Stella Otto: The Backyard Fruit Gardener

Today's Tip: Mow vegetation short around the base of fruit trees and bushes to reduce winter habitat for rodents.

Fruit Garden Terms A — Z

Glos­sary of Hor­ti­cul­tural Usage

The word mean­ings as defined in this glos­sary are in con­text of how they apply to fruit grow­ing. Some terms may have addi­tional com­mon Eng­lish lan­guage mean­ings that are not included here.

A

Acid soil
Soil with a pH less than 7.0. An acid soil is usu­ally low in lime. Also caused by appli­ca­tion of high amounts of acid-forming fer­til­izer. Most often found in rainy climates.

Ach­ene
A single-celled, dry, inde­his­cent fruit. Exam­ple: the “seeds” of a strawberry.

Acid­ity
see Acid soil.

Aer­o­bic
Chem­i­cal reac­tion that occurs in the pres­ence of oxygen.

Aggre­gate Fruit
Fruit devel­oped from a flower with many pis­tils that ripen simul­ta­ne­ously. Exam­ple: black­berry or raspberry.

Air drainage
Pro­vid­ing the abil­ity for a cold air mass to move to a lower elevation.

Alka­line soil
Soil with a pH greater than 7.0. Most often found in arid or desert cli­mates. Can be mod­i­fied by the addi­tion of sulphur.

Alka­lin­ity
see Alka­line soil.

Allelopa­thy
The abil­ity of one plant to sup­press growth of another by means of excreted toxic compounds.

Anaer­o­bic
Chem­i­cal reac­tion that takes place in the absence of oxygen.

Annual
A plant that grows, bears fruit and dies within a sin­gle season.

Anther
(Male) pollen bear­ing part of the flower. This pollen sack is borne atop the fil­a­ment. Together the anther and fil­a­ment make up the stamen.

Asex­ual
Repro­duc­tion other than by seed. Veg­e­ta­tive prop­a­ga­tion; bud­ding, graft­ing as example.

Axil­lary Bud
A bud aris­ing at the axil or base of a node or leaf petiole.

B

Ball and burlap
Tree is dug, sold and trans­planted with soil left around the roots. Burlap is com­monly wrapped around the dug tree roots to keep the soil in place. Some­times referred to as B & B.

Bare-root
Trees or bushes sold with­out their roots in soil. The root is usu­ally wrapped in wet sphag­num for ship­ping. Bare-root plants are usu­ally dug, shipped, and planted while dormant.

Bark
Exter­nal tis­sue layer of woody peren­nial plant.

Bark Slip­ping
Con­di­tion under which root­stock bark is eas­ily pulled away from the tis­sue below. Occurs dur­ing active growth phase of the tree and is nec­es­sary when per­form­ing cer­tain prop­a­ga­tion techniques.

Basal
Aris­ing from the base of the stem or shoot.

Bear­ing age
Age at which first blos­soms and fruit are usually.

Berry
A sim­ple fruit with a fleshy pericarp.

Bien­nial
A plant hav­ing a two year life cycle. The first year growth is typ­i­cally veg­e­ta­tive. The sec­ond year the plant fruits and dies.

Bien­nial bear­ing
Ten­dency to pro­duce a crop only every other year. A heavy crop is pro­duced in the “on-year.” The fol­low­ing, or “off-year,” lit­tle to no bloom or fruit is pro­duced. Some­times also known as alter­nate bearing.

Bio­log­i­cal con­trol
Pest con­trol by means other than syn­thetic chem­i­cal. Par­a­sites, preda­tors, or nat­u­rally occur­ring chem­i­cals are usu­ally con­sid­ered bio­log­i­cal controls.

Bit­ter pit
Phys­i­o­log­i­cal dis­or­der caused by cal­cium defi­ciency. Appears as small, dark, round depres­sions on skin of affected apples.

Bloom
Translu­cent wax­i­ness found on the skin of blue­ber­ries, grapes, plums, and blackberries.

Blush
Inter­mit­tent light red tint on the fruit skin.

Bud­ding
Method of prop­a­ga­tion in which a sin­gle scion bud is grafted to a root­stock piece.

Bud­ding rub­ber
Small strip of rub­ber or plas­tic used to secure grafts.

Bud scale
Mod­i­fied leaf or scale that serves as pro­tec­tive cover for an unopened bud.

C

Cal­care­ous soil
A soil with a pH higher than 7 due to free car­bon­ate content.

Cal­lus
Plant cell tis­sue over­growth that devel­ops in response to a wound, cut, or graft. In a graft, the cal­lus will even­tu­ally form the graft union.

Calyx
The cup between the flower and its stem. The col­lec­tive group of the sepals of an indi­vid­ual flower. End of the fruit oppo­site the stem.

Cam­bium
Thin layer of cell tis­sue between the bark and wood of a tree that is the ori­gin of new growth.

Canker
Decayed or dis­eased area of the tree bark, usu­ally exhibit­ing signs of gum­ming or ooz­ing sap.

Canopy
The “umbrella” or above ground por­tion of the tree formed by the branches and leaves.

Car­bo­hy­drates
Starch, sugar, or cel­lu­lose formed by a plant.

Carpel
The por­tion of the pis­til con­tain­ing the ovule.

Cation exchange capac­ity (CEC)
A mea­sure of pos­i­tively charged ions that can be held on the sur­face of soil par­ti­cles and replaced by other cations.

Cen­tral leader
Sin­gle main trunk that grows ver­ti­cally in the cen­ter of a tree and emerges at the top. One of sev­eral prun­ing sys­tems used for fruit trees. Most used with apple.

Chill­ing require­ment
Num­ber of hours required below 45 degrees F in order for a fruit tree to break dor­mancy, grow, flower, and fruit properly.

Chloro­phyll
Green pig­ment in the leaf that is essen­tial for photosynthesis.

Chloro­sis
A lack or loss of chloro­phyll in the foliage that appears as yel­low­ing of the leaves. Com­mon symp­tom of nitro­gen or other nutri­ent defi­ciency. Can also be caused by her­bi­cide misuse.

Clay
Soil of min­eral par­ti­cles less than 0.002 mm in size. Has high mois­ture hold­ing capacity.

Clonal Prop­a­ga­tion
Asex­ual form of repro­duc­tion result­ing in clone offspring.

Clone
Off­spring that is genet­i­cally iden­ti­cal to its parent.

Col­lar
Area where a branch grows out of the tree trunk.

Com­plete fer­til­izer
A fer­til­izer con­tain­ing nitro­gen, phos­pho­rous, and potas­sium. It may also con­tain minor elements.

Cor­don
Dec­o­ra­tively pruned tree hav­ing sev­eral tiers of hor­i­zon­tally grow­ing branches. Also per­ma­nent hor­i­zon­tal exten­sions of a grapevine trunk that bear fruit­ing spurs

Cross-pollination
Trans­fer of pollen from one flower to another.

Crotch
Angle formed where a branch joins the main trunk or a side branch grows off a main branch.

Cul­ti­var
Plant variety.

D

Day-neutral
A plant that flow­ers inde­pen­dent of photoperiod.

Decid­u­ous
Plant that sheds its leaves at the end of each grow­ing season.

Defo­li­a­tion
Con­di­tion of hav­ing lost leaves.

Degree Days
An accu­mu­la­tion of heat units based on aver­age tem­per­a­tures above a given thresh­old. For fruit grow­ing the use of a base­line of 42°F (DD42) or 50°F (DD50) is com­monly used.

Dif­fer­en­ti­ate
Act of becom­ing a fruit­ing or a veg­e­ta­tive bud.

Divi­sion
A form of veg­e­ta­tive prop­a­ga­tion where the plant crown is split into mul­ti­ple smaller plants capa­ble of grow­ing independently.

Domes­tic vari­ety
Fruit vari­eties con­sid­ered to have their ori­gin in Euro­pean or North Amer­i­can cli­mate as opposed to Asian or trop­i­cal cli­mates. This term is most com­monly used with grapes.

Dor­mancy
The con­di­tion of being dormant.

Dor­mant
Period dur­ing which active growth is sus­pended, but the plant is capa­ble of growth given proper conditions.

Dor­mant prune
To prune while the tree is dor­mant or dur­ing the dor­mant sea­son (typ­i­cally dur­ing the win­ter or very early spring).

Dou­ble leader
Occur­rence of two com­pet­ing, ver­ti­cal grow­ing shoots.

Drip line
Bound­ary of the area to which the branch tips extend. Rain drips to the ground at this bound­ary and forms a drip line on the ground.

Drought tol­er­ant
Able to with­stand lack of water or mois­ture stress conditions.

Drupe
A fleshy fruit devel­oped from a sin­gle carpel, made up of a hard stone sur­rounded by flesh and skin.

Dwarf
A tree of smaller size than a seedling would typ­i­cally pro­duce. Usu­ally achieved by graft­ing to dwarf­ing root­stock, manip­u­la­tive prun­ing, plant breed­ing, or with­hold­ing nutrients.

E

Emit­ter
The part of a trickle irri­ga­tion sys­tem through which water is deposited near the plant root system.

Ero­sion
Exces­sive wash­ing or blow­ing away of soil particles.

Espalier
Dec­o­ra­tive fruit tree trained to grow flat against a sup­port trel­lis or wall.

Ever­bear­ing
Pro­duc­ing more than one fruit crop in a sea­son, typ­i­cally sum­mer and fall. Most often refer­ring to straw­ber­ries, but some­times incor­rectly also applied to pri­mo­cane bear­ing raspberries.

Exoskele­ton
Hard, exter­nal sup­port cov­er­ing of an insect.

F

Fer­til­iza­tion
The trans­fer of genetic infor­ma­tion between male and female flower parts in the process of pollination.

Field heat
Accu­mu­lated heat within a just har­vest fruit.

Fil­a­ment
Stalk that sup­ports the anther. Male flower part.

Flor­i­cane
The sec­ond year cane of a bram­ble, capa­ble of bear­ing fruit.

Flower
Spe­cial­ized repro­duc­tive structure.

Flower bud
Bud con­tain­ing tis­sue that has dif­fer­en­ti­ated to become flower parts rather than tis­sue that will pro­duce shoots.

Frass
Excre­tion pro­duced by an insect larva.

Freeze dam­age
Dam­age to tis­sue by cold weather. The thresh­old for freeze dam­age will vary with plant species. Tem­per­ate zone fruit will typ­i­cally not be dam­aged when tem­per­a­tures stay above 32°F, while many trop­i­cal fruit will suf­fer dam­age at tem­per­a­tures above this.

French-American hybrid
Grape vari­eties devel­oped by cross­ing grapes of native Amer­i­can parent­age with those of Euro­pean parentage.

Frost pocket
Low lying area, prone to an accu­mu­la­tion of cold air.

Fruit
Seed bear­ing part of the plant con­tain­ing the mature ovary and related repro­duc­tive tissue.

Fruit­ing habit
Man­ner of fruit­ing and loca­tion of fruit on the tree.

Fruit set
Proper com­ple­tion of the fer­til­iza­tion process, exhib­ited by swelling of the ovary.

Fun­gus
Organ­ism with no chloro­phyll, leaves, or flow­ers that repro­duces by spores. Often respon­si­ble for fruit tree dis­eases. (plural: fungi).

Fungi­cide
Chem­i­cal used to con­trol fungi and the dis­eases they cause.

G

Genetic dwarf
Fruit tree that, as a result of breed­ing, grows nat­u­rally small in size with­out addi­tional manipulation.

Ger­mi­nate
Ini­tial growth of a seed or pollen grain.

Girdling
1. Chew­ing all the way around a tree trunk by rodents.
2. Acci­den­tal con­stric­tion of branch growth by a wire or tie.
3. To sharply cut rings into the bark sur­face with the pur­pose of encour­ag­ing blos­som production.

Graft Union
Area where scion and root­stock tis­sue are joined and grow together.

Graft­ing
Unit­ing scion and root­stock tis­sue to pro­duce addi­tional trees. see budding.

Green manure
Veg­e­ta­tive crop that is grown and plowed under to enhance soil. Usu­ally an annual grain or legume.

Ground color
The base color of the fruit skin; nor­mally green, sig­nals har­vest matu­rity by chang­ing or light­en­ing in color.

Growth habit
Nat­ural ten­dency to grow in a cer­tain shape or form (e.g. upright vs. spreading).

H

Hand-thinning
The prac­tice of remov­ing imma­ture fruit from the tree by selec­tive hand pick­ing for the pur­pose of increas­ing fruit size and qual­ity or remov­ing pest dam­aged fruit by non-chemical means.

Harden down
Slow­ing of active growth in prepa­ra­tion to with­stand cold temperature.

Har­di­ness
Degree to which a plant is hardy.

Hard­pan
Imper­vi­ous layer of soil.

Hard­wood cut­ting
Method of veg­e­ta­tive prop­a­ga­tion in which mature, often dor­mant wood is rooted.

Hardy
Able to with­stand severe cold tem­per­a­tures or to winter-over with­out protection.

Head­ing back
To cut back a branch to a weakly grow­ing lat­eral branch.

Hedgerow
Row of closely planted trees, grown for dec­o­ra­tive pur­poses or as pro­tec­tion from wind.

Heel-in
To lay the tree at an angle  and bury the roots in order to tem­porar­ily hold the tree if plant­ing time is delayed.

Her­bi­cide
Weed killer.

Host Plant
A plant where an insect or dis­ease can live.

Hybrid
Genetic cross of two plant species or varieties.

I

Incom­pat­i­bil­ity
Inabil­ity of scion and root­stock to form a strong graft union. Inabil­ity of pollen grain and egg to suc­cess­fully form a fer­til­ized egg that can mature.

Instar
Insect life stage that occurs between two suc­ces­sive molts.

Inte­grated Pest Man­age­ment (IPM)
Pest and dis­ease con­trol sys­tem based on under­stand­ing of fruit pro­duc­tion as a total, inter­re­lated cycle. Incor­po­rates tim­ing of man­made con­trols with exist­ing nat­ural con­trols to be least dam­ag­ing to the nat­ural envi­ron­ment. Uses selec­tive con­trol rather than broad spec­trum controls.

Intern­ode
The shoot area between two nodes.

Inter­stem
Sec­tion of root­stock grafted between scion and another root­stock, mainly to over­come incom­pat­i­bil­ity or adap­ta­tion problems.

J

June drop
Period approx­i­mately 15–30 days after full bloom when poorly pol­li­nated, unfer­til­ized, non-viable or excess fruit drop from the tree so that the fruit tree can more eas­ily sup­port the crop load and tree growth.

Juve­nile stage
Veg­e­ta­tive growth phase early in a tree’s life, dur­ing which it does not pro­duce fruit.

K

King bloom
First (and strongest) bloom to open in a flower cluster.

L

Larva
Imma­ture wing­less insect life-form that fol­lows egg hatch. (plural: larvae).

Lat­eral branch
Side branch grow­ing off of a pri­mary scaf­fold branch.

Lat­eral bud
A bud grow­ing on the side rather than the end of a branch.

Leach­ing
Wash­ing away of min­er­als in the soil due to per­co­lat­ing water.

Leader
The most vig­or­ous upward grow­ing branch.

Lee­ward
Side shel­tered from the wind.

Lenti­cel
Pore in the fruit skin or on the woody stem through which gases are exchanged between air and plant tissue.

Lime
Ground lime­stone applied to the soil to raise pH.

Loam
Soil com­posed of vary­ing amounts of sand, silt, and clay.

Lop­per
Long han­dled prun­ing tool used to cut branches to large in diam­e­ter for a prun­ing shear.

Low chill
Requir­ing min­i­mal (gen­er­ally less than 400 hours) expo­sure to tem­per­a­tures below 40 degrees in order to break dormancy.

M

Matu­rity
Stage of devel­op­ment when fruit has achieved its high­est eat­ing or stor­age quality.

Meta­mor­pho­sis
A marked change in phys­i­cal form (as in change from a worm to a winged insect).

Micro­cli­mate
Local­ized area of uni­form climate.

Mod­i­fied leader
Sys­tem of prun­ing in which a leader is encour­aged dur­ing the tree’s early life and then grad­u­ally sup­pressed by head­ing back. Com­monly used in cherry, pear and plum.

Mois­ture deficit
Con­di­tion where rain­fall has not returned soil mois­ture to field capacity.

Molt
To peri­od­i­cally cast off an exoskeleton.

Muck soil
Dark, min­er­al­ized soil where the orig­i­nal organic mat­ter is no longer recognizable.

Mulch
Organic mate­r­ial placed on the soil to con­serve soil mois­ture, main­tain even tem­per­a­ture or con­trol weeds.

Mycoplasma
A virus like organ­ism that can cause plant diseases.

N

Necro­sis
Death of plant tissue.

Nema­tode
Micro­scopic worm-like par­a­site that feeds on tree roots.

Nitro­gen fix­ing
Abil­ity of bac­te­ria within legume roots to con­vert atmos­pheric nitro­gen for use by the plant.

Node
Point where a leaf is attached to a shoot.

Notch
A small wedge shaped cut taken from a branch to encour­age or inhibit bud break.

Nutri­ents
Ele­ments nec­es­sary for plant growth.

Nymph
Imma­ture insect stage dif­fer­ing mostly in size from the adult.

O

Open cen­ter
Prun­ing sys­tem where branches are pruned to a vase shape with the cen­ter of the tree remain­ing open. Com­monly used with peaches.

Organic
1. Con­tain­ing car­bon
2. Hav­ing a nat­ural ori­gin as opposed to a syn­thetic origin.

Organic mat­ter
Decayed leaves, roots, or wood that are part of the soil.

Ovary
Female flower part. Enlarged base of the pis­til that pro­tects the ovules.

Over­win­ter
Sur­vive cold win­ter tem­per­a­tures in a dor­mant state.

Ovule
Female flower part. The “egg” con­tain­ing the genetic nucleus.

Own-rooted cut­ting
A plant, prop­a­gated by root­ing cut­tings as opposed to grafting.

P

Pathogen
Dis­ease caus­ing organism.

Peren­nial
Plant that grows for many years, with new growth each season.

Peri­carp
The wall of a ripened ovary.

Pes­ti­cide
A sub­stance that is used to kill pests. This includes insec­ti­cides (kills insects), fungi­cide (kills fungi), her­bi­cide (kills weeds), bac­te­ri­cide (kills bac­te­ria) or nemati­cide (kills nema­todes). The sub­stance can be a nat­ural mate­r­ial or one that is syn­thet­i­cally produced.

Petal
Showy, col­ored por­tion of a flower that serves to attract insects.

Peti­ole
The leaf stalk.

pH
Log­a­rith­mic scale from 0 to 14 that is used to express the acid­ity or alka­lin­ity of the soil.

Phe­nol­ogy
The study of recur­ring bio­log­i­cal events and their cor­re­la­tion with cli­matic con­di­tions. For gar­den­ing pur­poses, par­tic­u­larly pest devel­op­ment that cor­re­sponds with fruit growth stages and development.

Pheromone
Insect hormone.

Pho­to­syn­the­sis
Process of con­vert­ing water and atmos­pheric car­bon diox­ide into car­bo­hy­drates, with the help of chloro­phyll in the leaves and sunlight.

Pis­til
Female repro­duc­tive struc­ture within the flower, made up of stigma, style, and ovary.

Pis­til­late
A flower with female characteristics.

Pole pruner
Cut­ting tool on the end of a long pole, used to prune hard to reach branches.

Pollen grain
Male car­rier of genetic material.

Pol­l­enizer
Organ­ism that assists the pol­li­na­tion process, usu­ally a bee.

Pol­li­na­tion
Nec­es­sary part of the repro­duc­tive process where pollen is trans­ferred from the sta­men to the pistil.

Pome fruit
Fleshy fruit where sev­eral seeds are sur­rounded by a core.

Pre­co­cious
Tend­ing to bear fruit at a young age.

Prill
Spher­i­cal, pel­letized fer­til­izer granule.

Pri­mo­cane
A first year, veg­e­ta­tive bram­ble cane.

Prune
Removal of dis­eased, bro­ken or improp­erly located branches to main­tain or improve tree health.

Pubes­cent
Soft, hair-like cov­er­ing on the under­side of leaves.

Pupa(e)
Dor­mant, imma­ture life stage of an insect that under­goes com­plete metamorphosis.

R

Root­bound
Cramped growth of roots caused by grow­ing in too small a container.

Root­stock
Root mate­r­ial onto which a pro­duc­tive and use­ful fruit vari­ety is grafted.

Root­sucker
Shoot orig­i­nat­ing below ground from the roots or root­stock of a tree.

Rosette
Small, tight clus­ter of leaves grow­ing in a bunch due to poor shoot growth. Can be symp­tom of boron or zinc deficiency.

Run­ner
A mod­i­fied stem that sends out new plants at its tip.

S

Sand
Coarse tex­tured soil particle.

Scaf­fold
Pri­mary branches that arise from the tree trunk and form the main struc­ture of the canopy.

Scion
Plant tis­sue grafted to the root­stock to even­tu­ally form the fruit bear­ing por­tion of the tree bush, or vine.

Seedling
Tree pro­duced by grow­ing from seed rather than by grafting.

Self-fertile
A plant able to pol­li­nate itself and suc­cess­fully pro­duce fruit.

Self-sterile
A plant requir­ing cross-pollination by another vari­ety than itself in order to suc­cess­fully pro­duce fruit.

Self-unfruitful
Inabil­ity of a blos­som to be pol­li­nated by a blos­som of its own vari­ety. Self-sterile.

Sepal
Leaf-like struc­ture sur­round­ing a flower bud and even­tu­ally sup­port­ing an open flower.

Shat­ter
To drop from the vine when ripe.

Shuck split
Devel­op­men­tal stage in stone fruit where the last of the flower is shed away from around the devel­op­ing fruit.

Silt
A soil par­ti­cle inter­me­di­ate in size between sand and clay.

Skele­tonize
To chew away leaf or bud tis­sue so that only the veins (or skele­ton) remain.

Soft­wood cut­ting
Cut­ting of suc­cu­lent growth that is prop­a­gated by rooting.

Soil Type
Com­po­si­tion of the soil. Sand, loam, or clay.

Soil Tex­ture
Fine­ness of the par­ti­cle size of the soil type.

South­west Injury
Lon­gi­tu­di­nal split­ting of the tree bark in win­ter, usu­ally on the south­west side of the tree, caused by uneven expan­sion of trunk tis­sue that is heated by sun reflect­ing off bright snow.

Split appli­ca­tion
A full-season dose of fer­til­izer applied in mul­ti­ple smaller doses over sev­eral weeks time.

Spur
Mod­i­fied, com­pactly grow­ing branch that pri­mar­ily bears fruit buds.

Sta­men
Male flower part con­tain­ing pollen-bearing anthers that are sup­ported on a stalk known as the filament.

Sta­mi­nate
Have male flower characteristics.

Stan­dard (root­stock)
Size of a mature tree that is grown from a seedling of the given species. Nor­mally used as a mea­sure against which to express the size of a dwarf rootstock.

Stigma
Female flower part that is sticky and recep­tive to pollen.

Stone fruit
Fruit con­tain­ing one cen­tral pit.

Strig
The stem bear­ing a clus­ter of currants.

Style
Female flower struc­ture that sup­ports the stigma.

Sucker
An under­ground shoot aris­ing from the rootstock.

Sum­mer annual
A crop or plant that ger­mi­nates in sum­mer and dies that same season.

Sun­scald
see South­west Injury.

T

Table grape
A grape used pri­mar­ily for eat­ing fresh rather than wine or juice production.

Tem­per­ate zone
Area between the Tropic of Can­cer and the North Pole that expe­ri­ences annual change of warm and cold seasons.

Ter­mi­nal bud
Bud at the end of a branch, that when it grows devel­ops new shoot growth.

Thin­ning
1. Removal of excess fruit from the tree.
2. Removal of excess veg­e­ta­tive growth to allow sun­light into the inte­rior of the tree.

Tip layer
Prop­a­ga­tion tech­nique that pro­duces new plants by root­ing the tip of exist­ing canes or vines.

Tip­ping
Pinch­ing or prun­ing the grow­ing tip of a shoot for the pur­pose of encour­ag­ing side branch­ing or con­trol­ling the length of the shoot.

Tis­sue cul­ture
Clonal prop­a­ga­tion tech­nique where new plants are pro­duced from meris­tem tis­sue at the shoot tip.

Topog­ra­phy
Vari­a­tions in ele­va­tion of a par­cel of land. Tox­i­c­ity. Poi­son­ing of the plant by an over­dose of fer­til­izer or sen­si­tiv­ity to a pesticide.

Tox­i­c­ity
Poi­son­ing of the plant by an over­dose of fer­til­izer or sen­si­tiv­ity to a pesticide.

Train­ing
To spread and posi­tion tree branches so that they develop a strong, well bal­anced tree structure.

Triple mix
A fer­til­izer con­tain­ing nitro­gen, phos­pho­rous, and potassium.

Triploid
Hav­ing three times the mono­ploid num­ber of chro­mo­somes. Fruit vari­eties that are triploid have ster­ile pollen.

V

Vari­ety
Group of closely related plants within the same species. A species sub­group that shares traits com­mon to the species, but has its own indi­vid­ual char­ac­ter­is­tics. see cultivar.

Vec­tor
An insect or nema­tode that aids in the trans­mis­sion of a virus from one plant to another.

Veg­e­ta­tive growth
Shoot growth.

W

Water-logged
Soil with poor drainage, stand­ing water, and insuf­fi­cient oxy­gen for root growth.

Water sprout
Rapidly grow­ing shoot that grows from latent buds in the tree branches or trunk.

Water table
The nat­ural level of water within a given geo­graph­i­cal area.

Whip
Newly planted tree with side branches (and often a por­tion of the leader) pruned off to encour­age vig­or­ous new growth.

Whorl
Col­lec­tion of three or more branches radi­at­ing around the trunk.

Win­ter annual
Crop that ger­mi­nates in late winter/early spring and dies at the end of the grow­ing season.

Win­now
To sep­a­rate leaves, branches, and other debris from har­vested fruit.

Put your new vocab­u­lary to use grow­ing your fruit gar­den. Buy The Back­yard Orchardist: A com­plete guide to grow­ing fruit trees in the home gar­den or buy The Back­yard Berry Book: A hands-on guide to grow­ing berries, bram­bles and vine fruit in the home gar­den to learn all the hands-on “how-to. ”

©2014TheBackYardFruitGardener.com Adapted from The Back­yard Orchardist: A com­plete guide to grow­ing fruit trees in the home gar­den and The Back­yard Berry Book: A hands-on guide to grow­ing berries, bram­bles and vine fruit in the home gar­den by Stella Otto