" Purdue Pomology Lab
Skip Ribbon Commands Skip to main content

Purdue Pomology Lab

Horticulture & Landscape Architecture > Purdue Pomology Lab
Purdue Pomology

Welcome to the lab of
Dr. Peter Hirst. 

In our program we work on the biology and management of fruit trees, primarily apple.

The primary focus of our research is in 2 main areas:

  • Tree Architecture. A more complete understanding of tree form has many applications in the areas of pruning, tree modeling, and automation of orchard practices
  • Fruit Development. We are studying each phase of the two year fruit development process, starting with transition of buds from vegetative to floral, followed by pollination and fruit growth.
We collaborate broadly across disciplines including engineering and computer graphics and have good relationships with programs around the world. Lab members hail from many countries and bring a diverse cultural and educational background to the lab.


​ ​


Dr. Janick featured in Ag Connections about His 65 Years at Purdue

  Jules Janick founded Horticulture Reviews (green books in photo) in 1979 and Plant Breeding Review (blue books) in 1983 and edits every volume. By the time he hands over the editing chores to successors next year, he will have edited a combined 84 volumes. Janick is 84.   Photos by Tom Campbell


​An Excerpt... Read More

Purdue Horticultural society summer meeting to welcome fruit growers

​WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Indiana Horticultural Society summer meeting will focus on all tree fruit, grape and berry crops through tours and demonstrations on June 23 at Purdue University's Meigs Horticultural Research Farm.

The meeting will start at 9 a.m. and focus on sprayer calibration, determining the quality of spray water and exhibitor introductions in the morning. The meeting will conclude at 8 p.m. after the following tours:  * Dwarf apple tree management. * Avoiding... Read More

Prune fruit trees into shape

​Thursday, April 23, 2015 3:00 PM

GOSHEN, Ind. — A crowd gathered in a field A young apple blossom starts to show at Kercher’s Sunrise Orchard. The Twilight Fruit Growers Meeting was April 16 at Kercher’s Sunrise Orchard.  Pruning is both an art form and a science. There are several different approaches growers can take to prune fruit trees. The No. 1 mistake growers make? Damaging vulnerable, young trees by excessive pruning — which affects growth later in the tree’s... Read More

“Edward Scissorhands” Replacing Hand Pruning

​Two projects are underway in the Midwest to test and expand the use of mechanical grape vine pruning. One project in Wisconsin will evaluate mechanical rough pruning for cold climate hybrids. Another research project at Purdue University is looking at cutting edge technology to perform finer pruning using robotics.

 During 2012, David Danzinger of Danzinger Vineyards in Alma, Wisconsin secured a grant from the USDA to study mechanical grape pruning in Wisconsin. The... Read More

The Robots are Coming

​The day before Halloween, I wrote a story about Pleasanton, Calif.-based Adept Technology Inc., whose automated ClamPAC system is now being used to pack clamshells at San Juan Batista, Calif.-based Earthbound Farm.

The next night, following my kids around the dark streets of our neighborhood, I was just a tiny bit afraid of running into someone in a Terminator costume.

Are robots taking over? Should we be scared?

For the fresh produce industry, the answers to... Read More