Free Blueberry Winter Pruning & ProductionWorkshop: 2/23/18
The Watauga CountyCenter of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will host a Blueberry WinterPruning & Production Field Day in Banner Elk (Watauga Co.), NC on Friday, February23, 2018, from 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM. Northern Highbush Blueberries are a healthfuland potentially profitable specialty crop that thrives in the NC High Country climate.They prosper in acidic soils common to this region, and can be managed withfairly minimal winter pruning and spring mulching as the primary maintenancetasks. This workshop will inform current and potential blueberry growers when andhow to perform these tasks and keep blueberry bushes productive throughouttheir many-decade life spans.
The Field Day will beheld at the Ward family portion of the Banner Elk’s old blueberry farm (1867 Lee GualtneyRd., 28604), where State Blueberry Extension Specialist Bill Cline, and AreaExtension Agent Richard Boylan will guide participants through the decisionprocess for selecting blueberry canes to be removed to maximize plant healthand production for the coming years. Environmental factors, including soildrainage, fertility, weed management, and insect challenges will also bediscussed as bushes are pruned. Participants are welcome to bring pruning toolsof their own, and some tools will be available for use on site as well. Inaddition to hands-on pruning work on the farm, there will be time for a Q&Aon blueberry management and production challenges with Dr. Cline during theafternoon.
Bill Cline works as a researcher and extension specialist inthe Department of Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University. His areasof expertise include diseases of small fruits, and all aspects of blueberryproduction. North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s programs in Watauga countyworks to identify and promote viable crops and agricultural marketingstrategies suitable for the region and work with farmers to improveprofitability.
This pruning workshop is free and open to the public.Pre-registration is not required, but more information and any updates due to possibleextreme weather are available from the Cooperative Extension office at828-264-3061.