Field Guide to Tree Fruit Disorders, Pests, and Beneficials
March 30, 2017
This Penn State Extension publication, in Spanish and English, is designed for use by orchard employees - often the first individuals to detect a new occurrence of a fruit disease or insect pest.
Where to Find 2 Updated Posters to be Displayed at Your Farm Business
August 25, 2016
Employers must often keep up with a variety of required government posters at their orchards, farms, or other places of business which can be daunting at times. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor changed two posters that employers are required to post in the workplace.
2015 Growing Season in Review
December 3, 2015
As the true winter season approaches—officially arriving on December 21st at 11:48 PM EST, it might be good to look back on this year’s growing season. There have been extremes of temperatures and moisture the past two years.
Pruning Mature Trees in a Semi-Dwarf Apple Orchard
November 18, 2015
Apples are a long-lived perennial crop, thus most fruit farms have several blocks of trees that vary in age and size. Many orchard enterprises have adopted intensive (≥518 trees per acre) orchard systems over the past 25 years. However, blocks of larger semi-dwarf trees at medium density still exist on many farms, and often these blocks still have a significant role to play in the orchard enterprise.
Cleaning Up the 2015 Season: Disease Management Strategy Review
October 30, 2015
Growers can get a jump on fungal and bacterial disease management for the 2016 season this fall. A review of tips to manage apple scab, fire blight, peach leaf curl, cherry leaf spot, bacterial canker, and fungal fruit rots are discussed.
New Penn State Extension Videos for Apple Growers
October 29, 2015
The Penn State Extension Horticulture, Start Farming, and Pesticide Education Teams have produced three new videos on integrated pest management practices for sustainable establishment and management of apple orchards.
Fall is for Weed Control
October 29, 2015
For years we have all heard the landscape green industry say that "fall is for planting". As orchardists, we should consider that fall is a very good time for applying weed control materials.
New Weapon in Weed Control Arsenal
October 29, 2015
Zeus Prime XC is a new product from FMC Corporation with a new active ingredient that has not been used in tree fruit before. Currently it has a supplemental label for use in apples that have been established for at least 3 years—similar to the time frame for Alion.
Affordable Care Act: Guide for Agricultural Workers
October 29, 2015
The National Center for Farmworker Health has created a guide for agricultural workers that describes benefits under the Affordable Care Act. The guide is in English and is available for sharing.
Internal Breakdown Reported in ‘Olympic’ Asian Pear Fruit
October 8, 2015
Chris Walsh and Mike Newell, University of Maryland, report that there is an increased potential for internal browning and breakdown in 'Olympic' Asian pear fruit. Growers are advised to harvest ‘Olympic’ one to two weeks earlier this year to minimize consumer complaints and ensure adequate storage life.
Final Spotted Wing Drosophila Update for Berry Growers
September 24, 2015
Spotted wing drosophila is present just about anywhere we look these days—even in berry fields where fruit is no longer present.
Energy-Saving Tips for Orchardists Developed by Penn State Extension
September 24, 2015
Penn State Extension, in cooperation with University of Vermont Extension and Rutgers Extension has developed energy-saving resources for Northeast farmers. The information is now available at E-Extension and includes information specific to tree fruit production.
Weekly Insect Bytes for September 04, 2015
September 4, 2015
In the last few days we have observed numerous older nymphs and adults of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) moving into orchards from adjacent woods and agronomic crops. Similarly as during the 2014 season, we are detecting brown marmorated stink bugs mostly on the edges of orchards bordering with woods but a much lower BMSB numbers on crops such as soybean or corn.
High Tunnels – What Does Removing the Covers for a Winter Do?
August 28, 2015
Soil in high tunnels isn’t exposed to the elements like soil in the field is, and if the plastic is kept on the tunnels for multiple winters, little leaching takes place. Thus, nutrients and salts can accumulate. How much difference does taking the covers off for one winter make?
Updates on Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Codling Moth and Oriental Fruit Moth
August 27, 2015
Although this year the pressure from brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) appears to be somehow lower than in previous years, all stages of BMSB are being observed in and outside of orchards.
Prevention of Preharvest Drop in Apple Orchards
August 27, 2015
As apples mature, they begin to produce large amounts of the ripening hormone, ethylene. One of the ripening processes stimulated by ethylene is stem loosening.
Harvest Practices to Prevent Postharvest Disorders in Honeycrisp
August 27, 2015
There are many factors that affect Honeycrisp storage behavior, and some occur during harvest. Spot picking fruit at the optimum stage of maturity, compared to slightly immature, can reduce bitter pit, whereas soft scald and soggy breakdown can be reduced by harvesting fruit before it becomes over-mature.
Diversification in Bee Pollination
August 26, 2015
Researchers at Penn State are investigating how solitary and wild bees are increasingly important in the pollination of crops.
Apple Harvest Time: Managing Pre-harvest and Postharvest Rots
August 24, 2015
The biggest disease concern this time of year is keeping fruit free of rots as they are nearing the home stretch of the season. The recent bouts of rain and prolonged warm weather are ideal conditions for fruit rot issues.
Weekly Insect Bytes for August 21, 2015
August 21, 2015
Although this year the pressure from brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) appears to be somehow lower than in previous years, all stages of BMSB are being observed in and outside of orchards.
Weekly Insect Bytes for August 7, 2015
August 7, 2015
The flight of the second generation codling moth (CM) is underway in most Pennsylvania pome fruit orchards. Only on site CM monitoring will provide accurate information if and for how long control treatments are necessary.
The Disease Season Continues: Brown Rot, Fire Blight, Root Rots
July 31, 2015
With peach season in full swing, a review of management strategies for controlling brown rot is discussed.
Controlling Nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus)
July 31, 2015
Nutsedge is a weed being seen in a number of orchards that seems to be a bigger problem this year than in previous years.
Entomology Update, July 31, 2015
July 31, 2015
The 2015 season appears to be one of the unique years when the degree-days accumulation are quite close to the average heat accumulation over the last ten years.
Discerning The Difference Between Bacterial Spot Disease and Coppery Injury Symptoms
July 30, 2015
There has been much confusion this season being able to tell the difference between bacterial spot disease and copper injury. This article will describe symptoms in detail, as well as offer guidance to avoid the pitfalls of using copper for disease control.
European Red Mite Scouting and Biological Control
July 29, 2015
Infestations of red mites left alone can eat enough chlorophyll out of the leaves of apple trees that the trees can’t store energy anymore, resulting in smaller fruit and a reduced fruit bloom the following season. Luckily we don’t often see red mite infestations due to a successful story of biological control in Pennsylvania. Dr. Dave Biddinger explained how to scout for red mites and maintain a successful biological control program at a Young Grower Alliance training session on July 16.
Tips on Apple Scab Scouting and Management
July 29, 2015
Make sure you know where apple scab overwinters, how to monitor and when it is most likely to appear. Penn State Tree Fruit Plant Pathologist Kari Peter provides some key points..
Weekly Insect Bytes for July 27, 2015
July 27, 2015
The third generation of Oriental fruit moth and the second generation of codling moth are active in most orchards in south-central PA. We are observing increased numbers of captured adult moths in sex pheromone traps located at various sites.
Evaluation of Your Chemical Thinning Program
July 21, 2015
By now, everyone should have seen the results of their chemical thinning in apples. In my experience, the first few weeks after thinner application most growers think they took too many fruit off. However, by midsummer the crop load does not look too bad.
Cherry Training Systems Guide Mobile App
July 20, 2015
Cherry growers around the world use many training systems, both supported and freestanding. Choosing the right system depends on growing conditions, variety, rootstock, labor availability, and management skills.
Weekly Insect Bytes for July 17, 2015
July 17, 2015
During this past week we observed first brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) adults maturing from eggs deposited earlier this season by BMSB adults from the overwintering generation. With the arrival of this generation, we expect an intensified movement of BMSB into orchards and more frequent occurrence of fruit injuries caused by this pest.
Disease Update: Rots Wreaking Havoc On Stone Fruit (And So Is Bac Spot)
July 15, 2015
The extremely wet weather over the last month has triggered rot issues in both sweet and tart cherries. As a result of the volume of fungal spores flying around and the persistent warm wet conditions, peach and nectarine growers need to be on high alert as we are nearing the home stretch for harvest. Vigilant rot management strategies are critical this year to prevent brown rot (and other rots) during preharvest and postharvest. Management options, including organic strategies, are discussed. Conditions continue to be favorable for bacterial spot, necessitating shorter spray intervals for disease management.
Spotted Wing Drosophila Larval Infestations Reported in Central Maryland
July 13, 2015
The fact that spotted wing drosophila is being found in Maryland means that SWD is also likely to be present in warmer areas of Pennsylvania, and in the remainder of Pennsylvania shortly.
Blueberry Fruit Rots
July 12, 2015
Anthracnose (also called ripe rot) in blueberry, has been quite severe this year, especially in highly susceptible varieties such as Bluecrop, Bluetta, and Blueray.
Weekly Insect Bytes for July 10, 2015
July 10, 2015
The beginning of July is a good time to start searching for the first male adults of spotted wing drosophila. Growers with late sweet cherries and sour cherries as well as blueberries and black raspberries should pay very close attention to possible movement of this pest into their plantings.
Weekly Insect Bytes July 3, 2015
July 3, 2015
We are continuing to observe brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) adults and nymphs in traps baited with a combination of BMSB aggregation pheromone. Now is the time to look out for the first adult male Spotted Wing Drosophilia.
Update to the Spray Record-keeping Spreadsheet
June 26, 2015
Thanks to one of our growers we have been advised of a formula error in our spreadsheet.
Wanted: Fire blight samples from Pennsylvania
June 26, 2015
The Tree Fruit Pathology Lab at FREC is seeking fire blight samples from around the state of Pennsylvania found in commercial orchards and home landscapes for evaluation for antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacteria and other projects.
Insect Fruit Pests Update For July
June 26, 2015
The beginning of July usually marks a switch in our approach to control common insect pests in orchards.
Keeping Up With Tree Fruit Diseases
June 25, 2015
Primary apple scab is finally over as of mid-June. Conditions have been ideal for canker blight: leftover fire blight cankers continue to grow and bacteria move within the tree to growing areas causing shoot blight. Conditions have been favorable lately for bacterial spot on peaches.
Weekly Insect Bytes for June 19, 2015
June 19, 2015
The potential for injury caused by brown marmorated stink bug adults and nymphs increased significantly during the last two weeks. It is time to start scouting for the presence of leafhoppers, especially in young orchards. Tufted apple bud moth and obliquebanded leafroller continue to be numerous in pheromone traps.
Disease Update: Where Are Those Fire Blight Strikes Coming From?
June 16, 2015
Conditions have been optimal for canker blight: leftover fire blight cankers continue to grow and bacteria move within the tree to growing areas causing shoot blight. Shoot blight is also occurring to those who experienced blossom blight, as well. Leafhoppers are active and will cause wounds in growing shoot tips, creating entry points for bacteria to enter. Pruning blighted areas and managing insects are the best methods for control.
Weekly Insect Bytes for June 12, 2015 - Start Scouting for Leafhoppers
June 12, 2015
The numbers of tufted apple bud moth and obliquebanded leafroller observed in pheromone traps in South-central Pennsylvania are similar to the numbers we observed 10 to 15 years ago, reaching over 100 moths per trap/week. Such high pest population levels require special insecticide applications targeting both leafroller species. This past week during our visual orchard monitoring we found the first eggs and nymphs of brown marmorated stink bug in commercial peach orchard. It is time to start scouting for the presence of leafhoppers, especially white apple leafhopper, potato leafhoppers and rose leafhopper.
Rainfast Characteristics of Insecticides
June 12, 2015
The rainfall events experienced this season have prompted questions about the relative “rainfastness” of the insecticides used in fruit production. Precipitation can impact the performance of insecticides, but some compounds resist wash-off.
Calculators for Determining Optimum Calcium Rate to Minimize Bitter Pit
June 11, 2015
Everyone is now into their cover sprays in apples and should be applying calcium to help reduce bitter pit and corking. Cultivars prone to corking and bitter pit should receive 9 to 11 lb of actual calcium per season.
Weekly Insect Bytes for June 5, 2015 - High Numbers of Tufted Apple Bud Moth Observed across the State
June 5, 2015
Up to 60 tufted apple bud moths per pheromone trap per week are being observed in orchards. Colonies of green peach aphid (on stone fruit) and spirea aphid (on stone and pome fruit) are commonly observed in fruit orchards. The presence of predators in 1 out of 5 aphid colonies may lead to successful biological control. Monitor for flagged peach tree terminals to assess efficacy of early season Oriental fruit moth treatments.
Disease Update: Keep Alert For Scab And Fire Blight Infection This Week
June 2, 2015
Primary scab infection is still occurring and this week will prove to be another critical period for disease management. Fire blight infections are popping up in the region and more could be expected as a result of the weather conditions. Scouting is a must this week; however, do not prune during wet weather. Conditions are also favorable for cedar apple rust, cherry leaf spot, and bacterial spot infections.
Final Carbohydrate Run of the Season - Take time to evaluate how well the model worked for you!
June 2, 2015
Fruit have almost completely moved out of the size range of being responsive to thinners. In looking at the fruit at Rock Springs yesterday anything small was rapidly shelling off. Fortunately, most of the fruit that was shelling off were those that had been damaged by the May 23 frost. Continue to monitor your fruit drop to see if you will need to do any follow up hand thinning. I would also suggest that you look back over the past model runs and compare the actual balances with the time you made your thinner applications.
Weekly Insect Bytes for May 29, 2015 - Monitor for Predators Along with Pests
May 29, 2015
Colonies of green peach aphid and spirea aphid are commonly observed in some orchards. Watch for predator populations such as ladybird beetles or syrphid fly larvae. The presence of predators in about one out of five aphid colonies may lead to successful biological control. As we continue to control the wide spectrum of other fruit pests, no special treatment against brown marmorated stink bug should be necessary unless nymphs are found in the orchard.
Carbohydrate Model Run for May 29 - For those who still have a window of opportunity for thinning apples
May 29, 2015
If you still have a window for thinning apples, the majority of sites in Pennsylvania show a normal carbohydrate deficit, indicating that standard chemical thinner rates can be used.
Disease Update: The Latest About Apple Scab, Managing Diseases After Hail, And Gearing Up To Manage Summer Diseases
May 29, 2015
The primary infection period for apple scab continues, although available spore numbers are decreasing. Growers should be scouting for fire blight infection thanks to the ideal conditions we have been experiencing throughout the month. In light of the hail some growers experienced this week, a reminder that diseases still need to be managed despite a damaged or minimal crop during the season. Going into June, growers need to be mindful about controlling for sooty blotch and flyspeck soon.
Early Summer Fruit Insect Pest Monitoring and Control
May 29, 2015
In the Biglerville area the 2015 biofix for Oriental fruit moth (OFM) was established on April 26; spotted tentiform leafminer on April 12, codling moth on May 07, tufted apple bud moth on May 10 and obliquebanded leafroller on May 21st (Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center [FREC] orchards). According to the insect developmental model provided by SkyBit Inc. as of May 29th the egg hatch of the first OFM generation is already completed while the first generation egg hatch periods for codling moth (CM) and tufted apple budmoth (TABM) are underway and will continue for the next few weeks.
Fruit Rots in the Rain: Risk Assessment Overview for Spring 2015, and Smart Spray Techniques in Response to Rain Events
May 29, 2015
Based on weather station data, we had only low risk fruit rot events in both Pennsylvania and Maryland up until mid-May, when several warm rains soaked the region, leading to two to three dispersal events. There are likely more to come, which means that throughout the region, there is an increased risk leading up to harvest of strawberries, and bloom time for many fruit crops. Protection of these highly susceptible flowers and fruits is critical.
Sampling Strawberry Leaves for Nutrient Analysis
May 29, 2015
When growers send in strawberry leaves for a nutrient analysis, should the petioles remain attached or be removed?
Grower Field Day and Barbecue
May 29, 2015
The bi-annual Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center (FREC) Grower Field Day will be held Thursday, July 9, 2015.
Disease Update: Trauma Blight Alert For Those Who Experienced Hail This Afternoon, May 27, 2015
May 27, 2015
A band of strong storms blew through Pennsylvania and Maryland this afternoon. If you experienced hail, apply streptomycin to apple and pear trees within 24 hrs of the hail event to prevent trauma blight. More heavy thunderstorms are in the forecast until early Thursday. Please be on alert.
Promoting Return Bloom of Apple Trees
May 27, 2015
This is the time of the season when next year’s flower buds are initiating and beginning to form. Your return bloom program should begin after this year’s crop becomes unresponsive to chemical thinning but before the crop becomes sensitive to the ripening effects of NAA or ethephon.
Welcoming Erin Dugan, Young Grower Alliance Coordinator and Specialty Crop Innovations Program Manager
May 27, 2015
Erin Dugan recently joined Penn State Extension as Specialty Crop Innovations Program Manager and Young Grower Alliance Coordinator.
Carbohydrate Model Run for May 26
May 26, 2015
Today's carbohydrate model indicates that most sites have a low deficit and that the standard thinner rates can be reduced by 15%. The one exception is the northeastern part of the state where a high deficit is predicted for today.
Carbohydrate Model Run for May 22
May 22, 2015
Carbohydrate model recommendations from today’s run call for increasing rates for all sites except for the northeastern part of the state. Fruit size in some locations is in the 15 to 17 mm stage, and the window for a thinning response to either NAA or 6-BA is rapidly closing. Saturday may be the best option for obtaining additional thinning in these sites. Where there is a potential for frost, avoid the addition of oil to the tank because oil can increase frost susceptibility.
Thinning Asian Pears
May 21, 2015
To provide Asian pear growers with more sustainable, cost-effective thinning strategies, a SARE-funded team of researchers and farmers studied how effectively Asian pears were thinned by benzyladenine. They found that MaxCel, one of several chemical thinners that contain benzyladenine, can reduce the cost of hand-thinning by up to 50 percent while delivering fruit yields and sizes comparable to those of untreated, hand-thinned control trees. Rutgers University has produced a fact sheet that provides a brief introduction to plant growth regulators and directions on how to use MaxCel as a crop thinner for Asian pears.
Weekly Insect Bytes - Timing Optimal for Control of Codling Moth
May 21, 2015
Codling moth egg hatch is at about 10 percent and Oriental fruit moth egg hatch is at almost 100 percent. The flights of obliquebanded leafroller (OBLR) and peach tree borer (PTB) are expected to start within the next few days. Green peach aphid (GPA) (on stone fruit) and spirea aphid (SA) (on stone and pome fruit) colonies are being observed in some orchards. Watch for predator populations such as ladybird beetles or syrphid fly larvae.
Disease Update: Possible Scab Infection Event Today, May 21
May 21, 2015
The rain occurring today could have the potential to produce an apple scab infection event if adequate leaf wetness hours are achieved. Growers are encouraged to monitor conditions in their orchards and spray accordingly to protect for apple scab. In addition, be mindful of rust: the cedar galls have made their appearance, making spores available to cause infection in apple trees.
Carbohydrate Model Run for May 19
May 19, 2015
Temperatures will gradually increase to more seasonable weather beginning Monday. Bright sunny days with seasonable temperatures will mean it will be harder to remove fruits.
Disease Update: Alert For Possible Apple Scab Infection This Weekend And The Latest About All Of Those Other Diseases You Should Be Worried About
May 15, 2015
If the rain in the forecast comes to fruition this weekend, be prepared for a major apple scab infection period for the region. Growers in northern PA still in bloom need to be vigilant for fire blight conditions this weekend and next week. Although many are past bloom in the region, we experienced fire blight conditions from May 5 – May 12 and growers should begin to scout for infections during the coming week. Be on alert for powdery mildew infections, thanks to the dry weather lately. Control measures are needed to manage bacterial spot on stone fruit.
Weekly Insect Bytes - Planning for Early Summer Insect Pest Control
May 15, 2015
As the first insecticide application after petal fall should already be completed in most orchards, it is time to plan for the early summer control of other insect pests.
Carbohydrate Models for 5/15/15
May 15, 2015
The MaluSim Carbohydrate model was run the morning of May 15 for 11 sites across the state. Results for May 15 through May 18 are predicted data based on weather forecasts.
Green Fruitworm Found in High Numbers in Many Areas of the State
May 15, 2015
Generally only a sporadic minor pest, green fruitworm is showing up in orchards across the state in much higher numbers than ever seen before.
Carbohydrate Model Run for May 11
May 11, 2015
All except the two farthest north stations have reported full bloom. This past weekend temperatures shortened bloom as most sites are either past petal fall or into petal fall.
Carbohydrate Model Run for May 8
May 8, 2015
Stations in central PA and northern PA have not yet reached full bloom. We anticipate full bloom in Centre county for tomorrow and will be applying a thinner application of Amid-Thin to a block of Honeycrisp as a research trial.
Weekly Insect Bytes - After Petal Fall is the Best Timing for the Control Many Insect Pests
May 8, 2015
Appropriate, effective insecticides should be applied based on orchard monitoring and documented pest control needs. On apples, the after petal fall insecticide application represents the best timing to control plum curculio and European apple sawfly. The petal fall timing on apples will also be a good time to control Oriental fruit moth, obliquebanded leafroller, mites and aphids.
Carbohydrate Model for May 5, 2015
May 5, 2015
Full bloom came on extremely rapidly across the state over the past few days. Prior to this weekend most areas of the state were a little behind the normal timing of flower development. However, the warm temperatures of the weekend across the entire state pushed flower development.
Disease Update: Scab Infection Period Predicted for May 5 - 6
May 4, 2015
A weather system moving East will be bringing rain Tuesday into Wednesday. At the same time we are experiencing the peak period for dispersal of mature scab spores. The predictive models indicate May 5 - 6, 2015 will be a scab infection period. Growers need to protect trees to prevent scab infection during this critical period.
Weekly Insect Bytes - Install Pheromone Dispensers this Week
May 4, 2015
Brown marmorated stink bug adults are slowly emerging from their overwintering shelters. The five percent egg hatch of Oriental fruit moth (and the optimal timing to start controlling OFM) is expected around May 7th in the Biglerville area. All pheromone traps for monitoring fruit pests except traps for obliquebanded leafroller (OBLR) and peach tree borer (PTB) should already be placed in orchards.
Disease Update: Fire Blight Alert This Week
May 3, 2015
All predictive models indicate a high risk for fire blight infection this week due to the high temperature, humidity, and chance of rain showers in the forecast. Growers should begin protecting blossoms with streptomycin on Monday. More strep applications will be needed as infection conditions persist.
Defruiting Young Trees of Weak-Growing Varieties like Honeycrisp
May 1, 2015
Growers are reporting that some blocks of young trees have a heavy bloom and are concerned about negative effects on the vegetative growth of the trees in these early establishment years.
Amid-Thin (NAD) as Bloom/Petal Fall Thinner?
May 1, 2015
Preliminary trials with Amid-Thin (NAD) indicate it may be a useful thinning tool on Honeycrisp and Pink Lady at bloom and/or petal fall. Growers are cautioned to not spray pigmy-prone cultivars and not to spray past petal fall, as there is an increased risk of inducing small fruit to stick at later timings. Conduct your own trials with this product – including unsprayed checks – prior to deciding whether this is a good thinning tool for you.
Wild Carrot, Queen Anne’s Lace, Bird’s Nest, Bishop’s Lace
April 30, 2015
Recently a grower mentioned he was having trouble controlling Wild Carrot, Queen Anne’s Lace, Bird’s Nest, Bishop’s Lace. In case you did not know, all the individual common names mentioned are the same plant - Daucus carota. Wild carrot is a biennial weed, as its life cycle requires two years to complete.
Disease Update For All PA and MD: Apple Scab Infection Period Predicted For April 30 - May 1
April 29, 2015
Rain is in the forecast for Thursday and Friday. As a result, the prediction models indicate this will be a scab infection period -- and a big one since we’re reaching peak maturity with spore release. This weather will also be ideal for cedar apple rust infection. Growers are encouraged to have trees protected before the rain occurs. In addition, growers need to be on alert for next week since fire blight models indicate the week of May 4 may be an infection period.
Tree Fruit Production Website Changes to Help you Get the New Growing Season off to a Great Start!
April 24, 2015
The Tree Fruit Production website has been upgraded for the new growing season and we hope you'll find many of the new features useful. You can more easily access seasonal monitoring data, and pest management and plant growth regulator recommendation tables have been added.
Precision Crop Load Management and the 2015 MaluSim Carbohydrate Model
April 24, 2015
All the sites that we monitor for utilizing the carbohydrate model have finally reported reaching green tip as of early this week. The map shows their locations around the state and they are listed in the table in this article.
Tree Fruit Diseases To Manage During The Month of May
April 24, 2015
May is the battleground month for disease management: growers need to be on alert for apple scab, fire blight, powdery mildew, rust, cherry leaf spot, brown rot, and bacterial spot infection conditions. Disease infection periods are now being posted for regions in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Petal Fall Treatments to Control Pear Psylla
April 24, 2015
At the petal fall timing on pears, all stages of pear psylla - eggs, nymphs, and adults - are usually present on infested trees. Petal fall control options are presented in this article.
Spring Monitoring and Management Recommendations for Insect and Mite Pests
April 24, 2015
As colder weather influences the general development of insect pests, the low temperatures this spring are influencing moth activities and pushing this year’s biofixes (first sustained flight of moths) to the latest dates on record. It cannot be overstated how important it is to aggressively monitor all insect pests in each orchard, especially with the additional pressure coming from brown marmorated stink bug.
Think Warm Thoughts - Possible Frost Events in the Forecast
April 23, 2015
A cold front has dipped into the Mid-Atlantic resulting in below average temperatures for the majority of the week. Growers are on high alert with the majority of Pennsylvania under a freeze watch advisory.
The Mid-Atlantic Berry Pathology Program
April 23, 2015
Dr. Cassandra Swett started at University of Maryland, College Park as the new grape and small fruit pathologist in May 2014, with a split research and extension appointment. Her primary functions are to develop basic and applied information that improves management of grape and small fruit diseases, provide a resource to extension specialists and educators, and communicate information on disease management to producers.
Announcing the Mid-Atlantic Berry Pathology Twitter Site
April 23, 2015
Real time disease updates are now available for berry growers. "Follow" on line or via your smart phone!
Pollinator Declines
April 23, 2015
Domestic honey bee hives are down by 59% compared to 60 years ago with rapid declines over the last forty years. This long term decline was punctuated by recent average losses of 30% per winter since 2006. The populations of some native bee species may also be declining.
Time for Strawberry Fruit Rot Protection
April 23, 2015
The strawberry bloom has begun and it’s time for fruit rot protection. Our two main targets for bloom time protection of strawberries are gray mold/ Botrytis fruit rot (Botrytis cinerea), and, if you are growing susceptible varieties like Chandler, anthracnose fruit rot (Colletotrichum acutatum).
Disease Update: Scab Infection Period Today And Fire Blight Threat For Areas In Bloom In Maryland
April 20, 2015
Scab infection period today, April 20, 2015, and predicted through Thursday. Rain most likely washed off all protection that was applied prior to the rain overnight and early this morning. Growers are encouraged to spray their trees to prevent scab infection. For growers in Maryland experiencing bloom, a streptomycin spray to protect open blossoms from fire blight is warranted.
Disease Update: Scab and Brown Rot Infections
April 17, 2015
We’re experiencing a scab infection period April 17. Warm, wet weather also is a threat for stone fruit blossoms that are open. Fungicides needed today to protect against scab and blossom blight caused by brown rot.
Disease Update: Time to Face the Music
April 9, 2015
If not already completed, copper sprays are encouraged for fungal and bacterial disease control. Apple scab primary infection has kicked off this week.
Preparing for the 2015 Season: Learning from the 2014 Fire Blight Epidemic
March 27, 2015
The who, what, why, when, where, how and how much of everything you need to know about fire blight and its management in preparation for the 2015 season.
What can we do to encourage native bees?
March 23, 2015
Pollinators need a diverse, abundant food source and a place to build their nests and rear their young. As land managers, if we keep these two elements in mind we can encourage native bee populations.
Potential for Using Mid-Atlantic Processing Fruit in Hard Cider Production
March 12, 2015
In the literature covering hard cider production apples are typically classed as either ‘dessert’ or ‘true cider’ apples. Despite this dichotomy, some ‘dessert’ varieties are reported to be useful for cider.
Tree Fruit Growers to Gather for Spring Meetings
March 12, 2015
Penn State Extension has planned ten educational meetings for commercial tree fruit growers this spring. The meetings are being held in orchards all across the state. Growers have an opportunity to visit other commercial tree fruit operations, learn from Extension specialists who are experts in their program areas, and discuss current tree fruit issues with other growers at a critical time of the growing season.
It's That Time: Early Season Tree Fruit Disease Control for 2015
March 6, 2015
Dormant season urea and copper sprays are recommended for decreasing available populations of apple scab spores and fire blight bacteria in the orchard for the 2015 season.
Is Everything (Still) Just Peachy?
March 6, 2015
Prior to pruning peach trees this season, check for bud mortality from subzero winter temperatures.
Follow-Up to the Winter Educational Meeting Presentation on Getting the Upper Hand on Troublesome Weeds
March 6, 2015
This week at a winter meeting I was asked why poison ivy seems to be popping up in orchards where it was never seen before and in isolated spots. I suspect you will see a lot of perennial species popping up in new areas for several reasons.
New at the Penn State Extension Tree Fruit Production Website - Honeycrisp and Calcium Rate Calculators, Winter Meeting Presentations
March 6, 2015
The Penn State Extension Tree Fruit Production website - - has a number of useful resources for fruit growers. Check back often for the latest resources on fruit diseases; insects, mites and beneficials; and fruit culture.