Watch for crown gall and vine decline

  • February 15th, 2011

Vineyardists in the Pacific Northwest have been relatively lucky regarding the number of grape diseases they have to worry about. But recent experiences indicate that Washington growers should also watch for diseases associated with vine decline, and crown gall could again be a problem in the state.

In the mid-1990s, [...]

BUYER BEWARE: Certified may not be clean

  • February 15th, 2011

Recent Washington State grower experiences of finding disease in a vineyard planted with certified stock have highlighted the weaknesses of state plant health certification programs and the need for program improvement.

“We thought we had something clean, and we were going down the road thinking we had some nice, clean [...]

  • A program for scab control

A program for scab control

  • February 15th, 2011

Photos courtesy of kerik cox, cornell university

Growers producing apples in the cool, damp northeast quadrant of the United States need to take a step-by-careful-step approach to apple scab control—starting early and being meticulous—or they can be in for a long summer of expensive spraying and still lose part of [...]

Little cherries, little flavor

  • February 15th, 2011

The cool weather of 2010 highlighted a growing concern about little cherries showing up in some orchards. Follow-up testing by Washington State University confirmed that the trees were infected with a dreaded cherry disease that had not been found extensively in Washington before.

“The 2010 spring was very cool, and [...]

Tackling scab resistance

  • February 15th, 2011

Apple growers in the Midwest who stuck by the “old ways” of applying fungicides have not faced the problem of apple scab becoming resistant to fungicides. The old ways employed protectant fungicides like captan and ­mancozeb; the new ways used curative chemistries.

Now what should growers do? Dr. Janna Beckerman, [...]

Scab-resistant varieties need protection, too

  • February 15th, 2011

When apple breeders in New Jersey, Indiana, and Illinois came together in 1926 to form the Purdue-Rutgers-Illinois university collaboration called PRI, their ­number-one goal was to create new apple varieties that were scab resistant.

They did it, too, and about 20 resistant varieties have been released. While several varieties have [...]

  • Clean plant material fundamental

Clean plant material fundamental

  • February 1st, 2011

The young vines in grow tubes are replants due to disease-contaminated plant material.

When Tedd Wildman began planting lesser-known red wine grape varieties on Washington State’s Wahluke Slope ten years ago, he was careful to source plant ­material from certified nurseries. But not careful enough.

At the time, certified plant material [...]

Mysterious ailment strikes

  • October 1st, 2010

A mysterious disease that has been killing the best looking, reddest strains of McIntosh apples in the nicest orchards in the northwest quadrant of Michigan has tentatively been identified, and growers now have some idea what to do about it.

“We’re not quite there yet,” said Dr. George Sundin, the [...]

  • Use glyphosate  with caution

Use glyphosate with caution

  • September 1st, 2010

This stunted apple tree, which has a large basal canker, is in an orchard where the grower used glyphosate alone three to four times a year to control weeds. Cuts on the margin of the canker show healthy green tissue.

Growers often express concern that a herbicide program using glyphosate [...]

Antibiotic on organic sunset list

  • July 1st, 2010

Organic tree fruit growers in the Pacific Northwest are concerned that the National Organic Standards Board might drop its approval of the antibiotic Mycoshield (oxytetracycline or tetracycline) for organic production in 2012. The product is used to manage fireblight in apples and pears.

The NOSB has a list of more [...]

  • Preventing pear rot

Preventing pear rot

  • May 15th, 2010

Dr. David Sugar, plant pathologist at Oregon State University, says the nitrogen and calcium levels in the orchard can affect the potential for decay in pears after harvest.

Orchard management can play an important role in ­minimizing postharvest decay in pears, says Dr. David Sugar, pathologist with Oregon State University [...]

  • Meeting the organic challenge

Meeting the organic challenge

  • May 1st, 2010

Harry and Jackie Hoch (center) gather in their orchard for a family photo on Easter weekend, where unusual 80-degree weather advanced the season, requiring sprays for disease control on the apricots and plums. With them are Harry’s mother, Jackie Senior, and their daughters Missy (far left) and Angi.
Photo [...]