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Our Nurseryman's Dozen
Glossary of Terms
Glossary of TermsAcid - determines the degree of sharpness or briskness in the flavor of an apple.
Areolar – adjective describing to the colored area around a lenticel dot. Also may indicate a small hollow in the skin.
Bareroot - field dug with all the soil shaken loose from the roots.
Biennial - bearing heavy crops in alternate years. May be controlled to some degree by thinning blossoms on the full-crop year.
Bloom - the fine gray “dust” found on apples, plum, and grapes at harvest.
Blush - a rose-colored area on the skin, usually on the sunny side of the fruit.
Breaking - the “crunch” that results from biting into an apple with firm, crisp flesh.
Central leader - the center limb of a tree, from which side branches are trained.
Cultivar - a cultivated variety.
Dessert - good for eating out of hand.
Diploid - the normal genetic arrangement in an apple, allowing for varying degrees of self-pollination.
Espalier - a tree that is trained to grow in two dimensions, usually against a wall or with the support of a trellis.
Graft union - the point where rootstock and scion are joined. Graft unions are sometimes inconspicuous, sometimes obvious.
Heading back - pruning usually a one-year whip to stimulate branching and to develop a sturdy basic structure.
Hardiness - the ability of a particular cultivar to withstand environmental extremes.
Keeper - an apple good for storing through the winter.
King fruit - the center fruit in a cluster, usually the largest.
Lenticels - the “dots” on an apple that allow it to breath. Lenticel dots vary in size, shape, and color.
Mottled - an irregular and thick covering of inconspicuous dots.
Oblate - flatly round, wider than tall.
Oblique - slanted to one side.
Pearmain - pearlike flavor
Pippin - a seed or seedling tree.
Pome fruit - apples and pears.
Pomology - the science of fruit cultivation.
Precocious - tending to bear at an early age.
Rainette - conspicuously spotted.
Rootstock - the root system onto which selected cultivars are grafted. Determines the mature size of a grafted tree.
Russet - reddish brown or yellowish brown, often with a rough, sandpapery feel.
Scaffold branch - a branch that originates from the central leader.
Scion - a cutting taken usually for the purpose of grafting.
Seedling - a plant grown from seed--as opposed to being propagated by grafting.
Semi-dwarf - a variety grafted onto a size-controlling rootstock. Semi-dwarf trees can range from 15 to 25’ tall.
Sport - a variety that comes from a bud mutation, producing usually a differently colored apple from that of the parent tree.
Standard - a full-size tree.
Stone fruit - apricot, cherry, nectarine, peach, and plum.
Subacid - a mix of sweet and tart.
Thinning - removing crowded, immature fruitlets to prevent limb breakage and to grow larger fruit.
Tip bearer - a variety that produces fruit toward the terminal end of one and two-year branches. Requires special pruning.
Triploid - genetic arrangement that renders a tree self-unfruitful. Such varieties must be pollinated by another variety to set fruit.
Vinous - wine-like in flavor.
Weeping type - not a true weeping form—as in a weeping cherry--but more a bent, drooping habit, the result of heavy fruiting.
Whip - a straight, usually unbranched, one- year tree.