I am an applied fruit crop physiologist. My goal is to solve practical fruit production problems that will increase the profitability and strength of the New York fruit industry and fruit growers around the world. My program is largely field oriented and of an applied nature.
I am an applied fruit crop physiologist. My goal is to do practical research and extension on tree fruit production problems that will increase the profitability and strength of the NY fruit industry and fruit growers around the world. My research and extension efforts are in 5 areas:
1. Orchard Systems: My goal is to understand the fundamental principles of orchard system performance in both biological and economic terms. I do in-depth studies at Geneva and applied trials on grower's farms around the state in cooperation with extension field staff (Steve Hoying, Mike Fargione and Kevin Iungerman). Our field trials are evaluated from an economic perspective in cooperation with Gerald White, and Alison DeMarree.
2. Rootstocks: My goal is to evaluate apple rootstocks for adaptability and performance under New York conditions. We are testing rootstocks from around the world including new Cornell-Geneva series of rootstock. This work is done in cooperation with Genarro Fazio of the USDA, Herb Aldwinckle of Plant Pathology and the national rootstock testing project- NC-140.
3. Crop Load and Canopy Management: My goal is to develop improved thinning and canopy management practices that improve fruit size and fruit quality while managing orchard tree canopies at a variety of tree densities. This work is in cooperation with and Alan Lakso, Lailiang Cheng, Duane Greene of U. of Mass and Greg Lang of Michigan State University.
4. Extension Leadership I provide leadership to the fruit research and extension team at Cornell by serving on the advisory committees of all the tree fruit extension specialists. I lead the effort to provide high quality in-service training meetings for extension educators by combining our in-service meeting with Michigan and Ontario Canada. I serve as editor, of the NY Fruit Quarterly which is the primary research reporting magazine that provides the fruit industry with regular communication on the progress of research programs at Cornell.
Outreach and Extension Focus
My research and extension program is aimed at solving practical fruit production problems that will increase the profitability and strength of the NY fruit industry. My program is largely field oriented and of an applied nature. I am working in 6 areas to accomplish my goals.
• Orchard Systems: My goal is to understand the fundamental principles of orchard system performance by studying the effects of tree form, orchard planting configuration and rootstock on light interception and utilization by the canopy and their relation to yield, precocity, fruit quality and pest control.
• Rootstocks: My goal is to evaluate apple rootstocks for adaptability and performance under New York conditions. Much of our work over the last 10 years has been to evaluate the performance of the new Cornell-Geneva series of rootstock developed by Dr. Jim Cummins.
• Maximizing New Tree Growth: My goal is to study factors influencing the growth and cropping of young fruit trees to maximize early tree performance and reduce the turn-around time and investment associated with orchard renewal.
• Crop Load and Canopy Management: My goal is to develop improved thinning and canopy management practices that improve fruit size and fruit quality while managing orchard tree canopies at a variety of tree densities.
• Irrigation/Fertigation: My goal is to develop irrigation strategies and scheduling programs that will enhance fruit size and yield of both young and older orchards.
• Economics of Orchard Systems: My goal is to develop sound economic evaluations of different orchard systems to assist growers in making wise investment decisions.
Awards and Honors
- Hall of Fame (2015) International Fruit Tree Association
- Outstanding Extension Educator (2014) American Society for Horticultural Science
- Service Gold Medal (2014) International Society for Horticultural Science
- Outstanding Horticulturist (2011) Brazilian Apple Growers Association
- Yoon, T. M., Robinson, T. L., & Osborne, J. L. (2011). Blossom thinning of 'Redhaven' and 'Babygold 5' peaches with different chemicals. Acta Horticulturae. 903:833-839.
- Robinson, T. L., Lopez , S., & Iungerman, K. (2011). Chemical thinning and summer PGR's for consistent return cropping of ÔHoneycrispÕ apples. Acta Horticulturae. 884:635-642.
- Reginato, G. H., Robinson, T. L., & Yoon, T. M. (2011). Crop regulation and cytokinin sprays to improve 'Sweetheart' sweet cherry fruit size. Acta Horticulturae. 903:849-856.
- Lang, G., Valentino, T., Robinson, T. L., Freer, J., Larsen, H., & Pokharel, R. (2011). Differences in mineral nutrient concentration of dormant cherry spurs as affected by rootstock, scion, and orchard site. Acta Horticulturae. 903:963-971.
- Yoon, T. M., Robinson, T. L., & Reginato, G. H. (2011). Effects of temperature and light level on efficiency of chemical thinner on 'empire' apple trees. Acta Horticulturae. 903:1085-1093.
- Elkins, R. B., Castagnoli, S., Embree, C., Parra-Quezada, R., Robinson, T. L., Smith, T. J., & Ingels, C. A. (2011). Evaluation of potential rootstocks to improve pear tree precocity and productivity. Acta Horticulturae. 909:183-194.
- Robinson, T. L. (2011). High density pear production with Pyrus communis rootstocks. Acta Horticulturae. 909:259-269.
- Fazio, G., Aldwinckle, H. S., Robinson, T. L., & Wan, Y. (2011). Implementation of molecular marker technologies in the apple rootstock breeding program in Geneva - challenges and successes. Acta Horticulturae. 903:61-68.
- Autio, W., Robinson, T. L., Cowgill, T. L., Hampson, C., Kushad, M., Lang, G., Masabni, j., Miller, D. D., Parra-Quezada, R. A., Perry, R., & Rom, C. (2011). Performance of 'Gala' apple trees on Supporter 4 and different strains of B.9, M.9, and M.26 rootstocks as part of the 2002 NC-140 apple rootstock trial. Acta Horticulturae. 903:311-318.
- Robinson, T. L., Hoying, S. A., & Fazio, G. (2011). Performance of Geneva¨ rootstocks in on-farm trials in New York state. Acta Horticulturae. 903:249-255.
Presentations and Activities
- Extending your apple harvest via the strategic use of growth regulators. 2011 Upper Hudson and Champlain Commercial Tree-Fruit School. February 2011. Cornell University, CCE. Fort William Henry Hotel and Conference Center, Lake George, NY.
- Mechanics of controlling drop in the orchard: Use of NAA, Retain, and Harvista. The Empire State Fruit and Vegetable Expo. January 2011. CCE, NYS Vegetable Growers, Empire State Potato Club, NYS Berry Growers Assn, NYS Horticulture Society, NYS Direct Marketing Assn, Associated NYS Food Processors, Cornell University. Oncenter Convention Center, Syracuse NY.