Master Pomology Class Begins February 20 at Cooperative Extension

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Of course, we all know Henderson County grows 85% of North Carolina’s apples. We see those delicious fruits hanging from the trees every fall and can’t wait to savor our favorite variety.

Wouldn’t you like to grow a few trees in your yard or learn more about the ones you already have? Well, Master Pomology is the place for you. Whether you have no trees, one tree, several trees or are a commercial grower, Master Pomology takes a deep dive into the science of tree fruit.

Henderson County offers the only Master Pomology class in Western North Carolina and it only comes along once every two years. Registrations are being accepted now for the upcoming series of classes. The course consists of seven sessions held once weekly.

The 2024 class will begin on February 20, 2024, and run until around April 9 depending on the weather. Occasionally, we must cancel a class due to inclement weather and make it up at the end. Classes begin at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays with field experiences or laboratory exercises from 2 to 4 p.m. each class day.

The cost of the class is $150.00 and includes all materials needed for the class. You can find the registration form here, 2024 MP Application or they are also available at our office, which is located at 100 Jackson Park Road, Hendersonville, NC. Completed applications can be dropped off at our office, mailed, or emailed to Payment can be made by cash or check. Checks should be made payable to “North Carolina Cooperative Extension” or “NCCE”. 

The class utilizes many experts in tree fruit production to teach various sections of the course. Topics covered will include tree physiology, production history, varieties, soils and nutrition, pollination, frost, and freeze protection, thinning, pruning, insect and disease control practices, training and trellising trees, propagation, and other topics.

As the season starts to unfold, there will be opportunities for field experiences to help explain and illustrate the classroom materials. The Blue Ridge Apple Growers Association along with the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Henderson County Center maintains a variety block in the county off of Chestnut Gap Road where many of the outdoor sessions will be held.

There is also a requirement of 40 hours of volunteer work in the variety block or the Extension apple program in addition to the course work in order to complete the class. Students have up to a year to complete this requirement and often find these experiences to be quite informative as well.

If you are a tree fruit enthusiast, this is the class for you. We also cover culture of peaches, cherries, and other tree fruit; however, the class is heavily tilted toward apples. But if you are into other tree fruits you will learn applications relative to them as well. Please complete registration by January 31, 2024, in order to be included in this year’s class.

We hope you will join an enthusiastic group of classmates to learn more about those delicious fruits of which we are so fond. Application for the class is open to anyone regardless of whether you live in Henderson County or not. However, space is limited, so get your application in early. Hope to see you in Master Pomology beginning in February.