• 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 [...]

Steps to manage canker

  • May 15th, 2012

Scientists have developed the following ­integrated approach to manage canker in cherries:

Avoid interplanting new with old trees. Rain can splash inoculum from old trees onto the young, healthy trees.
 Do not use sprinkle irrigation on trees for the first three years. In late summer, reduce the amount of water [...]

  • Bacterial canker requires an integrated approach

Bacterial canker requires an integrated approach

  • May 15th, 2012

A canker from the bacteria Pseudomonas syringae has developed in this young cherry tree.
Photo by Ken Johnson, OSU

With copper bactericides failing in some areas to control bacterial canker (Pseudomonas syringae) in cherries, growers will have to adopt an integrated approach, says an Oregon State University plant pathologist.

Bacterial canker [...]

  • Choosing not to replant

Choosing not to replant

  • May 1st, 2012

An example of layering, in which a cane is brought from the old Cabernet Sauvignon cordon on the right to where a vine was missing, burying it so that a new sho ot would emerge to become the new trunk. The new vine, still connected to the old one, [...]

  • Organic viticulture is all about timing

Organic viticulture is all about timing

  • May 1st, 2012

Bill Powers used common materials—screen mesh, bottoms of plastic jugs—to construct his pest fan.
Melissa Hansen

The key to making organic practices effective in the vineyard boils down to timing, says organic wine grape pioneer Bill Powers. With more than two decades of organic farming experience, he’s used farmer know-how [...]

  • New York apple growers on alert for strep-resistant fireblight

New York apple growers on alert for strep-resistant fireblight

  • April 1st, 2012

Dead terminal shoots on apple trees caused by infection by fireblight bacteria.
COURTESY OF KERIK COX

Apple growers in New York State were not granted the Section 18 emergency use permit they requested from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That would have allowed them to use the antibiotic kasugamycin (Kasumin) [...]

  • Clinic can diagnose crop ailments

Clinic can diagnose crop ailments

  • April 1st, 2012

Karen Ward runs WSU’s Plant Pest Diagnostic Clinic.

If you find strange rots or spots on your fruit trees or some mysterious ailment, Washington State University’s Plant Pest Diagnostic Clinic is ready to help out.

Karen Ward, clinic coordinator, accepts plant samples for diagnosis of diseases and disorders. The clinic, based [...]