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Pest Management Guidelines
A Cornell Cooperative Extension Publication

  
New York Pest Management Guidelines

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Tree Fruit

11. Tree Fruit Pest Management

Contents

Spraying Equipment

Table 12. Approximate amount of spray required to wet a fruit tree to runoff

Application Timing

Further Reading

Table 13. Tree-fruit pest management

Apple

Cherry

Peach, apricot, nectarine

Pear

Table 14. Guidelines for a limited spray program

Apple

Pear

Stone fruits

 

 

Table 12 provides guidelines for spray quantities for various sized trees. Table 13 lists pest management practices and pesticide options for tree-fruit pests. For toxicity information, see Table 3 in Chapter 3 and Tables 4b and 4c in Chapter 4. Table 14 provides guidelines for a limited spray program that may be used to adequately control the few key pests posing the greatest threat to fruit trees in the home garden while producing an acceptable crop for home consumption.

NOTE: It is very common for pests to develop a resistance to pesticides that are used frequently and repeatedly. Pesticides should be rotated from year to year with other pesticides with different chemical ingredients. Use of a particular chemical should be discontinued if there is evidence that it is no longer effective.

See Chapter 10 in Part I: Cultural Methods, of Pest Management Around the Home, for nonpesticidal pest management alternatives.

 

Insects and diseases do not take vacations, so be on the lookout for them. Sprays should be based on need and not applied according to a schedule. Scouting and monitoring, taking into account weather conditions, will help determine need. Thoroughly spray the trunk, limbs, fruit, and both sides of the leaves just to the point of runoff.

Concentrate on spraying the top half of the tree; the lower half will usually be adequately covered. Sprays should be applied when there is little or no wind so as to assure thorough coverage and to minimize spray drift. Do not apply sprays during rain or when rain is expected within a couple of hours. If heavy rain does occur shortly after spraying, sprays that are not rainfast (consult label) should be reapplied after the rain stops following any label restrictions on how frequently a pesticide may be applied.

Proper pruning greatly facilitates spraying. Keep trees short, well shaped, and properly thinned. If you are planning new plantings, consider planting dwarf trees to aid in pest management.

 

Spraying Equipment

The kind of spraying equipment to use depends on the size and number of trees to be sprayed. The sprayer must be capable of wetting the entire leaf canopy to the point of runoff. For spraying two or three trees under 8 feet in height, an inexpensive, 2-gallon, hand-pumped compressed-air sprayer is satisfactory. For more trees or for trees up to about 10 feet tall, a hand-pumped knapsack sprayer or slide-pump sprayer would be better. For trees more than 10 feet tall or for a large number of smaller trees, a power sprayer with a tank capacity of 10 to 30 gallons may be necessary. It pays to purchase a sprayer that is large enough to do the job quickly and easily.

Sprayers used for applying weed killers (herbicides) should never be used to apply fungicides or insecticides. Use a dedicated sprayer for applying herbicides and another dedicated sprayer for fungicides and insecticides.

Multipurpose spray mixtures to control both diseases and insects may contain combinations of ingredients such as captan, malathion, and carbaryl; or sulfur and pyrethrins. Commercially prepared multi-purpose fruit spray mixtures are convenient to use but are generally more expensive than spray mixtures you prepare yourself.

 

Table 12. Approximate amount of spray required to wet a fruit tree to runoff

 

Gallons per tree

Tree height (feet)

Early spring

Summer

4 to 6

1/4 to 1/2

1 to 1 and 1/2

6 to 8

1/2 to 1

1 and 1/2 to 2

8 to 10

1 to 2

2 to 3

10 to 15

2 to 3

3 to 5

15 to 20

3 to 5

5 to 10

20 to 25

5 to 10

10 to 15

 

Application Timing

Early spray applications are timed according to the development of the fruit buds. The key bud stages are:

·         Dormant: just before buds begin to swell in spring.

·         Green tip: buds are open at tips and exposing green tissue.

·         Half-inch green: one-half inch of green tissue is projecting from bud.

·         Tight cluster: blossom buds are exposed but tightly appressed; stems are short.

·         Pink: all blossom buds are pink, stems are fully extended.

·         Bloom: from the time the blossoms first open until the petal-fall stage is reached. (Do not use insecticides during the bloom period.)

·         Petal-fall: petals have fallen.

 

Further Reading

NOTE: Some of these references are applicable for commercial growers; therefore, not all pest management materials mentioned may be available for use in the home garden.

The Cornell Guide to Growing Fruit at Home Eames-Sheavly, M., and M. P. Pritts. 2003. Cornell Cooperative Extension Information Bulletin 156. Ithaca, N.Y. 104 pp. http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/fruit/homefruit.html

Compendium of Apple and Pear Diseases. Jones, A. L., and A. S. Aldwinkle. 1990. American Phytopathological Society, St. Paul, Minn. 100 pp.

Compendium of Stone Fruit Diseases Oyawa, J. M., E. I. Zehr, G. W. Bird, et al. 1995.. American Phytopathological Society, St. Paul, Minn. 122 pp.

Fireblight—Its Nature, Prevention and Control.van der Zwet, T., and S. V. Beer. 1992. USDA Agricultural Information Bulletin 631. 83 pp.

Tree Fruit Field Guide to Insect, Mite, and Disease Pests and Natural Enemies of Eastern North America Agnello, A., G. Chouinard, et al. 2006. NRAES-169. Cornell Cooperative Extension, Ithaca, NY. 238 pp.

Cornell Gardening Resources: http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/fruit/index.html

Cornell Fruit Resources: http://www.fruit.cornell.edu/fruittre.html

Cornell IPM Guidelines: http://ipmguidelines.org/treefruits/

 

Honey Bee

P62BEE

Do not spray insecticides when fruit trees are in bloom

 

 

 

Table 13. Tree-fruit pest management

Also see Chapter 10 in Part I: Cultural Methods of Pest Management Around the Home.

Plant

Pest

Some Pest Management Options

Apple

 

Bitter rot

Primarily a problem in the Hudson Valley and Long Island, New York, particularly when summers are warm and wet.

During periods of warm, wet weather if disease appears, apply captan or a multipurpose spray with captan according to label directions

 

Cedar-apple rust

Primarily a problem in the southern half of New York State or in upstate locations where red cedars (Juniperus spp.) grow. Remove any nearby junipers, if feasible.

If rust has been a serious problem in previous years, use copper soap (copper octanoate), kaolin clay (for suppression), sulfur, or a multipurpose spray (with sulfur or captan). Do not apply copper products after “pink bud” stage or it may russet the fruit.

 

P63APPLELEAF

 

Fire blight

P63LEAVES

This disease is most serious on highly susceptible varieties (Fuji, Gala, Idared, Jonagold, Jonathan, Lodi, Mutsu, R. I. Greening, Paulared, Rome, Sir Prize, Spigold, 20-Ounce, and York) and trees grown on fully dwarfing rootstocks.

Where blight has been severe in the past, at bloom apply copper soap (copper octanoate). Or, apply Bacillus subtilis for suppression when blossoms are present and before infection has spread into the stem.

Bloom sprays are most necessary if recent weather has been warm and rain is expected.

 

Powdery mildew

If growing a highly susceptible variety (Baldwin, Cortland, Idared, Jonathan, Monroe, Paulared, or Rome) or if mildew begins to develop, use Bacillus subtilis, copper sulfate, kaolin clay (for suppression), lime sulfur (may injure Delicious), myclobutanil, neem oil, potassium bicarbonate, or a multipurpose spray with sulfur.

The time for mildew control is from tight cluster until shoot growth stops in midsummer. Sprays just before and after bloom are particularly important, especially during periods of warm, muggy weather.

Sulfur may cause leaf injury when applied at temperatures above 80°F. Do not apply copper products after "pink bud" stage or it may russet the fruit.

 

Scab

 

P63APPLELEAVESB

The best scab control strategy for home orchards is to plant scab-immune apple varieties such as Sansa, Liberty, Freedom, Williams Pride, Crimson Crisp, Priscilla, GoldRush, or Enterprise. Moderately susceptible varieties require fewer sprays than highly susceptible ones (Cortland, Jerseymac, and McIntosh). For susceptible varieties, apply copper soap (copper octanoate), lime sulfur, myclobutanil, sulfur, or a multipurpose spray (with captan or sulfur), according to label directions.

Do not apply copper products after "pink bud" stage or it may russet the fruit. Do not apply a product with captan with or near an oil spray early in the season because leaves may be injured. Lime sulfur may injure Delicious variety.

The most critical time for applications to prevent scab infection is from tight cluster (when flower buds first show in the cluster) until about two to three weeks after petal fall.

Removal of all fallen leaves before bud break and good pruning will reduce the number of sprays needed.

 

Sooty blotch and

Fly speck

These are more frequently a problem in downstate New York locations. Visible blemish is superficial on fruit and can be removed with mild detergent and a damp cloth.

During wet portions of the summer, apply a multipurpose spray (with captan) as necessary every three weeks after fruit is formed until one month before harvest or apply kaolin clay (for suppression), or sulfur, according to label directions.

 

Aphids

If 1 colony is found per 10 terminals at pink stage, apply insecticidal soap (potassium salts of fatty acids), kaolin clay, malathion, permethrin, pyrethrins (with other ingredients), or a multipurpose spray (with malathion or pyrethrins). After bloom, treat when 30 percent of terminals are infested.

 

Apple maggot

 

P64APPLE

Use visual traps for monitoring or control of one or a few dwarf trees. Unbaited red sphere traps should be hung in trees at a rate of 1 per 100 to 150 fruit to trap out flies. Regular maintenance of traps is required to keep traps clean and attractive.

Spray with kaolin clay or a multipurpose spray mixture labeled for apple maggot every 10–14 days from mid-July to late August. Start 7 to 10 days earlier on Long Island, New York.

 

Codling moth

Apply horticultural oil, kaolin clay, malathion, spinosad, or a multipurpose spray (with malathion) at petal fall and 10 to 14 days later (and in eastern New York, again 2 weeks later). Spinosad is toxic to bees and should not be applied while flowers are producing nectar or pollen. For second-generation codling moth, use 2 to 3 sprays beginning in mid-July. Pheromone traps can be used as monitoring tools.

 

European apple sawfly

Apply kaolin clay at petal fall and 10 to 14 days later. (In eastern New York, again 2 weeks later).

 

Leafrollers

Sample frequently during July. If two to three larvae are found per tree, an application of kaolin clay or permethrin may be needed.

 

Red banded leafroller

At petal fall and 10 to 14 days later (and in eastern New York, again 2 weeks later), apply kaolin clay, malathion, permethrin, or a multipurpose spray (with pyrethrins).

 

Plum curculio

Apply malathion, permethrin, or a multipurpose spray labeled for plum curculio at petal fall, plus 10 to 14 days after petal fall. (In eastern New York, again two weeks later).

 
P64APPLE2
 

Roundheaded appletree borer

In May, ring bottom 12–24 in. of trunks with oviposition barriers of wire mosquito netting, hardware cloth, or several layers of newspapers. Barriers should be loose except at the bottom (cover with soil) and top (tie with cord).

Remove barriers at the end of the season (October).

P65LARVAD
Cherry

Brown rot

Apply azoxystrobin (not near apples), captan, chlorothalonil, copper sulfate, myclobutanil, propiconazole, or a multipurpose spray (with captan, sulfur, or neem oil) that is labeled for brown rot according to label directions. Sprays containing captan may cause leaf injury on some sweet cherry varieties.

The critical times to manage brown rot are the first three weeks after petal fall and the last three weeks before harvest.

 

Fungal leaf spot

If disease has been severe, apply chlorothalonil, myclobutanil, propiconazole, sulfur, or a multipurpose spray with captan labeled for leaf spot according to label directions. Sulfur applied during wet weather between petal fall and harvest will control leaf spot in addition to brown rot. Copper soap (copper octanoate) or copper sulfate may be used on tart cherry varieties, but not on sweet cherries (check labels).

 

Cherry maggot

(fruit fly)

Use visual (yellow card) traps after bloom for monitoring. As soon as adult flies are present, spray with kaolin clay, spinosad, or a multipurpose mixture containing pyrethrins or malathion that’s labeled for cherry maggot (fruit fly). A second application 10 days later may be needed if flies are still active. Note: spinosad is toxic to bees and should not be applied while flowers are producing nectar or pollen.

 

Plum curculio

Apply kaolin clay (for suppression) or a multipurpose spray containing malathion, or pyrethrins plus PPB that’s labeled for plum curculio at shuck split and 10 days later.

Peach, apricot, nectarine

Brown rot

Apply azoxystrobin (not near apples), captan, chlorothalonil, copper soap (copper octanoate), copper sulfate, myclobutanil, propiconazole, or a multipurpose spray (with captan, or sulfur, or neem oil), according to label directions. See labels to determine whether a particular pesticide can be applied to peach, apricot, or nectarine; not all pesticides are labeled for application to all three crops.

The critical times to manage brown rot are the first three weeks after petal fall and the last three weeks before harvest.

 

Peach leaf curl

(Typically affects peach and nectarine, not apricot.) Apply chlorothalonil, copper ammonium carbonate, copper soap (copper octanoate), copper sulfate, or lime sulfur. Check labels carefully: some products should not be used on apricot, some list only apricot, others can be used on all stone fruits. Also check labels to make sure crop and pest are listed.

Application should be made either in the fall after leaf drop, or in the early spring before the buds swell. This is especially important if a regular fungicide program has not been followed during the summer.

P65LEAVESA
 

Oriental fruit moth

Apply kaolin clay, malathion, permethrin, or a multipurpose spray containing malathion at two-week intervals in late May and early June. See labels to determine which crops a particular pesticide can be applied to; not all pesticides are labeled for all three crops.

Plastic ties impregnated with sex pheromone are available but use in small orchard settings may not provide satisfactory control because of the potential for mated females to move in from nearby alternate hosts. Their use isn’t practical for only a few trees.

 

Peachtree borer, lesser peachtree borer

If the planting has a history of this pest, spray the first week of June, first week of July and first week of August (trunk and scaffold branches) with kaolin clay, permethrin, or spinosad. See labels to determine which crops a particular pesticide can be applied to; not all pesticides are labeled for all three crops. Spinosad is toxic to bees and should not be applied while flowers are producing nectar or pollen.

Alternatively, in early June Isomate-L pheromone ties can be hung at 100 per acre or 1 per tree.

 

Plum curculio

Apply kaolin clay (suppression only), permethrin, or a multipurpose spray containing malathion, or pyrethrins plus PPB labeled for plum curculio control at shuck split and 10 days later. See labels to determine which crops a particular pesticide can be applied to; not all pesticides are labeled for all three crops.

Pear

Fabraea leaf spot

(including Entomosporium)

This is primarily a problem in southern half of New York State.

Apply Bacillus subtilis, kaolin clay (for suppression), or a multipurpose fungicide/insecticide containing neem oil and labeled for leaf spots according to label directions.

 

Fire blight

Most common pear varieties, except for Seckel, are extremely susceptible to fire blight. The best control strategy is to plant resistant varieties such as Magness, Potomac, Shenandoah, or Blakes Pride. On susceptible varieties, use repeated sprays of Bacillus subtilis (for suppression) or copper soap (copper octanoate) according to label directions. Do not apply copper products after "pink bud" stage or it may russet the fruit.

 

Scab

Scab is seldom a problem on Bartlett. Apply Bacillus subtilis (for suppression), copper soap (copper octanoate), copper sulfate, lime sulfur, sulfur, or a multipurpose spray containing sulfur and labeled for scab according to label directions. Additional summer sprays may be needed if the weather is rainy. Do not apply copper products after "pink bud" stage or it may russet the fruit.

 

Aphids

If 1 colony is found per 10 terminals at pink, apply insecticidal soap (potassium salts of fatty acids), kaolin clay, permethrin, pyrethrins, or a multipurpose spray containing pyrethrins and labeled for aphids on pears. After bloom, treat when 30 percent of terminals are infested.

 

Pear psylla

pear psylla

Apply horticultural oil as adults are emerging but before egg-laying begins (as soon as adults are present and temperatures exceed 50°F). This occurs at green tip in most years, but monitor to determine timing each season.

At white bud, at petal fall, and as needed based on monitoring during the growing season, apply kaolin clay, malathion, permethrin, or pyrethrins.

Plum & prune

Black knot

Prune out and remove and destroy all knotted branches before bud break. Rogue infected wild cherry in surrounding area.

Fungus may readily develop a resistance to fungicides if used excessively. Fungicides are not likely to be effective unless all galls are pruned out and removed. Home garden fungicide products are not available.

Once the disease is established, it may require two to three years of vigorous pruning efforts to bring back under control.

 
P67PLUMBRANCHESC
 

Brown rot

Apply azoxystrobin (not near apples), captan, chlorothalonil, copper soap (copper octanoate), myclobutanil, propiconazole, or a multipurpose spray containing neem oil, or sulfur according to label directions. Sprays containing captan or propiconazole may cause leaf injury on Stanley plum.

The critical times to manage brown rot are the first three weeks after petal fall, and the last three weeks before harvest.

P67PLUMS

 

Lecanium scale

Apply horticultural oil at dormant stage. For crawlers (the mobile stage of scale insects), in mid- to late July spray a product with pyrethrins and canola oil or a multipurpose spray containing pyrethrins.

P67SCALES

 

Plum curculio

Apply kaolin clay (for suppression) or a multipurpose spray with pyrethrins plus PPB when shucks start to split and at first and second cover.

 

 

 

 


Table 14. Guidelines for a limited spray program

Plant

Pest

Pest Management Practices

Apple

Cedar-apple rust

Especially a problem during wet seasons. If wet weather prevails, apply myclobutanil according to label directions.

 

Scab

Plant resistant varieties.

 

Apple maggot

Treat the first week of August with kaolin clay (earlier for eastern New York). Use red sphere sticky traps, three to four per tree. Place traps in mid-July (eastern New York) to late July. Scrape off flies and resurface with stickum one to two times per week.

 

Codling moth

Multipurpose spray at petal fall and 10 to 14 days later (same timing as for plum curculio) will control first-generation codling moth. For second-generation codling moth treat in early to mid-August with kaolin clay or multipurpose mixture.

 

Plum curculio

Make applications at petal fall and 10 days later with a multipurpose mixture. In eastern New York a third application is needed 10 days after the second. These applications also control first-generation codling moth and oblique banded leafroller.

Pear

Fire blight

Use cultural and plant sanitation practices. Cut off and destroy infected branches as soon as disease is noticed. Plant resistant varieties such as Magness, Potomac, Shenandoah, or Blakes Pride.

 

Plum curculio

If needed, use malathion, or a multipurpose spray with pyrethrins plus PPB.

 

Pear psylla

Apply horticultural oil as adults are emerging but before egg laying has occurred (as soon as adults are present and temperatures exceed 50°F), at green tip in most years, but monitor to determine timing each season. As needed based on monitoring over the growing season, apply kaolin clay (weekly as a preventative), malathion (post-petal fall, when immature psyllids are seen on leaf undersides), or permethrin (directed trunk and scaffold spray, the first week of June, July, and August).

Stone fruits

(peach, nectarine, apricot, cherry, plum, prune)

Black knot

Practice plant sanitation. Prune out and destroy infected branches before spring.

Brown rot (fruit rot)

Treat at petal fall, shuck split, and 10 days later. Use chlorothalonil or multipurpose mixture. Practice plant sanitation. Remove dropped fruit and mummies.

Cherry leaf spot

Treat at petal fall, shuck split, and 10 days later. Use chlorothalonil. Raking and destroying leaves may be sufficient for home gardens.

Peach leaf curl

If the planting has a history of this disease, spray when dormant with chlorothalonil, lime sulfur, or copper.

 

Cherry maggot (fruit fly)

Use yellow sticky cards to monitor after bloom. As soon as adult flies are present, spray with multipurpose mixture. A second application may be needed 10 days later if flies are still active.

 

Plum curculio

Treat at petal fall and 10 days later. Use kaolin clay (for suppression) or a multipurpose mixture.