by Fred Roundstone
(Angmering, West Sussex, UK)
Like any other group, growers of seasonal fruit trees have their own lingo which they use for fast and easier comprehension between themselves.
For would-be fruit farmers, it is good to be conversant with these functional terms for future reference.
There are thousands of them more than the article can compile. The following are the most-commonly used.
The sugar level of fruit, expressed as a percentage. When the fruit ripens, it is the actual sugar-to-acid ratio that determines the fruit’s sweetness.
The number of hours the temperature is at or below 45° F (7.2° C) during the dormancy period of trees, from the beginning of November to February 15. Chill hours are needed by most seasonal fruit trees.
These are peaches, plums and nectarines that have flesh that adheres, or “clings” to the pit.
During the winter, most seasonal fruit trees become inactive or dormant. It begins after the leaves fall off and the weather gets colder. It ends in the spring when the weather warms up.
A gas released by fruits that aids in the ripening process.
These are the pigments that give fruits their bright colors, considered today to be beneficial to health.
Varieties of peaches, plums and nectarines that have flesh that easily separates from the pit.
This is the wood branch of a tree where the fruits grow.
The process of changing the variety of fruit a grower wants. The crownbranches are cut. Then a small piece of the new variety (scion) is cut to fit into the notch. The tree’s nutrients will flow into the scion to begin a branch.
This is a cross of two or more species. The predominant characteristics of the resulting fruit determine how it will be identified.
Pollen is transferred from anther to stigma so it will be fertilized, becomes and grows into a fruit. Some trees are self-pollinating; others need the wind or the bees.
This is a scientifically-based process to increase fruit’s market life and reduce chilling injuries. The fruit is cooled to 68°F right after harvest and held at that temperature for 36 to 48 hours. Afterwards, it is cooled to 34°F to stop the ripening process in time for shipping.
Peaches and nectarines that have lower relative acidity, making them taste more intensely sweet.
Usually, each region of seasonal fruit tree growers all over the country has their own lingo. Some are fruit-specific, some are technical terms and others are completely new words. It’s always fun to hear them.
Click here to read more DIY home tips about planting trees in your garden