Thanks to the Grand Rapids location of this year’s International Fruit Tree Association (IFTA) conference, attendees will have the opportunity to tour West Michigan-area orchards including recent V-trellis system apple tree plantings by Riveridge Land Company.

V-Trellis system

V-trellis system planting at the Grant Farm.

Riveridge Land Company Operations Manager Justin Finkler will be part of a four-person panel on Saturday, Feb. 6 discussing Optimized Training Systems for Fuji, Gala and Honeycrisp. Justin will be sharing details on vertical and V-trellis system plantings from the Grant, Michigan farm.

Information will include goals of V-trellis systems, start-up costs, land prep, nutrition, training techniques and growth to date along with imagery of one- and two-year established V-trellis systems. A comparison to Vertical trellis systems will also be included.

On Tuesday, Feb. 9, IFTA attendees have an opportunity to see first-hand the one-year and two-year V-trellis system growth at the Riveridge Land Company Farm in Grant, Mich.  The Grant location will be part of a multi-stop tour of orchards in the Ridge area north of Grand Rapids.

While the V-trellis system for apple tree plantings has long been established in other parts of world, namely Washington state, Riveridge Land Company is the first to bring the technique for apples to Michigan.

Benefits of the growing system include increased yields, higher color, better pack outs and easier pruning, thinning and picking management. While Riveridge Land Company V-trellis system program is only going into its third leaf, the trees have taken well and more plantings are planned for 2016.