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Learn the art of pruning for specialty crops at Fruit Research Station workshop

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PRUNING — Making the right cuts at the right time can enhance plant health and productivity. 2014 file photo of a pruning workshop at the Fruit Research Station near Clarksville. (U of A System Division of Agriculture image)

By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fruit and pecan growers who want to sharpen their pruning skills to enhance growth and yields can learn from the professionals at the Fruit Research Station during a half-day workshop on Feb. 28.

The station, near Clarksville, is home to much of the fruit breeding work done by the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the research arm of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

The workshop begins at 12:30 p.m. with check-in and runs through 4 p.m. Space is limited to 100 people and attendees must register in advance. Registration is $20 and can be completed online at https://aaes.uada.edu/fruit-pruning-field-day-2023.

“We’ll cover the principles of pruning in blueberries, blackberries, muscadines, peaches and pecans, with hands-on demonstrations,” said Jackie Lee, director of the Fruit Research Station. “Now is the time to learn since most pruning should be done while the plants are still dormant. It won’t be long before spring comes and growth restarts.” 

The workshop will run five pruning stations, with 25-minute sessions running concurrently. Attendee groups will be able to rotate among the stations.


  • 12:30 p.m. -1 p.m. — Check-in
  • 1 p.m.- 1:15pm — Welcome
  • 1:15 p.m. – 1:35 p.m. — Pruning basics: Pruning cuts, timing, tools, safety, with Jackie Lee
  • 1:35 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. — Break, then travel into field
  • 1:45 p.m. – 4 p.m. — Five concurrent and rotating field pruning sessions

Workshop presenters, all from the Division of Agriculture, will be:

  • Blackberries — Erika Henderson, program associate, and Jesus Arredondo-Lopez, program technologist, both at the Fruit Research Station
  • Pecans — Jackie Lee, station director
  • Blueberries — Jesse Taylor, Johnson County extension agent
  • Peaches — Dwain Ober, station farm foreman
  • Grapes and muscadines — Mike Brown, fruit breeding associate, and Matt Gal, fruit breeding technologist, both based at the station.

There will also be a display of the station’s spray application equipment with Jeff Inness, the station’s integrated pest management technologist.

Please email Meredith Crawford at [email protected] or call 479-754-2406 with any questions. The station is located at 1749 State Hwy 818 near Clarksville.

To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @AR_Extension. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: https://aaes.uada.edu. Follow on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit https://uada.edu/. Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk.

About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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