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Extension Fruit Program Projects

Fire blight is a major threat to apple production in USA. It can destroy thousands of high density trees per farm in epidemic conditions. Our priority is to address this threat by development of pest risk assessment through quantifying survival of fire blight bacterium Erwinia amylovora in wood cankers as main sources for infection. 

Over 75 named and numbered peach/nectarine and plum varieties/selections are under casual evaluation and demonstration at the UMass Cold Spring Orchard. Most of them are varieties/selection from the Fruit Acres/Stellar, Paul Friday/Flaming Fury, and Rutgers/Adams County Nursery breeding and variety introduction programs. Data/observations collected includes flowering, yield, fruit quality (size, color, firmness, brix, maturity, and taste/consumer acceptance), and pest susceptibility. Results/variety recommendations are available to growers at meetings and personal consultation/visits to UMass Orchard.