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 YEAR END | NEWS & EVENTS

ITFA Conference Showcases BC Growers to the World conference brings growers and experts from around the world. Last year, the IFTA featured speakers from throughout Europe, North America, and South America. Okanagan orchardists will be showcasing their techniques to the world in February, when the annual IFTA conference is held in Kelowna. The International Fruit Tree Association is the world body for orchardists growing compact fruit trees. The annual

IFTA was established in 1958 "to promote an understanding of the nature and use of dwarf fruit trees through research, education and dissemination of information." The goal of the association is to advance the art of producing intensive yield orchard systems and technologies.

The 2014 schedule has not yet been released, but will be posted soon at www. ifruittree.org. The annual conference features many distinguished speakers sharing expertise on a variety of topics, including horticultural economics; rootstocks, varieties, and systems for apples, pears, and cherries; organic tree fruit production; new research; and current and emerging varieties from around the world. Because the membership is so

international, the conference is in a different country every year. Last year’s conference was held in Boston, while the 2012 event was staged in Santiago, Chile. The 56th Annual Conference & Intensive Workshop will be held February 22-26, 2014, at the Delta Grand Hotel in downtown Kelowna. There will be intensive, hands on workshops on site, as well as field tours to orchards in the Okanagan Valley.

Photo by Joni MacFarlane

Photo courtesy of Washington State University

Vengeance of Little Cherry Disease

Canada’s Largest Grapevine? A beautiful old grapevine at the SpringBreak Garden Centre in Crowsnest Pass might well be the largest. While it may or may not have bragging rights for being the largest, it is certainly very large. The main trunk has a girth of 30 inches and it covers about 2,200 square feet in the SpringBreak greenhouse. Lloyd Schmidt stumbled across the vine on a visit from his Ontario home. Schmidt believes the grape is a Himrod, a cross between a varietal known as ‘Ontario’ and ‘Thompson Seedless,’ which was developed in New York State and released in 1952. Schmidt thinks this vine was propagated from one of 25 plants that his father worked with at Okanagan Mission Vineyard in the ‘50s. No one is sure exactly how it made the trip to the Crowsnest, but it has definitely thrived.

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Year End 2013

Healthy cherries on top, Little Cherry infected fruit on bottom.

In the 1950s an outbreak of Little Cherry Disease had a disastrous impact on fruit growers in British Columbia. Now, orchardists in Washington believe that the very cool, wet weather of 2010 has reawakened the disease and it is spreading. As the name implies Little Cherry Disease affects the size of the cherries but also affects the flavour, colour and sugar content. According to researchers at Washington State University Bing and Sweetheart cultivars are less susceptible to the disease and after the first season the effects aren’t quite as severe, but the tree and fruit never recover. Wet and cool years allow the virus to thrive. So far there is no treatment and infected trees must be cut down.

Orchard and Vine Magazine Year End 2013  

Year-in-Review: what happened in grapes, wine, apples, cherries, berries and more! Land, Labour and Liquor Laws. Pacific Agriculture Show S...

Orchard and Vine Magazine Year End 2013  

Year-in-Review: what happened in grapes, wine, apples, cherries, berries and more! Land, Labour and Liquor Laws. Pacific Agriculture Show S...

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