Tree fruit crops grown in eastern Washington are frequently exposed to severe environmental stress. Solar radiation is extremely high and often exceeds what can be utilized by trees. The excess light energy is converted to heat energy, especially in the fruit. High air temperatures are prevalent many days during the growing season and also heat the fruit. Consequently, the fruit surface temperature can exceed air temperature by up to 30 °F.
WSU researchers have focused on understanding the causes of several stress-induced disorders in apples and cherries (reports available in PDF format) and then developing practical solutions for growers’ use to mitigate losses from the disorders. Learn more »
WSU researchers have also investigated tree fruit cold hardiness.