Final twilight meeting & orchard update

Hi Fruit Growers,
Next and final twilight meeting is June 18 at Rocky Brook Orchard, 997 Wapping Road, Middletown, RI at 5:30.  BRING A LAWN CHAIR!

If it ever rains again, more primary season apple scab spores will be released and able to cause an infection. Usually we are past primary scab season by the end of May, but with so little rain there are still plenty of spores to be released. UMass has been sampling apple scab spores and they say the spores are still very healthy and ready to be released. Keep your apple trees protected with a fungicide until we get more than 1/10 of an inch of rain which will hopefully release the remaining overwintering spores.

Plum curculio love this warm, humid weather. According to Orchard Radar, an insecticide applied May 26 or later in Providence County and June 1 or later in Newport County, should protect your trees through the end of plum curculio season. See Orchard Radar at http://web.uri.edu/ipm/ to see this model and many other models.

Winter moth caterpillars are basically finished feeding for the year. In addition to winter moth, gypsy moth caterpillars, eastern tent caterpillars and some other green caterpillars we’ll call green fruit worms have been seen in high numbers this spring. Keep looking for caterpillars feeding on leaves and fruit and apply an insecticide if necessary.

If you aren’t sure you have winter moths near your orchard, now is a good time to walk the perimeter of your orchard looking for winter moth damaged leaves. Attached is a picture of a maple damaged by winter moth caterpillars. If you find damaged leaves on trees around your orchard you’ll want to be prepared to spray your orchard next spring to control winter moth caterpillars.
winter moth damage

Fire blight infections from May 10th can start being visible in orchards starting now. First fire blight appears on fruit clusters and then about a week later fire blight appears as shoot strikes. Attached are two pictures from last year – one of a fire blight infected flower cluster and the other of a typical shoot blight strike.I plan to spend a lot of time next week looking for fire blight strikes in RI orchards. Please let me know if you find fire blight or you think you find fire blight.
Fire blight fruit cluster 2014
Fruit cluster killed by fire blight, 2014
Fire blight strike 2014
Typical fire blight shoot blight infection 2014
If I don’t see you before, hope to see you at the twilight meeting!
Heather