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Fruit Program News

As of Friday morning, May 8, 2015, the risk of getting fire blight as we move into the weekend is very high to extreme across most of Massachusetts. Depending on your state of apple or pear bloom, the application of streptomycin to open bloom is highly recommended, maybe even essential. We have numerous resources available for helping you manage fire blight in 2015:

Please take this situation seriously so we can minimize the amount of fire blight we have in 2015. By the middle of next week, the fire blight risk should be less severe. If you do get fire blight symptoms, please let us know --, 413-478-7219, or Daniel Cooley, 413-531-3383 -- as we are surveying for fire blight resistance to streptomycin in 2015.

Healthy Fruit is a timely newsletter that includes information on tree-fruit horticulture, pest management, and related topics. The primary reader is the commercial grower, but anyone growing fruit trees will benefit.

For more information »

2015 New England Tree Fruit Management Guide

A collaboration of tree fruit specialists in all six New England states, and with Cornell University, the 2015 New England Tree Fruit Management Guide (NETFMG) is a must-have for all commercial orchardists. The 2015 NETFMG is 283 pages and includes chapters on: Integrated Crop & Pest Management; Organic Tree Fruit Production in New England; Pesticide and Sprayer Information; Characteristics of Crop Protectants Used on Tree Fruits; Disease, Insect, Weed, Wildlife, and Nutrient Management; and specific spray management recommendations for Apples, Pears, Cherries, Peaches and Nectarines, Apricots, and Plums and Prunes. The 2015 NETFMG is available for purchase for $25 on the UMass Extension Bookstore. (Or you can also use this mail-in form to order Healthy Fruit and other UMass fruit publications.) The 2015 NETFMG will also be available for sale at Fruit Twilight Meetings.

The 2015 lineup for the Mass Aggie workshop series is now available. 
This year's workshops include:

  • Invasive Plants
  • 100' Fruiting Wall!
  • Fruit Tree Pest Management
  • Healthy Soils
  • Native Pollinators

Check it out at this link.

jmcextman: Out and about in the UMass Cold Spring Orchard...

My Baker's Dozen Apple and Pear Pruning Tips

As it approaches time to begin pruning your apple or pear orchard, here is "My Baker's Dozen Apple and Pear Dormant Pruning Tips."


Winter and Early-Season Fire Blight Management Fact Sheet

Dr. Quan Zeng, Dept. of Plant Pathology and Ecology, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

"Fire blight is a devastating disease of apples and pears caused by a bacterial pathogen Erwinia amylovora. Last year, serious fire blight was observed throughout New England orchards. What winter/early-season management practices shal we do to keep the fire blight away from our orchards?" View fact sheet on Fire Blight

Submitted by Jon Clements,

Apple and Peach Crop Insurance Fact Sheets for the 2015 crop year in Massachusetts are available from USDA's Risk Management Agency website:

Note the sales closing date is November 20, 2014. Contact a crop insurance sales agent ASAP if you are interested in insuring your 2015 apple and/or peach crop in Massachusetts. An sales agent locator is here:

Current bud stages, May 19, 2014, UMass Cold Spring Orchard.

View more photos of bud stages

Each year the UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture and the UMass Center for Agriculture offer one or more workshop series on topics of general interest to homeowners and small scale farmers.  In the past worshops have been offered in fruit tree grafting, pruning, wildflower identification, and cider making.

Download schedule and brochure

Adult Femail BMSB

The new UMass Extension Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Resouce Center is now available.  Go to the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Introduction page to enter the site which has information on ID & Biology, Monitoring, and Management of BMSB.