A free-to-attend technical webinar run by crop research organisation NIAB will outline the latest research and advice for UK and overseas tree fruit growers and farmers, trade organisations and scientists.

The online Tree Fruit Day event is taking place on 21 February 2023 and will be opened by East Malling, Kent-based Dr Charles Whitfield, who will discuss the development of a precision dosing orchard sprayer and the use of fluorometer technology to assess spray application.

Richard Colgan, from the University of Greenwich, will outine his research detecting and predicting internal browning in apples, while Mark Else will update delegates on NIAB’s plum demonstration centre. Robert Saville will then talk about how Growing Kent & Medway is supporting sustainable innovation in horticulture.

 Three afternoon sessions offer new findings on pest and pathogen ecology, led by NIAB in collaboration with universities and industry. This includes canker and replant research in apple and bacterial canker in cherry, followed by pest research on forest bug, apple sawfly and brown marmorated stink bug. 

The event will also highlight work by PhD students on pear sucker, the impact of wildflowers on pest control and of solitary ground-nesting bees in apple orchards. The final session will provide an update on the development of new management techniques for spotted wing drosophila in plum and cherry trees.

 NIAB knowledge exchange manager Scott Raffle said: “With the winding down of AHDB horticultural activities last year, NIAB has welcomed the opportunity to ensure this annual industry event remains on the calendar. 

“Presenting it on a virtual platform has proved popular over the past few years, with a larger audience drawn from across the UK and abroad.” He said it was an opportunity for everyone with an interest in tree fruit production to keep abreast of new findings in a range of research and demonstration projects managed by NIAB at East Malling and elsewhere.