Spring is here ready or not!
Some of the early varieties are showing green tissue, but McIntosh, the variety we use to measure how quickly the spring is approaching, is still at ‘silver tip’ bud stage. I expect McIntosh trees to reach ‘green tip’ within the week.

McIntosh ‘green tip’ is when winter moth eggs start hatching. Yesterday I saw a few winter moth eggs that are getting close to hatching. I don’t expect anyone to need to spray an insecticide at ‘green tip’ to control winter moths. We used to do this in past years when the winter moth population was huge. Now, since winter moth populations are much smaller, we can wait until ‘tight cluster’ bud stage and look for caterpillars and then spray if needed. You can see pictures of the apple bud stages at https://netreefruit.org/apples/apple-bud-stages
Now is a good time to apply dormant oil to manage European red mite eggs and rosy apple aphids. There were more rosy apple aphids around in 2021 than we usually see. Who knows what will happen with rosy apple aphids in 2022.
Now is the tail end of when you can safely apply copper against fire blight. For more information on fire blight see https://netreefruit.org/apples/diseases/fire-blight
You really should purchase the UMass Healthy Fruit Newsletter. It’s a bargain at $65 for the season! Subscribe to Healthy Fruit for 2022 here: https://www.umassextensionbookstore.com/products/102
I hear Jon Clements from UMass is holding weekly Zoom meetings at noon on Tuesdays starting in April. I haven’t seen a link for these meetings. Perhaps you need to sign up for Healthy Fruit to attend? I’m not sure.
We are returning to some in person meetings this year! On April 19th there will be a twilight meeting in Belchertown at the Cold Spring Orchard at 4:30-7.
On May 18 at 5:30, RIFGA will hold a twilight meeting at Spencer Morris’s orchard in Warren RI. Spencer has 3 1/2 acres of cider varieties on trees he grafted himself. It’s a great little orchard!
I’m looking forward to seeing you all soon!