McIntosh trees are at petal fall in the Greenville area. In Newport County, trees are still in full bloom. Petal fall is the first crucial time for insecticides. Plum curculio and European apple sawfly are the two main pests, but there are also other pests as well. These pests can be controlled with an application of Imidan, Calypso or Avaunt.
Another pest is European red mite. Now is a good time to look for ERM nymphs. Look on the underside of the oldest leaves, especially leaves close to the main scaffold limbs and especially on Red Delicious trees or other trees where you know you had mites last year. In one orchard I saw leaf bronzing due to mite feeding. If you find an average of more than one mite per leaf, consider applying a miticide.
Apple scab. We are at peak apple scab season right now. Keep your trees well protected with a fungicide going into this unsettled weather. I did see apple scab lesions in several orchards on May 15th. Scout now for the tiny lesions. The easiest way to see them is to stand inside the canopy and look towards the outside of the tree. At this time of year the lesions are very small and look like little olive green smudges, about 1/8th of an inch in diameter. If you look at the lesions under a magnifying glass, the lesion looks fuzzy.
What to do if you find lesions? I have no good suggestions – but try applying Syllit, Flint or Sovran at full rates. Captan at the full rate will also help kill apple scab lesions.
We may have a problem with fire blight this year. All we can really do now is keep looking for fire blight infections. Early blossom blight infections could show up as water soaked areas on the fruit pedicles. Later this month, infections could be easier to spot – flower clusters may be dark brown and dead. Here’s a great fact sheet on fire blight http://www.caf.wvu.edu/Kearneysville/disease_descriptions/omblight.html
Come to the twilight meeting at Jaswell’s on Thursday, May 17 at 5:30. For directions to Jaswell’s see their website http://www.jaswellsfarm.com/
Next message will be recorded May 22.