Orchard management:   Synopsis of key late season dates

Background Information for this page
Return to Apple list for Easthampton MA
Weather data for Easthampton MA.  Forecast values begin September 3, 2017

   Green text is for horticultural events and management activities.
 
 Red is for insect pest events.
   Brown is for mite pest events.
   Blue is for disease events.
Highest priority growing season activities are highlighted in yellow boxes.
Blank boxes at bottom are for events for which it is too early to estimate dates.
Date Late Season Biological Events and Management Activities
June 14, Wed
    Start of 2nd generation Spotted tentiform leafminer flight
June 16, Fri  
    Glyphosate (Roundup) herbicide application more than 45 days after full bloom to soil around apple trees with root suckers, especially young trees, poses increased risk of damage from systemic uptake through root suckers into the trunk and root system.  Apple trees without root suckers may also become more sensitive to trunk contact by glyphosate with late season application, especially trees under drought or other stress.
June 17, Sat  
   Japanese beetle adults begin feeding on foliage (rough guess).  Honeycrisp apples seem to be one of their favorite foods.
June 18, Sun  
    If using pheromone traps to estimate populations and time treatment for Oriental fruit moth larvae, time to set traps.  First trap capture expected in 7 days.
June 21, Wed
    Where preventive control of small Obliquebanded leafroller larvae is needed, date for first application of Assail, Calypso, Intrepid, SpinTor, a Bt product, or other insecticide effective against OBLR.

June 21, Wed

    Dogwood borer egg hatch begins.  Peak egg hatch is roughly July 26.
    Trunk insecticide (chlorpyrifos offers best protection) needs to be in place by this date, especially on young trees with burr knots and not receiving insecticide for other pests.
June 23, Fri
    Roundheaded apple tree borer peak egglaying period is approximately June 23 to July 7.  Unprotected young trees at risk of borer infestation.

June 23, Fri

    Early 3rd generation European red mite nymphs appear
    Between now and June 28 is an important monitoring period to detect for above threshold population before 4th generation eggs are laid.
June 24, Sat
    Plum curculio egglaying begins natural decline.  If using Surround repellence instead of insecticide mortality to prevent PC damage, coverage should be maintained from Petal fall until at least this date.

June 27, Tue

    Date by which 2nd generation lesions from the final primary scab infection period have had time to begin appearing.  Finding fewer than 5 leaves with fresh lesions per 100 fruit clusters and vegetative shoots after this date indicates that scab control has been successful.
    Finding more than 5 leaves with fresh scab lesions per 100 clusters/shoots at this time in a commercial orchard suggests that fungicide selection and spray intervals need to be adjusted to suppress spore production, and to protect fruit and foliage for at least 4 weeks until active scab lesions exhaust their supply of spores.

June 28, Wed
  
    Early 3rd generation European red mite adults begin laying 4th generation eggs.  Fourth generation is typically the peak ERM population of the year.

June 28, Wed

    Date by which 2nd generation Flyspeck spores start becoming available, increasing risk of infections that will show by harvest.  In low-flyspeck-risk blocks, continuous protection may not be needed prior to this date.  See Flyspeck tables for optimum spray intervals and definition of low-risk blocks.
June 29, Thu
    Apple maggot adults start appearing on traps (rough guess, rain factor not included in estimate).  Time to set traps or risk missing early emerging flies.
June 30, Fri     
    Rough guess of terminal bud set on bearing trees, but actual date is highly variable by cultivar, tree age, tree vigor, and weather.  Vertical shoots may have new foliar growth beyond this date as they set terminal buds later.  Summer pruning to open tree canopies for better fruit color and to increase number of flower buds next year should only begin after terminal bud set.  Summer pruning before terminal bud set has undesirable effects on fruit quality and vegetative regrowth.
 
  Lack of succulent new growth after terminal bud set slows progress of new apple scab infections, powdery mildew, and fire blight shoot blight.  But both scab and fire blight infections can spread with suitable conditions and lack of protection. In orchards with active fire blight, delay hand thinning and bud pinching until after terminal bud set. 
   
Summer pruning also lowers canopy humidity and allows better spray coverage to suppress flyspeck, scab, and bitter rot diseases, and removes water sprouts that are favored aphid habitat.

June 30, Fri
 
    First sample date for late instar summer generation Obliquebanded leafroller larvae.  Threshold is 4 or more larvae per 100 shoot terminals.

July 1, Sat

    European red mite threshold until July 31 is 5 mites per leaf, or mites present on 77% of middle-aged leaves.  See July ERM sampling table for optimum scouting intervals.

July 2, Sun
 
      Apple maggot trap captures increase as emergence from soil reaches 50% (rough guess, rain factor not included in estimate).
  Thresholds: 
      Odor-baited traps: 5 AM flies per trap since previous insecticide depleted
      Unbaited: 1+ per trap since previous insecticide depleted.

July 3, Mon
 
    First treatment date for 2nd generation Oriental fruit moth larvae.

July 9, Sun

    First sample date for 2nd generation Spotted tentiform leafminer sap-feeding mines (early mines fully visible but few have reached less vulnerable tissue-feeding stage).
    Thresholds:  McIntosh & stressed trees - 1 mine per leaf;
                      Unstressed trees - 1.3 per leaf.
July 14, Fri  
    Date to collect leaf samples for foliar nutrient analysis
      (acceptable range is +/- 10 to 14 days of this date).
mid-July
through September
 
    Regular close mowing helps lower canopy humidity, conserves soil moisture, and can help suppress orchard vole populations.
    Late-season herbicide application can prevent desirable ground cover regrowth to help protect roots from low winter temperatures.

July 26, Wed

    Date by which 3rd generation Flyspeck spores start becoming available.  From this date until about 30 days before harvest is the peak risk for flyspeck infections that will show by harvest.  Good date to begin scouting for flyspeck on fruit to see if there is need for intensified suppression.
    See Flyspeck tables for optimum spray intervals.

July 28, Fri

    2nd generation Codling moth 7% egg hatch.  If control needed, and Bt or other material requiring repeated applications for control is being used, this is best date for first application.  See Codling moth tables for follow-up spray dates to maintain protection through 2nd generation CM egg hatch. 
    No reliable threshold:  Go by block history.  Another risk indicator is pheromone trap capture above 5 to 14 codling moths per week.

August 1, Tue

    European red mite threshold until August 15 is 7.5 mites per leaf, or mites present on 86% of middle-aged leaves.  See August ERM sampling table for optimum scouting intervals.

August 4, Fri
 
    2nd generation White apple leafhopper nymphs present.
 Threshold: 2 per leaf, lower if leafhoppers were a problem at harvest last year.
 

August 4
 to August 11

    Rough estimate of 28 to 21 days before start of normal harvest period for untreated McIntosh fruit.  Applying ReTain 3 to 4 weeks before start of harvest will delay fruit maturity for 7 to 10 days for single pick harvest.

August 7, Mon
 
    2nd generation Codling moth - best treatment date where single spray is adequate (estimated 30% egg hatch).
Preharvest
    Harvest preparations to optimize fruit quality, to reduce bruising and to prevent postharvest rots:
    Repair and disinfect bins; monitor fruit maturity; make arrangements for harvest management; smooth travel lanes; check rapid cooling capacity; packing shed sanitation; set criteria for determining if postharvest dip needed.

August 18
 to August 25

    Rough estimate of 14 to 7 days before start of normal harvest period for untreated McIntosh fruit.  Applying ReTain 1 to 2 weeks before start of harvest will not delay first pick, but will delay fruit maturity and improve storage potential for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th picks.

August 25, Fri

    Rough guess at latest recommended date to begin starch iodine index monitoring for non-spur McIntosh.  See 'Harvest dates' table for rough estimates of McIntosh maturity dates.
August and
September

    Most effective timing for controlling persistent weeds (bindweed, brambles, dandelion, goldenrod, vetch etc.) with carefully targetted glyphosate (Roundup).  But there is also increased risk of systemic tree damage from misdirected spray and on trees with root suckers with late-season application.  Requires extra caution for application method and wind.  Trees with root suckers removed at least one week prior to application and with trunks protected with white paint are less susceptible.  Also note preharvest interval.
  
 Green apple aphid populations are typically under biocontrol by this time.  If abundant, see threshold comments in the mid-June entry.  Also, high aphid population near harvest can result in honeydew staining of fruit.  The sticky honeydew is relatively easy to wash off, but can lead to sooty mold growth and be a problem for harvest operations and pick-your-own marketing.  Threshold stated as 10% of fruit stained, but actual threshold is farm-specific.

Sep 1, Fri

    For long-range planning only:  Preliminary early season estimate of when non-spur McIntosh will reach starch index 4.  This begins the optimum maturity window to harvest for long term CA storage. 

Sep 22, Fri

    Preliminary early season estimate of when non-spur McIntosh will reach starch index 6, and end of optimum maturity window to harvest for long term CA storage.
During or soon after harvest
    Record pest damage observations at harvest to improve next year's pest management program.
 
  About 25 minutes per block for apple scab indexing after September 10 and before leaf discoloration in October can yield more effective and less expensive scab control next spring.
Fall activities  
    Look for trees with foliage turning color earlier than others.  May be indication of collar rot or fire blight rootstock infection, systemic herbicide damage, vole girdling, or other damage to tree's vascular system.
   
Check trees with trunks less than 4 inch diameter for signs of borers and remove borers if found.
Fall activities
    Check vole monitoring stations for activity .  Chances of vole damage are higher where grass alley between trees and woods or brushy border has not been regularly mowed through summer and fall weeds cover more than 40% of tree row area.  If more than 20% of apple slices placed under shingles with evidence of vole activity are chewed or entirely missing after 24 hours, this indicates potential for serious vole damage.
    Mowing is effective at reducing subsequent vole immigration.  If using vole bait, remove drops as bait competition and wait for forecast of three dry sunny days in succession. 
    Recheck vole stations for recent activity 2-3 weeks after application to see if reapplication needed.
    Check vole guards before snow season.
Fall activities
    Flail mowing and/or urea application to reduce overwintering Apple scab and leafminer populations.
 
  Painting trunks with white latex paint solution reduces freeze cracking, may reduce borer infestation and makes detection of infestation easier to see, and reduces bark exposure to misdirected herbicide spray.
 
  Check and repair fencing before deer establish feeding habit.
Fall activities  
    Clean and service spray equipment, prepare them for winter storage.
    Insure
proper storage conditions for leftover pesticides.
   
Review what worked and didn't work well is pest management program this year, and why.
Winter activities  
    Check for vole damage, re-bait if needed and there is no snow cover.
    Maintain
deer fence and repellants, remove violators.
    Remove
wild host trees tagged earlier, remove undesirable windbreaks.
Winter activities  
   Consider pest management needs while pruning, i.e. open canopy to reduce drying time for apple scab and flyspeck, and removal of cankers and fire blight-infected wood.
   Burn prunings that had wood rot canker or
fire blight.
   Catch up on pest management reading in Extension and trade publications, attend winter meetings.
Winter activities  
   Review what did and did not work well in your pest management program this year, and why.
   Revise pest management plan for coming season.  Get specific.  Write it down!
   Inventory pesticides.  Organize record keeping. Order pesticides, traps, etc. for next spring.

Before storage  
   Check tractor and sprayer for needed repairs.
   Replace worn nozzles, weak hoses, damaged or blocked filters, and inaccurate pressure gauges.  Check for tank leaks, adequate agitation and pump function.