Funding from the farmer-led Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has established one of the world’s largest Juneberry research nurseries at the Cornell Willsboro Research Farm in Willsboro, NY.
Research leaders Michael B. Burgess, an Amelanchier biologist with the Department of Biological Sciences at SUNY Plattsburgh, and Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station Willsboro Research Farm Manager Michael H. Davis started with and are continuing to build a living collection of Amelanchier that includes all commercially available cultivars, wild-collected novel fruit cultivars, and North American diploid Amelanchier species.
Seeds from 8 Amelanchier species: A. alnifolia, A. arborea, A. canadensis, A. gaspensis, A. humilis, A. laevis, A. sanguinea, and A. spicata, collected from across the Northeast, the Gaspe Peninsula and southern Quebec, were cold stratified for 2-3 months and successfully germinated in the SUNY Plattsburgh greenhouse. Seedlings were transplanted to the Willsboro Research Farm nursery. The first substantive crop of fruit is expected in 2017.
The Cornell Willsboro Research Farm will have the most taxonomically diverse living collection of North American Amelanchier species and fruit cultivars in the world. Replicated trials at the nursery will support development of a vibrant juneberry fruit industry.
To support grower entry into the Juneberry market, the Cornell Willsboro Research Farm Amelanchier nursery will provide evidence-based resources and best management practices for Juneberry production, including plant establishment techniques, fertility requirements, planting densities, organic production, and weed, insect, and disease control strategies.
Burgess and Davis have partnered with Jim Ochterski, a leading Juneberry proponent and educator in NY’s Finger Lakes region. They offer resources and workshops for growers and those interested in producing and marketing juneberries.
Ochterski will be the featured speaker at a June 12 Juneberry Production Workshop in Ovid, NY. The workshop is organized by Seneca County Cornell Cooperative Extension. Click here for details on this in-depth introduction to juneberry cultivation. The workshop also includes a field tour to Juneberry Farm, owned by Guy Lister, in Willard, NY.
Click here for the NNYADP Juneberry Nursery flier that Seneca County CCE is including in the workshop packets. Thank you, all!