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Top Researcher Delighted At Recognition

Complete surprise was John Palmer's first reaction the International Dwarf Fruit Tree Association (IDFTA) presented him with an award for being an Outstanding Researcher.

Dr Palmer, a physiologist with HortResearch, was attending the IDFRA conference in Napier when he received the award. He has been involved in the development of intensive plantings on dwarfing rootstocks for many years and said he was delighted to receive this international recognition.

"I am endeavouring to further our understanding of the interrelationship not only between the organs of an apple tree, including the rootstock, but also between the tree and its external environment.

"I have been fortunate in my career, to not only be involved in some of the more theoretical aspects of orchard design but also some of the more applied aspects on growers' farms, where perhaps the rubber really meets the road!" he said.

President of the IDFTA, Dr Steve Blizzard said Dr Palmer has worked for 20 years at the East Malling research centre in England, before moving to Nelson in 1991. His areas of expertise included canopy light utilisation, canopy physiology, and planting systems including the use of semi-intensive planting systems with M9 and interstem trees.

John Paynter, a Hawke's Bay orchardist and businessman and a former HortResearch board member received an Outstanding Grower award at the same function.


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