UMass Extension Fruit Program
The UMass Extension Fruit Program's mission is to assist fruit growers with all aspects of horticultural and pest management. It is part of the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment within the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Massachusetts.
A particularly nasty case of brown rot has afflicted shoots of Danube and Balaton tart cherry at the UMass Orchard in Belchertown. It was confirmed as brown rot by Dan Cooley's lab, there was the thought it might bacterial canker, but that has been ruled out. Many shoots are afflicted and will have to be pruned out. Interestingly, we wonder if it is a case of European brown rot, which appears to be quite more virulent than the garden variety American brown rot. This outbreak emphasized the importance of timely bloom fungicide sprays, as this is when the brown rot infection got started. Fruits will have to be protected with fungicides when ripening too. For more information on European vs. American brown rot, see this article in Good Fruit Grower. And for timely fungicide application choices, see see the Cherries Spray Table in New England Tree Fruit Management Guide.
Potato leafhopper (PLH) have arrived in Massachusetts, and pose a pest threat to young apple trees in particular. Scout for the presence of PLH in young apple planting and treat with an effective insecticide before they damage and stunt apple foliage on newly planted trees. PLH on older, bearing orchards do not present as much a threat.