Gregory Lang


Gregory Lang


1066 Bogue St, Room A338-D
East Lansing, MI 48824

Phone: 517-353-0388

Area of Expertise: Tree fruit horticulture, physiology, genetic evaluation, and production systems including high tunnels, training systems, and organics

Quick links: Education    Publications    Research

Joined Department

July 10, 2000


75% Research (MSU AgBioResearch)
25% Extension


Ph.D. in Plant Physiology, December 1986, Univ. of California-Davis 
M.S. in Pomology, June 1983, Univ. of California-Davis 
B.S. in Horticultural Science, June 1981, University of Georgia

Prior Academic Positions

Associate Professor, Washington State University (1994-2000)    

Assistant/Associate Professor, Louisiana State University (1986-1994)

Invited International Lectures 

  • Australia 
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Serbia
  • Spain
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom

Honors and Awards 

  • 1st Wallace Heuser Presidential Lecture, International Fruit Tree Association Annual Conference (2015) 
  • Keynote Speaker, 7th ISHS Cherry Symposium (Spain, 2013)
  • American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) Outstanding Graduate Educator Award (2010)
  • Keynote Speaker, 6th ISHS Cherry Symposium (Chile, 2009)
  • Top 100 Innovative Horticulturists of the Past 125 Years (American Fruit Grower magazine, 2005)
  • International Fruit Tree Association Outstanding Researcher Award (2001)
  • American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) L.M. Ware Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award (1981)

Recent Presentations


Research Interests

Tree Fruit Horticulture & Physiology

A primary focus is on cultural (innovative production systems) and physiological (reproductive and environmental stress) factors important to efficient production of high-value tree fruits. My laboratory group takes a diverse and integrative research approach through studies of meristem determination and growth regulation, carbon and nitrogen assimilation and partitioning, rootstock evaluation and characterization, and environmental limitations to refine orchard systems and management, primarily in stone fruits.

Orchard Microclimate Modification Technologies

A primary focus is on understanding and optimizing the utilization of orchard microclimate-modifying technologies, such as high tunnels and retractable covering systems, to enhance production quality and consistency of tree fruits including sweet cherries, apricots, nectarines, and plums.

Sweet Cherry Genetic Improvement

A primary focus is on identification, evaluation, and development of important traits found within sweet cherry scion and rootstock germplasm to enhance fruit quality and reduce production inputs, such as fungicides.

Bacterial Canker Research

In collaboration with plant pathologists, my laboratory group also focuses on developing integrative strategies for reducing Pseudomonas syringae infections in sweet cherry production. 

View Dr. Greg Lang’s research on Sweet Cherries, High Tunnels, Tart CherriesComprehensive PubsFruit Bud HardinessApple NC140 Project, and Stone Fruit Releases.

View the Great Lakes Fruit Workers

Cherry Training Systems Guides

Sweet Cherry Training Guide (2015)


Sweet Cherry Training Guide (in Spanish)



Download the Cherry Training Systems Guide as a free application for computer tablets like the iPad or Android-based tablets:

iPad (

Android tablets (

Sweet Cherry Training Videos

YouTube Source:

Giselacherry Source: Cherry Pruning Videos


Selected Recent Publications

  • Ayala, M. and G.A. Lang. 2015. 13C-Photoassimilate partitioning in sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) during early spring. Ciencia e Investigacion Agraria 42:191-203.            
  • Lang, G.A., S. Blatt, C. Embree, J. Grant, S. Hoying, C. Ingels, D. Neilsen, G. Neilsen, and T. Robinson. 2014. Developing and evaluating intensive sweet cherry orchard systems: the NC140 regional research trial. Acta Hort. 1058:113-120.
  • Lang, G.A., G.-Q. Song, K.D. Sink, A.E. Walworth, M.A. Cook, and R.F. Allison. 2014.Transgenic gene silencing confers increased resistance to Prunus necrotic ringspot virus in cherry rootstocks. Acta Hort. 1058:547-552.
  • Lang, G.A. 2014. Growing sweet cherries under plastic covers and tunnels: physiological aspects and practical considerations. Acta Hort. 1020:303-312.
  • Oraguzie, N.C., D. Ophardt, M.D. Whiting, G.A. Lang, and L.E. Long. 2014. Cowiche™ (‘PC 7903-2’) sweet cherry. HortScience 49:1346-1348.
  • Lang, G.A. 2013. Tree fruit production in high tunnels: current status and case study of sweet cherries. Acta Hort. 987:73-81.
  • Lang, G., E. Hanson, J. Biernbaum, D. Brainard, M. Grieshop, R. Isaacs, A. Montri, V. Morrone, and A. Schilder, D. Conner, and J. Koan. 2013. Holistic integration of organic strategies and high tunnels for Midwest/Great Lakes fruit production. Acta Hort. 1001:47-55. 
  • Kappel, F., G. Lang, A. Azarenko, T. Facteau, A. Gaus, R. Godin, T. Lindstrom, R. Nuñez-Elisea, R. Pokharel, M. Whiting and C. Hampson. 2013. Performance of sweet cherry rootstocks in the 1998 NC-140 regional trial in western North America. J. Amer. Pomol. Soc. 67:186-195.
  • Song, G.-Q., K.C. Sink, A.E. Walworth, and G.A. Lang. 2013. Engineering cherry rootstocks with resistance to Prunus necrotic ring spot virus through RNAi-mediated silencing. Nature Biotechnology doi:10.1111 / pbi.12060. 
  • Lang, G.A. 2012. Strategie e techniche innovative per produzioni di alta qualità. Rivista di Frutticoltura April (4):24-28.
  • Ouzounis, T. and G.A. Lang. 2011. Foliar applications of urea affect nitrogen reserves and cold acclimation of sweet cherries (Prunus avium L.) on dwarfing rootstocks.  HortScience 46:1015-1021.
  • Lang, G., T. Valentino, H. Demirsoy, and L. Demirsoy. 2011. High tunnel sweet cherry studies: innovative integration of precision canopies, precocious rootstocks, and environmental physiology. Acta Hort. 903:717-723.
  • Lang, G., T. Valentino, T. Robinson, J. Freer, H. Larsen, and R. Pokharel. 2011. Differences in mineral nutrient concentration of dormant cherry spurs as affected by rootstock, scion, and orchard site. Acta Hort. 903:93-971.
  • Olmstead, J.S., M.D. Whiting, G.A. Lang, D. Ophardt, and N.C. Oraguzie. 2011. PC7064-3 (Selah™) sweet cherry.  HortSci.46:123-124.
  • Lang, G.A. 2011. Strategie di conduzione per l’alta qualità. Rivista di Frutticoltura October (10) Suppl:16-17.
  • Olmstead, J.S., M.D. Whiting, G.A. Lang, D. Ophardt, and N.C. Oraguzie. 2011. PC7146-8 (Benton™) sweet cherry.  HortSci.46:121-122. 
  • G.A. Lang. 2011. Proizvodne prakse za stone trešnje sadašnjost I buduńánost proizvodnje za izvoz. USAID Serbia Agrobiznis Projekat, 31 pp.
  • Oraguzie, N.C., D. Ophardt, M.D. Whiting, G.A. Lang, and L.E. Long.  2010.  Kiona™ sweet cherry.  HortSci. 45:1906-1907.
  • Demirsoy, H. and G.A. Lang. 2010. Validation of a leaf area estimation model for sweet cherry. Spanish J. Agricul. Res. 8(3):830-832.
  • Olmstead, M.A., N.S. Lang, and G.A. Lang. 2010. Carbohydrate profiles in the graft union of young sweet cherry trees grown on dwarfing and vigorous rootstocks. Scientia Hortic. 124:78-82.
  • Costas, P., J.-H. Ko, G.A. Lang, A.F. Iezzoni, and K.-H. Han. 2009. Rootstock-induced dwarfing in cherries is caused by differential cessation of terminal meristem growth and is triggered by rootstock specific gene regulation. Tree Physiology 29:927-936.
  • Mulabagal, V., G.A. Lang, D.L. DeWitt, S.S. Dalavoy, and M.G. Nair. 2009. Anthocyanin content, lipid peroxidation and cyclooxygenase enzyme inhibitory activities of sweet and sour cherries. J. Agric. Food Chem. 57(4):1239-1246.
  • Lang, G.A. 2009. High tunnel tree fruit production - the final frontier? HortTech 19(1):50-55.
  • Lang, G.A. and R.J. Lang. 2008. VCHERRY - an interactive growth, training, and fruiting model to simulate sweet cherry tree development, yield, and fruit size. Acta Hort. 803:235-242.
  • Song, G.-Q., G.A. Lang, S.V. Dolgov, and K.C. Sink. 2008. Cherries. pp. 161-188 in: Kole, C. and T.C. Hall (eds.), Compendium of Transgenic Crop Plants: Transgenic Temperate Fruits and Nuts. Volume 4. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK. 
  • Ayala, M. and G.A. Lang. 2008. 13C-Photoassimilate partitioning in sweet cherry on dwarfing rootstocks during fruit development. Acta Hort. 795:625-632.
  • Lang, G.A. 2008. Sweet cherry orchard management: from shifting paradigms to computer modeling. Acta Hort 795:597-604.
  • Kappel, F. and G. Lang. 2008. Performance of the NC-140 regional sweet cherry rootstock trial planted in 1998 in North America. Acta Hort. 795:317-320.
  • Lang, G.A. 2008. Global climate change on a micro scale: high tunnel systems for sweet cherry production. Compact Fruit Tree 41(2):5-7.
  • Lang, G. 2007. Timing critical to develop precocious sweet cherries. Fruit Grower News 46(2):12-15. 
  • Lang, G. 2007. High tunnel production systems work for dwarf sweet cherries. Fruit Grower News 46(4):34-36.
  • Olmstead, M.A., N.S. Lang, G.A. Lang, F.W. Ewers, and S.A. Owens. 2006. Examining the vascular pathway of sweet cherries grafted onto dwarfing rootstocks. HortScience 41:674-679.
  • Lang, G. 2006. Will VCHERRY be the sharpest pruning tool in your shed? Compact Fruit Tree 39(2):7-9.
  • Lang, G.A. 2005. Underlying principles of high density sweet cherry—production. Acta Hort. 667:325-336.
  • Lang, G. 2004. Great Lakes sweet cherries could compete in fresh—market. Fruit Grower News 43(11):26-28.
  • Whiting, M.D. and G.A. Lang. 2004. ‘Bing’ sweet cherry on the—dwarfing rootstock Gisela 5: thinning affects fruit quality and vegetative growth, but not net CO2 assimilation. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 129:407-415. 
  • Ayala, M. and G.A. Lang. 2004. Examining the influence of different leaf populations on sweet cherry fruit quality. Acta Hort. 636:481-488. 
  • Lang, G.A., J.W. Olmstead, and M.D. Whiting. 2004. Sweet cherry fruit distribution and leaf populations: Modeling canopy dynamics and management strategies. Acta Hort. 636:591-599.
  • Maguylo, K., G.A. Lang, and R.L. Perry. 2004. Rootstock genotype affects flower distribution and density of ‘Hedelfinger’ sweet cherry and ‘Montmorency’ sour cherry. Acta Hort. 636:259-266.
  • Olmstead, M.A., N.S. Lang, G.A. Lang, F. Ewers, and S. Owens. 2004. Characterization of xylem vessels in sweet cherries (Prunus avium L.) on dwarfing rootstocks. Acta Hort. 636:129-135. 
  • Elfving, D.C., G.A. Lang, and D.B. Visser. 2003. Prohexadione-Ca and ethephon reduce shoot growth and increase flowering in young, vigorous sweet cherry trees. HortScience 38:293-298. 
  • Olmstead, J.W. and G.A. Lang. 2002. Pmr1, a gene for resistance to powdery mildew in sweet cherry. HortScience 37:1098-1099.
  • Gutzwiler, J. and G.A. Lang. 2001. Sweet cherry crop load and vigor managment on Gisela rootstocks. Acta Horticulturae 557:321-325.
  • Lang, G.A. and W. Howell. 2001. Lethal sensitivity of some new cherry rootstocks to pollen-borne viruses. Acta Horticulturae 557:151-154.
  • Olmstead, J.W., G.A. Lang, and G.G. Grove. 2001. Inheritance of powdery mildew resistance in sweet cherry. HortScience 36:337-340.
  • Whiting, M.D. and G.A. Lang. 2001. Flow rate, air delivery pattern, and canopy architecture influence temperature and whole-canopy net C02 exchange of sweet cherry. HortScience 36:691-698.
  • Whiting, M.D. and G.A. Lang. 2001. Sweet cherry photosynthesis, crop load, and fruit quality relationships. Fruit Grower News 40(11):42-46.
  • Lang, G.A. 2000. Precocious, dwarfing, and productive - how will new cherry rootstocks impact the sweet cherry industry? HortTechnology 10:719-725.
  • Lang, G.A. and D.R. Ophardt. 2000. Intensive crop regulation strategies in sweet cherries. Acta Horticulturae 514:227-234.
  • Olmstead, J.W., D.R. Ophardt, and G.A. Lang. 2000. Sweet cherry breeding at Washington State University. Acta Horticulturae 522:103-110.
  • Olmstead, J.W., G.A. Lang, and G.G. Grove. 2000. A leaf disk assay for screening sweet cherry genotypes for susceptibility to powdery mildew. HortScience 35:274-277.
  • Lang, G.A. 1999. Optimizing cherry quality - growing season effects. Proc. Wash. Tree Fruit Postharvest Conf. 15:41-44.
  • Lang, G. and J. Flore. 1999. Reducing raincracking in cherries. Good Fruit Grower 50(4):34-38.
  • Guimond, C.M, G.A. Lang, and P.K. Andrews. 1998. Timing and severity of summer pruning affects flower initiation and shoot regrowth in sweet cherry. HortScience 33:647-649.
  • Lang, G., W. Howell, and D. Ophardt. 1998. Sweet cherry rootstock/virus interactions. Acta Horticulturae 468:307-314.
  • Lang, G., C. Guimond, J. Flore, S. Southwick, T. Facteau, F. Kappel, and A. Azarenko. 1998. Performance of calcium/sprinkler-based strategies to reduce sweet cherry rain-cracking. Acta Horticulturae 468:649-656.
  • Guimond, C.M, P.K. Andrews, and G.A. Lang. 1998. Scanning electron microscopy of floral inititation in sweet cherry. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 123:509-512.
  • Lang, G.A. 1998. High density orchards and intensive crop regulation. Good Fruit Grower 49(16):45-47.
  • Lang, G., W. Howell, D. Ophardt, and G. Mink. 1997. Biotic and abiotic stress responses of interspecific hybrid cherry rootstocks. Acta Horticulturae 451:217-224.
  • Lang, G.A. (ed.) 1996. Plant Dormancy: Physiology, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology. CAB International, Oxford. 400 pp.

Archived Presentations

  • 2011 Fruiting Wall Training Systems for Tart and Sweet Cherry
  • 2011 Fruiting Wall Training Systems for Apricot, Nectarine, and Plum
  • 2011 MSU High Tunnel Cherry Production and Niche Markets
  • 2011 Honeycrisp Rootstock Trial
  • Serbian Cherry Conference
  • High Tunnel SSCD Spray System
  • 2010 NW Orchard Show
  • 2009 Performance of ‘Honeycrisp’
  • 2009 MSU High Tunnel Cherry Production
  • 2007 MSU High Tunnel Cherry Production
  • Virtual Cherry Program


Program Areas

Bioactive Natural Products and Phytoceuticals


Fruit - Pomology

  • Sweet cherry research
  • Tart cherry research
  • Comprehensive pubs
  • Fruit bud hardiness
  • Stone fruit releases
  • Apple NC140 project
  • ASHS Podcasts
  • Virtual Cherry Project 2007
  • High Tunnel Cherry Project 2006/2007
  • Great Lakes Expo High Tunnel Workship - Cherries 2008
  • Northwest Orchard Show 2008/2009

View Great Lakes Fruit Workers


Organic and Sustainable Agriculture

  • High Tunnel Organic Sweet Cherry Production:
  • Ceres Trust Organic Research Program
  • USDA-NIFA-Organic Research & Extension Initiative Research Program