Fruit & Nut Research and Information Center
Fruit & Nut Research and Information Center
Fruit & Nut Research and Information Center
University of California
Fruit & Nut Research and Information Center

Principles of Fruit and Nut Tree Growth, Cropping and Management


2017-Principles of Fruit & Nut Tree Growth, Cropping & Management

February 20 - March 2, 2017
University of California, Davis campus

Understanding the fundamentals of tree biology is essential to making sound orchard management and business decisions in the tree fruit and nut industry.  However, access to educational courses on basic fruit and nut tree biology, and how it relates to agronomic practices, is limited. Our course incorporates lecture, lab exercises, and field demonstrations to provide information on all aspects of basic plant biology and the relationship between plant biology and nuts and fruit orchard management.

Our course includes nine full days of instruction. The first five days will be held on the UC Davis campus and include lecture, laboratory exercises, and field demonstrations. The following week we will embark upon a four-day field trip throughout fruit and nut tree growing regions of Northern and Central California.

Week 1 (February 20 - February 24th) – 5 days of lectures, hands-on exercises and demonstrations at the UC Davis Conference Center and UC Davis teaching orchards. 

Week 2 (February 27 –March 2 ) – A four day field tour throughout tree fruit and nut growing regions in Northern and Central California. The field tour includes visits to current UC experiments, processing facilities, and orchards in a wide range of tree fruit and nut crops.

This course is designed specifically for current tree fruit and nut growers and professionals and also for those with small acreage farms or new to the fruit and nut business. Our instructors have combined the essential elements of traditional university courses with hands-on exercises and field demonstrations during each day of the first week.  

There is no known comparable course in the United States which provides instruction by faculty researchers and cooperative extension specialists in university research facilities. The goal of our course is to provide access to a UC Davis Pomology education in a shorter time frame, and reduced cost, than is currently available through traditional university classes.

Participants in the last year course included first time growers and established members of the CA fruit and nut tree industries. Participants represented many tree crops including almonds, walnuts, pistachios, stone fruit, pome fruit, and specialty tree crops. In course evaluations participants stated that the course was “superb”, “an amazing opportunity”, and “an interesting week of fruit tree wisdom”.

 Lecture topics include:

  • The basics of how trees work
  • Ideal climatic and soil conditions for tree fruit and nut crops
  • Dormancy, chill requirements and rest breaking
  • How trees grow and what determines architecture
  • Understanding cropping, pollination and fruit set
  • How trees use water and nutrients
  • Fruit growth and development
  • Harvest and harvest indices
  • Postharvest quality and technology

Hands-on exercises and field demonstrations include:

  • Bearing habits
  • Measuring fruit quality and fruit tasting
  • Pruning, training and light management
  • Root excavations
  • Measurement of plant water status and irrigation scheduling
  • Measurement of plant nutrient status and fertilization scheduling

Our instructors are experts in fruit and nut tree production.

Attendees will receive a certificate after completing the course. 


Enrollment Options & Fees:

  • Option 1: Week 1 only - $1,850

o   Includes all classroom and field instruction, course materials, morning and afternoon coffee breaks, lunches and 1 graduation reception dinner

  • Option 2: Entire course - $2,850

o   Includes all of option 1 as well as the field tour during the 2nd week. The field tour includes transportation, site visits, continental breakfasts daily and one evening filed tour dinner

o   NOT INCLUDED: Lodging for 2 nights of tour lodging

Lodging & Meals: Please note that participants are responsible for their own lodging (reservations & payments) during the first week of the course (See website for additional information). Also, participants are responsible for their own meals, except for those specifically noted as included in the program fee

 Registration Deadline & Cancellations:

  • Deadline for registration is January 31, 2017. Reservations will be accepted on a first paid, first enrolled basis
  • Cancellations are possible up until January 31, 2017. You will be refunded your registration fee minus a $150 processing fee

o   Please note that field tour lodging payments are NOT refundable after January 31, 2016

For more information, contact us at  (530) 754-9708 or email



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