in Michigan it stays cold for a long period of time. So we have this other mechanism of dormancy called eco dormancy. And that's just when the environmental conditions are not right for growth, so it's too cold during the winter, basically for the plants to wake up. And so that's this external signal with the environment. Let's keeping the plants dormant. So anybody else want to jump in there before I talk about chilling requirements? Well, I did a question pop in that is perfect for the moment. But when do you start counting you're chilling units. you know when you're saying 700 to 1300 chilling hours. What's the start point? That's a good question. So I think, oops, I share. Sorry, I just jumped out of my presentation here. So it's my understanding and some folks who've been doing this a lot longer than I have may have a better answer, but it's my understanding that when the temperature is between 35 and 45, so that's kind of when you start those hours contributing to the chill requirements. So if you start having a cool fall and you still have the, the, the buds have set for that for the next year. So they're there. But they're technically dormant because they're still ready. They're not active this year. Yeah. And if you have a cool fall, but you still have canopy on that apple tree, for instance, are those buds for next year starting to accumulate their chill requirements even though you still have not gone into the the the the dormancy of the rest of the plant. Yeah. So you're asking if you'll still have, the plant is still active essentially? Yes. For some reason I had I I thought I kind of think of it as when the plant has decided it's done for the, for the season and the leaves start falling off the plant. That's when you would start the chilling requirements in my head, but I I'm not the professional at thinking about chilling requirements. I'm the pest and disease guy. So are you accumulating if in October you started having some cool nights, but you still have a canopy on that tree or maybe even you have, you're even not finished harvesting yet. Are you starting to accumulate chilling requirements at that point? That's a great question and I I don't have the answer for that actually, I'm not as familiar with plant physiology on that. And Bill, do you want to jump in, do you have an answer for that? Usually it is keyed in with day length. But you can override it if your soil fertility is too high. So it requires both the short days, and also a settled down plant. So yeah, most of the models that I've seen, have a day length component. Okay, shorter days. Get the tree thinking about settling down from there. Okay. Well, I might just add to that there's maybe you've already talked about this because I was not on the webinars, but there are phases of dormancy rates, so its from full growing season, then transitioning into this eco-dormancy where the plant can still respond to environmental conditions and then Endo dormancy and you have to get into the Endo dormancy period before it can respond before the plant is starting to count. its chilling hours or chilling units. And so there's a transition like Bill is talking about, where it's responding to failing as well as temperature. that move into that endo dormancy period where the tree won't wake back up again until it counts those chilling units Does that make sense? That's interesting because when I think of eco dormancy, I'm usually thinking about it after chilling requirements are completed and you're starting to think about spring time. But you're saying eco dormancy, the plant is still capable of responding in the fall and even though it's starting to go into dormancy, it'll still interact with those external stimuli. And so It's technically eco dormancy until it reaches some sort of threshold and So you can have eco-dormancy on both sides of that endo-dormancy phase. Yes. Yeah. Eco-dormancy is a transition period on either side of the season.  As I understand it. Yeah. That makes sense. That makes sense. So can I make a quick comment, absolutely. So Bill mentioned something about the soil fertility. Just because you can fertilize, doesn't mean you should fertilize. Fertilizer timing is very, very important because if you fertilize too close to when it's winter, you can confuse your plants and your plant will be like Okay, I guess I will keep growing now because I have all of this food so I can keep growing. And then instead of starting to get ready for the winter and stuff like that, it's growing and then it'll get hit with a frost and it'll die. Not, maybe, maybe not die. But fertilizer timing is also very, very, very important that you should think about. I'll add to that. You always have the option of putting on a folio spray if you think you need to get a little nitrogen in the fruit bud area and that you're not putting on much, but it gets it where it needs to be. Oh, that's commonly done in an apples, not so much in peaches is done in cherries, particularly sweet cherries. And that's a late season, that's a fall spray. Yeah. The leaves still have to be functional, so they would take it up. So you, you got to get it done before you get a frost on leaves. And that is so the nitrogen dose is not enough to prompt the tree to continue growing, but it's enough to accumulate to prep, prepare the buds for the next season. Yeah. Yeah, but the dose is really important on that. Yeah. The other thing when we were showing  the soil tests is that quite often MSU will give a nitrogen recommendation. Now, we, in our typical soil tests for orchards. They don't test for nitrogen. So that's just a blanket. oh I'll put on nitrogen, but you may not really need it. Especially with the trees that are young until they get into bearing age. If you are, well. Yeah, it depends. You may only want a little shot to get it going. They're not fully. Sometimes though it's soluble fertilizers is a way to make sure that there's some in the zone there. that's very typical to put on a little bit of soluble  fertilizer. Unless you, unless you've got a really rich soil. Sure. But when you're talking about different ages of trees, if you're talking about whips or one-year-old, two-year-old plants that you're, you've just put in the ground. Focus the fertilizer around that root ball. But when as the trees get older, started spreading that nutrient or even your soil amendments across the board to more of a broad broadcast. Because those roots are weaving further out there at that point, but it's a waste of nutrients if you're doing broadcasting when the trees are seedlings. Okay. Back to the question that I see in the chat about the wet soil. They're talking about how they have some paw paw plants in a low spot that usually isn't a problem. But this year they've got a problem where the a lot of water from snow melt happened all at the same time. So you're under basically an anaerobic conditions if the trees are still dormant, is that a concern? What's your what's the oxygen needs for dormant plant roots? If that's, if that's the right way to think about that. It's certainly less than winter, but, you know, couple three weeks is a problem. Even if it's a paw paw. Paw paw is what like their river river. River trees they grow up against would that make it. Would you be more or less concerned about it being a paw paw, I'd be less concerned Yeah, I agree with you. One thing. I did see I was doing  a little research on some cherry producers, large-scale cherry producers in Yakima Washington, the Yakima Valley. Yup. They pick out a lot of cherries as well. They do. In thinking about this somewhere, maybe it was you, Emily, but you talk, they were talking about the positioning in the sunlight is absolutely key for the quality of the root. And what these guys had done, this was actually a fourth generation, literally a fourth generation family farm that's really grown into a tremendous operation. But some of the latest ideas relative to the sunlight, they talked about some of their showed some of their pruning techniques, but they literally in-between and underneath the trees. It was open space. And they had rolled out like this highly reflective of three or four foot wide bands of foil reflected foil to get out in the sunlight back up into those trees. And I thought, wow, that go, That's it. That's exactly I think what you were talking about, Emily. Yeah. absolutely. And folks are using non cherries and pears, especially Apples for apples and pears its to develop red color. So we need light to hit that directly to develop that red color. try to scatter that light and get it to the fruit as much as possible. Yep. Yep, we see it here in Michigan too, with some of the more commercial scale apple growers. And I haven't seen much in pears here in Michigan, but I know they do that in pears out west. But I have seen it in apples around here too. And some of it looks like that Mylar silver Chrome reflective mulch. Some people use pure white plastic sheeting. And they are there has been research looking at different, you know, whether that white is better than the that Chrome Mylar material or if there's other colors that help with different things. So there's, there's information out there. But it definitely, it's, at that point. You're looking at color development, which is important when you're thinking about selling it fresh market to put on a shelf in a store. So generally speaking, it doesn't really impact flavor too much. At least not in the work that I've seen. It's mainly a perception for the consumer audience. And that's why we don't use it for pears here in Michigan because we sell processing pears, not fresh market. So we're using it for those really high value crops here in Michigan. Those apple varieties like honey crisp that are harder to color and also really benefit from having red color in the grocery stores. So absolutely, Mike yep. Makes sense. Makes sense.