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Protect Against Key Diseases in Your Orchards This Spring

January 12, 2023
man standing with a phone in a tree nuts orchard

Tree nuts are susceptible to a variety of diseases that thrive in humid, wet springs and can be potentially harmful to growing nuts, halting or damaging the health of the plant. Like humans, many pathogens will wreak havoc on the plant system before showing visible signs of disease, which is why preparing to make fungicide applications and establishing an integrated pest management plan before the season begins will help ensure the plant stays as healthy as possible. Proactive planning and knowing what to look for are key when combatting these early-season tree nut diseases.

  • Anthracnose overwinters in dead wood or mummified fruit that are attached to the tree – meaning infection can occur from the previous season. Look for round, orange-colored legions on nut hulls that begin at the tip of the leaf and move toward the middle of the leaf. Untreated hulls become mummies and create a feeding and breeding ground for navel orangeworm, opening the door to another level of disease potential.
  • Alternaria Leaf Spot is a more common leaf disease prevalent in the spring and summer that causes large brown spots on leaves that turn black as the fungus produces spores. Like many diseases, it can overwinter in plant debris from the previous year and favors high humidity and wet springs. Keep an eye out for leaf spots to prevent potential yield loss and defoliation.
  • Blossom blight is one of the most devastating diseases an almond tree might encounter because it can kill an entire stem. Spring brown rot blossom blight infections arise from warm, humid climates with extended periods of wetness, as well as from previous year infections, producing spores from infected fruit mummies on the orchard floor and left in the tree. The pathogen infects the tree early in the season, collapsing young blossom spurs and leaves from shoot blight, leading to gum at the base of infected flowers and cankers on twigs. In order to get ahead of this disease, prioritize good orchard sanitation and make the first recommended fungicide application just before bloom in the pink bud stage.

Preventive applications of a strong, broad-spectrum fungicide are the best way to protect your tree nut orchards from an array of devastating disease. Miravis® Duo fungicide targets and prevents these tough diseases using a combination of Adepidyn® technology and difenoconazole. That means improved overall health for your trees and a higher yield potential for you.

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

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