• Turning on a plant’s defenses

Turning on a plant’s defenses

  • February 15th, 2013

New technology is coming to the apple and pear industry to help control fireblight. Actigard is a systemic compound with a unique mode of action that mimics the natural systemic-activated resistance response found in many plants. When applied preventatively, much like vaccinations are given to humans to ward off [...]

  • Coppers are a fit for organics

Coppers are a fit for organics

  • February 15th, 2013

Before the 1960s, there were no antibiotics to help orchardists control fireblight, one of the most destructive diseases of pears and apples. Copper materials were the mainstay back then.

But coppers are returning as fireblight control products, particularly for organic orchardists. Oxytetracycline, an effective antibiotic, could lose its place on [...]

  • Fireblight is native to North America

Fireblight is native to North America

  • February 15th, 2013

Fireblight is a plant disease of apples and pears caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora. It is native to North America where it resides in wild hosts such as crab apple and hawthorn. Over the decades, it has spread to other pome fruit producing regions in Europe, the Middle [...]

  • Last Bite

Last Bite

  • January 15th, 2013

1.    Which of the following is not a tree fruit disease?
a.    Black rot
b.    Blue mold
c.    White rot
d.    Pink rot
e.    Coral rot
f.    Gray mold
2.    Which of the following is not a fungicide?
a.    Topguard
b.    Centaur
c.    Nordox
d.    Regalia
3. [...]

  • Research project tackles trunk diseases

Research project tackles trunk diseases

  • November 1st, 2012

Researchers will use nearly $1.8 million in grant money to develop new detection, extension, and research tools for managing wood-canker diseases of grapes and nut crops. Wood-canker diseases are a leading cause of vineyard and orchard removal in many parts of the country.

The research project was one of 14 [...]

  • Plant in clean ground

Plant in clean ground

  • October 1st, 2012

Grape selections that come out of the Clean Plant Center-Northwest Grapes are certified to be free of known grape viruses and crown gall disease, making them the cleanest in the nation. But years of work to test and maintain the clean plant material can quickly be undone by planting [...]

  • Fireblight expert retires

Fireblight expert retires

  • October 1st, 2012

Larry Pusey has used crab apples for his fireblight studies, as they can be manipulated to bloom year round in the greenhouse.
Geraldine Warner

For almost 20 years, Dr. Larry Pusey has been focused on researching a single problem—­fireblight.

As Pusey, 60, retires this month as plant pathologist with the U.S. [...]

  • Clean vines keep viruses out

Clean vines keep viruses out

  • October 1st, 2012

Washington State’s grape industry teamed up with researchers and regulatory officials last summer to educate growers and ­vintners about the importance of clean plants and about the process of certifying plant materials.

Grapevine leafroll disease and other viruses have become a serious problem in Washington vineyards in recent years for [...]

  • Sweet!

Sweet!

  • September 1st, 2012

Scientists are testing a sweet idea that might help organic cherry growers manage insects, birds, and diseases all in one go.

Organic growers have been successfully using the GF-120 protein bait to control the key pest, cherry fruit fly, but it does not provide sufficient control of the spotted wing [...]

  • Focus on soil health

Focus on soil health

  • July 1st, 2012

Apple seedlings grown in soil infested with root-lesion nematodes (on the left) and in soil without nematodes (on the right).

Whenever there is evidence of nematode problems in an orchard or vineyard—such as poor growth or yields—pathogens are usually working in concert with the nematodes, says Dr. Tom Forge, researcher [...]

  • Living with plum pox

Living with plum pox

  • July 1st, 2012

Jim Bittner, pictured with a tour group in his New York orchard, pulled out 20 acres of peaches when a plum pox-positive tree was found in his orchard. He is worried about Canada dropping its eradication effort.
PHOTO BY RICHARD LEHNERT

The question of how plum pox should be ­managed [...]

  • Canadians will reduce pressure to eliminate plum pox

Canadians will reduce pressure to eliminate plum pox

  • July 1st, 2012

In the “usual” journalistic process, reporters find expert sources and ask questions, then ask additional questions as the answers dictate. This process did not work in developing this article.

On both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border, phone calls directed to knowledgeable horticulturists involved in the plum pox programs were shunted [...]