has worked in sweet cherry research and Extension at
Oregon State University since 1988. At that time, the main cherry
variety being grown was Bing on a Mazzard rootstock, leading to
disease and susceptibility to weather pressure. Lynn has been an
advocate for diversity in varieties and rootstocks, maintaining a
cherry variety trial since 1996, and evaluating nearly 100
varieties and selections for potential adoption by the sweet cherry
industry in the Pacific Northwest. He has been instrumental in
progressing the use of dwarfing rootstocks and new training systems
in commercial orchards. Long has authored many publications and has
spoken in grower oriented meetings in 16 countries around the
In this episode, Lynn and I discuss the future of sweet cherry
production. Lynn believes the future development of tree fruit will
emerge when we begin better managing ‘the other half of the tree' -
the root system.
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Cherries: Botany, Production and Uses
Episode 12 - Lynn Long - Highlights
2:45 - What are some memorable
moments that have lead Lynn to where he is today?
the 90’s, cherry production was focused on one single variety.
There wasn’t a lot of diversity at the time.
1994, Lynn went to Europe and gained knowledge that changed the way
cherries are farmed in the US
4:10 - What shift happened, and
how did Lynn start managing trees differently?
had been researching cherry rootstock
saw what farms in Germany, France, Spain, and elsewhere in Europe
were doing, and brought this knowledge back to help growers
7:40 - How does the vigor of
modern dwarf rootstock compared to older varieties?
- A lot
of farmers prefer older varieties
- Dwarfing rootstock seen to be more
9:10 - What has been missing in
looking at the “other half of the tree”
- Everything from research to management has been
focused on only half the tree - the top half.
are seeing more and more research being done on what is happening
below ground with the tree
11:20 - What are some of the
things Lynn has observed to cause him to start to wonder what is
happening in the soil profile?
- Dwarfing rootstock in hard soil affecting the
growth and behavior of trees
- Leaves look stressed and wilted, impacting food
- Keeping microorganisms alive throughout the
entire year to affect the health of the ecosystem and the
14:20 - What has Lynn learned
from compost trials?
- Struggling orchards turned around
- Taking stress off the tree by keeping soil
can adding organic soil help the health of the tree?
- Success Lynn has seen in Chile
18:00 - What has been something
that has surprised Lynn?
grower community being open with ideas and their
- Growers who share the most often receive the
21:30 - What is something that
Lynn believes the be true that is different from the
- Mainstream agriculture is only focusing on the
top half of the tree
23:30 - How does managing what
is happening below the soil change how we manage above the
- Issues we are struggling with now may become
minor issues later
26:00 - How will the canopy be
affected by a changing root system?
- Getting high-quality fruit all around the tree,
not just the top
29:20 - Success in reducing
bacterial canker through ecosystem management
33:30 - What is a resource Lynn
35:40 - What does Lynn wish he
is cherry production going in the future?
37:00 - What does Lynn think the
future holds in fruit and vegetable production
- Mechanical and biological solutions to getting
cherries off trees without laborers
40:00 - How does Lynn see an
orchard of the future?
able to automate the process of collecting cherries without
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