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Protect Your Pome Fruit Throughout Bloom Phase

February 28, 2018
This illustrated image shows the insect pear psylla.

Pear psylla

With spring around the corner, now is the time to initiate your pome insect and disease management program to ensure maximum growth and fruit quality. Below you’ll find several key pests and diseases common to the Pacific Northwest along with management tips and considerations.

Key Pests

Pear psylla is a notorious pest, damaging pear trees in many ways. Nymphs and adults produce honeydew that drips onto fruit which promotes sooty mold and can lead to russeting. Severe infestations can lead to defoliation and fruit drop. To control these populations, apply Minecto® Pro insecticide, which offers broad-spectrum control of common pome fruit pests, from petal fall through first cover.

Codling moth is a troublesome pest for pome fruit, particularly apples. Larvae feed on the fruit causing blemishes that leave the fruit unmarketable. If larvae penetrate far enough into the fruit, rotting can also occur. Overwintering populations typically emerge shortly after petal fall, making this a prime time to apply Minecto Pro. This treatment harnesses the power of 2 complementary active ingredients, cyantraniliprole and abamectin, to control overlapping pest populations.

Common Diseases

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease attacking both apples and pears. Infected leaves appear to have a white or gray powder on them and will curl upward as they become covered in spores. Powdery mildew will damage tree vigor, fruit quality and yield. You will likely see the best treatment results with a fungicide application like Aprovia® fungicide between the pink and petal fall stages and through your cover sprays.

Fire blight is a bacterial disease infecting both apples and pears that has been a big issue for growers in the Pacific Northwest beginning at bloom. Fire blight overwinters as cankers on trees in infected orchards and secrete bacterial residue that can be spread throughout the area. As the growing season progresses, open flowers, twigs and leaves will blacken and appear scorched. When conditions favor fire blight infection, implement a management program that includes Actigard® plant activator and traditional antibiotics. Actigard triggers the tree’s natural defense system, much like a vaccine.

Insecticide and fungicide applications – in combination with other management practices – can help improve orchard health year after year. Institute your management plans now to minimize insect and disease problems this growing season and protect fruit quality and yield.

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All photos are either the property of Syngenta or are used with permission.