News for the Horticulture Department

In the News

Hands holding a drip irrigation system

What does it mean to be a sustainable gardener?  According to Erica Chernoh, assistant professor of Practice in Community and Commercial Horticulture with Oregon State University Extension Service, there is no hard-and-fast definition.

Matthew Malcolm (Left) and Nik Wiman (right) standing in front of a PNP sign

Pacific Nut Producer Editor Matthew Malcolm met with Nik Wiman, Orchard Crops Extension Specialist at Oregon State University, to discuss the impact of the prionus californicus root borer and what growers can do about it.

Farmer Bruce Chapin observes a sweeper prepare hazelnuts for harvest at his orchard near Salem, Ore. He expects a new homegrown mutant strain of Eastern Filbert Blight to slow rather than stop hazelnut planting, especially if prices continue improving.

The finding by Oregon State University scientists indicates the fungal pathogen has evolved locally, thwarting disease resistance from the Gasaway cultivar that’s been bred into newer hazelnut tree varieties.

Prune summer-bearing red raspberries by taking out the dead fruiting canes in the late summer. From January through early March, when plants are dormant, remove all weak, broken and diseased canes to crown or soil level.Betsy Hartley/OSU Extension Service

Caneberries should be fertilized in the early spring when new growth is starting, explained Amanda Davis, berry crops research assistant with the Oregon State University Extension Service. 

Ramesh Sagili

Ramesh Sagili, an Oregon State University bee expert, has been appointed to a new pollinator subcommittee for the USDA National Agricultural Research, Extension Education and Economics Advisory Board.

Hazelnut trees in Oregon's Willamette Valley are facing a new strain of Eastern Filbert Blight that can defeat resistance to the pathogen that's been bred into new cultivars.  Ken & June’s Hazelnuts

Reports of worrisome symptoms prompted OSU to conduct a test last year that has verified the strain affects otherwise resistant hazelnut cultivars, said Nik Wiman, an OSU Extension horticulture specialist.

Oregon State University has a world renowned hazelnut breeding program, and the newest variety, Thompson, has recently been released. Thompson has some impressing features pacific northwest growers will be interested in. 

A colony of bees Wednesday, June 21, 2023, in College Park, Md. A recent survey says America's honeybee hives just staggered through the second highest death rate on record.  Julio Cortez / AP

Although the disease is not new, it appears to have gotten worse in the past five years, according to Andony Melathopoulos, an associate professor in the Department of Horticulture at OSU, and the co-principal investigator of the study.

Brian Pearson

Following a national search, Oregon State University has named Brian Pearson as the next permanent director of the Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hood River, according to a news release from the university.

Becky McCluskey, a senior research assistant with the Oregon State University hazelnut program, with a Thompson hazelnut tree.  OSU

The cultivar is geared toward maximizing yield potential per acre, including in fruiting wall systems harvested with over-the top machinery currently used for blueberries, said Shawn Mehlenbacher, OSU’s hazelnut breeder.

Oregon State University horticulture professor Scott Lukas compares the cross sections of different cultivars of kiwi berry compared to a Fuzzy Kiwi.  OSU

Scott Lukas, Oregon State University associate professor, said some fruits grown in the Northwest have tight margins, and farms face international competition.

Keith Mathews, horticultural pest and disease board program coordinator for Yakima County, Washington, shows a former cherry and apple orchard in Gleed. The orchard was removed in March 2022 to avoid contributing to any pest pressure on neighboring commer

This is one reason why codling moth pressure, once thought to be well-managed with IPM and pheromone disruption, is increasing, said Chris Adams, Oregon State University entomologist and chair of the Northwest’s codling moth task force.

Maud Powell, small farms Extension specialist at Oregon State University, explains the irrigation system connected to a pond at the farm she runs with her husband, Tom, near Jacksonville, Ore.

“You’re slowing the flow of water down as much as possible so the water stays on the land as long as possible,” said Maud Powell, a small farms specialist with Oregon State University Extension.

The campus in Corvallis is recognized for its more than 65,000 trees, shrubs

The Oregon State University campus in Corvallis is known for two features – its majestic brick study halls and the more than 65,000 individual trees that line its streets and walking paths.

Forest covered by smoke

"The wildfire smoke can severely impact wine quality,” Cody Copp, an Oregon State University assistant professor and horticulturist said. “And for a lot of vineyards and wineries it can make fruit unmarketable." 

Ken Polehn, center, answers questions about the Pearl series of cherries during the 2023 Oregon State University preharvest cherry tour on June 6 in The Dalles

A few dozen growers learned about quirks of growing Pearl series cherries, cherry breeding and leafhopper research on June 6 at Oregon State University’s annual preharvest cherry tour in The Dalles.

Upclose of butterfly

Entomologist Jeffrey Miller, retired from Oregon State University, has been painstakingly adding data points to the existing maps of Oregon butterflies.

Different tomatoes cut and spread out in an array on a wooden cutting board

A plant expert at Oregon State University developed a new type of tomato with blueberry-like health benefits. The purple tomato contains anthocyanins, a healthy antioxidant pigment found in blueberries.

A bee on flowers

Given their importance, it’s confounding to Andony Melathopoulos, a professor of horticulture at Oregon State University, that the status of Oregon’s roughly 800 species of wild bees is relatively unknown. 

A bee on a common snowberry

During an online seminar on Wednesday, Andony Melathopoulos, assistant professor and pollinator health extension specialist at Oregon State University, taught farmers how to make their land more hospitable to bees.

Spring crocus push through leaves, signs of spring, March 2, 2023, in Portland.

Erica Chernoh, Horticulture Faculty with OSU Extension in Lane County, agreed the season is a couple of weeks late, but said that can change quickly if the weather heats up.

Field of buzz cover crop seeds

Andony Melathopoulos is an associate professor in pollinator health at OSU. He told KLCC so far 10 wineries, including Eugene's King Estate, have swarmed at the chance to participate. 


But in Corvallis, the Turkish Student Association at Oregon State University feels for their friends and family. This is the case for Mustafa Bozkus, a graduate student at OSU studying horticulture.

Oregon lawmakers are considering House Bill 2610, which would direct $1 million to Oregon State University for the study of pest control alternatives, which is partly motivated by the loss of such insecticides as chlorpyrifos.

Oregon State University would receive $1 million to study pest control alternatives under a bill that’s partly meant to replace certain insecticides in specialty crops.

People taste-test different blueberry varieties and "selections"

Last week, Oregon State University hosted a blueberry cutting event during which people taste-tested 112 different blueberry selections and varieties.

Marek Stanton holding pollinator license plate

As of Wednesday, the Oregon State University Horticulture Department had reached its goal of 3,000 vouchers for the “Pollinator Paradise” plates.

Ag Life Daily News Report Logo

At the 7:13 mark of this episode, OSU researcher Brent Warneke talks about what’s available today in the agriculture industry for sensor-controlled spray systems as well as autonomous systems.

Radicchio salad in a bowl

Lane Selman thinks winter vegetables are under-appreciated and she wants to change that! The Oregon State University professor and creator of the Culinary Breeding Network joined us to share her tasty tips.

brown marmorated stink bug

Nik Wiman, an associate professor in the Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences, stated that the first BMSB to be detected in Oregon was found in Portland in 2004. Wiman says OSU has been researching the bugs for a decade.

Abigail Dollins - Statesman Journal

Dr. Patty Skinkis, viticulture extension specialist at Oregon State University, said people panicked over the frost. Skinkis’ job is to “help guide people in these uncertain times,” she said.

"The cast of our commercial project is made up of real students and faculty who make an impact on the world, and it's always inspiring to spend time with them," Baker said

Professor Gail Langellotto is shown working with OSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers and graduate students to bring urban Portland community gardens to life.

Federal dollars are being used to spur the next generation of Oregon farmers.

Oregon State University received $749,997 for its OSU Extension Small Farms Program, which is developing programs to help launch new farmers and ranchers.

A new Oregon State University Extension Service website provides a trove of science-based solutions for garden pests, weeds and disease problems in one easy-to-navigate place. 

The Oregon lava hole bee (Atoposmia oregona) had not been seen in Oregon since 1969.

A bee recently rediscovered in Oregon by an Oregon Bee Atlas (OBA) volunteer lives only on volcanoes, where it reproduces on tiny balls of pollen it stuffs into tiny bubbles in volcanic rock found in lava fields.

Elva Webster draws honey from a hive during a Spanish-language Master Beekeeping class.

Carolyn Breece, faculty research assistant and coordinator of the Spanish-language version of Master Beekeepers, said it’s the first program of its kind in the United States.

Scott Lukas harvesting blueberries

From a stint at a nursery to working in molecular biology to researching crops in Hermiston, Scott Lukas forged a circuitous route to his new position as Oregon State University Extension Service berry specialist.

Photo of Hazelnut acreage

Recent breakthroughs by Oregon State University researchers against a devastating tree disease has helped the state’s hazelnut industry more than double its acreage in the last decade.

Bowl of blackberries

Bernadine Strik was Oregon State University's berry specialist for over 35 years. She says a lot of this comes down to climate. The Willamette Valley has mild winters and usually temperate summers.

 Clover and ryegrass are the dominent plants in a pollinator lawn. Photo by Carolyn Breece.

To support pollinators, people have turned to creating eco-friendly spaces around their homes, including replacing their grass lawns with flowering plants.