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Apple Orchards FAQ

Whether you are someone interested in starting an apple orchard, diversifying your farm to include apples, or have been growing for a few years and need more information, questions often arise. Here are some frequently asked questions with concise answers from the UMass Extension Fruit Team.

I want to start a commercial apple orchard. Where do I go for information?

The University of Massachusetts Amherst has an active Apple Extension program. Information about the various aspects of growing apples is available by contacting the UMass Fruit Team, Jon Clements at 413-478-7219 and/or going to the UMass Extension Fruit Program web site. Another good source is Apples-eXtension.

Is there a Pest Management Guide for growing apples commercially in Massachusetts?

Yes. There is a pest management guide compiled each year by faculty and Extension staff from the New England State Universities.

Do I need a pesticide license to apply pesticides to commercially grown apples in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts pesticide law requires that all persons who apply restricted pesticides to commercially grown agricultural crops must be in possession of a valid license or certification issued by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources MDAR. In accordance with the Massachusetts Pesticide Control Act and the current pesticide regulations, the MDAR conducts written examinations to measure competency to use, sell, and apply pesticides in Massachusetts. All exams are closed book and applicants must be at least 18 years of age as of the date of the examination.

More information on obtaining a Massachusetts Pesticide License you can contact the University of Massachusetts Pesticide Education Program or the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources-Pesticide Bureau.

I have a commercial apple orchard. Where can I have my soil tested?

Information about collecting soil samples and having the soil tested can be found at the University of Massachusetts Soil Test Lab website.

Where do I get information on growing apples using organic methods?

See the following web sites:

For more information on growing apples or if you are interested in attending workshops and other events contact the UMass Extension fruit program.