Teryl Roper

USU Forestry Extension

Most Utahns are hoping for significant snowfall this winter so our lakes, reservoirs, and canals can be full of water next summer. Our way of life in these mountain valleys depends on winter snowfall, not only in the mountains, but in the valleys as well. Snowfall in the winter poses challenge for both fruit trees and shade trees. A little work now can prevent injury later.



  This program aired in September 2021.

The weather forecast for the next week predicts much cooler temperatures, fall is finally upon us. As fall progresses, fruit plants need some attention to help them prepare for winter.

Knowing When To Pick The Best Apples

Aug 20, 2021

As the heat of summer gives way to the cooler temperatures of fall, apples are maturing, and gardeners are wondering when the best time is to harvest apples. 

Managing Your Tree's Cold Dieback

Aug 6, 2021

I have observed and seen reports from many locations in northern Utah of fruit and nut trees dying back in the shoot tips. The ends of branches in the tops of trees are dead, while shoots lower on the tree grow normally. Some young trees have been killed outright. What conditions brought about this injury?

Problem Solving With Your Fruit Trees

Jun 19, 2021

Did your fruit trees flower and set fruit this spring? If not, what can you do to encourage flowering and fruit sets? In this segment, we'll explore some common problems and how to mitigate them. 

Planting New Fruit Trees In Your Yard

May 14, 2021

Spring is the best time to plant fruit trees. Nurseries and garden centers have both bare root and potted trees ready to plant. Either type of tree is equally good, but bare root trees are typically less expensive to purchase. For apple trees, choose trees that are on a dwarfing rootstock.

There Is Still Time To Prune Your Fruit Trees

Apr 30, 2021

It is still not too late to prune fruit trees for 2021. However, this is a task that should be done very soon. Use clean, sharp tools that are meant for pruning. Here are some principles to keep in mind while pruning fruit trees. 


Have you been perusing nursery catalogs to purchase apple trees of your favorite varieties that you're finding in the grocery store? I'm talking about new favorites like Pink Lady, Opal, Jazz, Envy, Kanzi, and Cosmic Crisp. Unfortunately, you won't find any of these at mailorder nurseries or local garden centers.

Preparing Fruit Plants For The Winter

Oct 20, 2020

Now it is time to begin preparing fruit plants to survive the winters cold. A few simple steps can make the difference between success and failure.

Preparing Fruit Trees For The Cold Weather

Sep 15, 2020

At long last, the temperatures are beginning to cool in northern Utah. Some locations have already experienced black frosts. During September the last of the peaches and apples will be harvested. At the end of the season, it's time to begin preparing fruit trees for the cold weather that will surely come. The idea is to not do things that encourage growth. Here are some ideas to consider.

Tips For Growing New Trees

Jun 12, 2020

Every year Utah farmers and gardeners plant new fruit trees. Some are planted as bare root trees and others were planted from pots. Hopefully, by now your small tree has leaked out and is showing good signs of life. Following our six precautions to take with your tender new fruit trees.

Pruning Fruit Trees

Mar 18, 2020
pruning sheers and gardening equipment on a table

This episode of The Green Thumb originally aired on March 1, 2019.

This is Teryl Roper, extension pomolgist at Utah State University. Now is a good time to prune fruit trees. The coldest part of the winter has passed and the fruit trees are still dormant.

What To Do With Your Aging Fruit Trees

Aug 23, 2019

Many Utah homes have fruit trees planted as a part of the home landscape.  Fruit trees provide shade, screening and beauty, as well as providing fruit for table use or preservation.  However, as trees get older, they get taller, and most of the fruit production moves to the tops of the trees where there is light.  Fruit in the tops of the trees are also difficult to spray and harvest.  


Fruit trees that don’t receive enough water will have stunted growth and the leaves may wilt, curl and sunburn.  Fruit can also be affected, resulting in fruit that is small, shriveled and sunburned.  Thus, irrigating trees is very important during the spring, summer and fall in arid Utah.  

Six Precautions For Your Tender New Fruit Trees

Jun 7, 2019
Etienne GONTIER / Pixabay

Every year Utah farmers and gardeners’ plant new fruit trees.  Some were planted as bare root trees and others were planted from pots.  The following are six precautions to take with your tender new fruit trees. 

All Things Age, Including Your Fruit Trees

Apr 19, 2019
Hans - Pixabay

Every living thing ages over time. This is as true for plants, as it is for people. Even the giant redwoods and sequoias of California age over their prolonged lifetimes.

Now Is A Good Time To Prune Your Fruit Trees

Mar 15, 2019

Now is a good time to prune fruit trees. The coldest part of the winter has passed and the trees are still dormant. Fruit trees need pruning every year to keep the trees healthy and to encourage the growth of new fruiting wood that is essential to ongoing production. However, very old trees or trees that have neglected for years should be considered for total removal.


Now that the leaves have dropped from most of our fruit plants there are still a few chores left to do to prepare trees for frigid winter weather.

The First Killing Frost Of The Season

Oct 19, 2018

It won’t be too long until we experience the first killing frost and that will end the 2018 gardening season.