Grand Rapids, Mich., area tree fruit regional report - April 16, 2013

Still waiting for first green in apples around Grand Rapids.

Spring continues to be slow to arrive in 2013, but this is no worry to apple growers. While we wait for the warmer weather, we have been receiving some much needed rainfall and are now ready for the season to begin. 

Growing degree day totals for the general West Michigan area continue to run behind normal. Most apples are very tight with hardly even silver tip showing. First green will most likely begin to show up on early apple cultivars at any time, with the majority of varieties possibly showing some green over the coming weekend, but the forecast is looking pretty cold, so I wouldn’t be surprised if nothing happens in apples until next week. 

Tree fruit diseases

Michigan State University Extension is advising that copper applications on sweet cherry and other stone fruits can be applied at any time making sure there is no green tissue showing if you are using full rates to help with bacterial canker. As green tissue appears, you need to reduce copper rates to avoid phytotoxicity. Copper in apples for fire blight management is best timed for delayed dormant or silver tip and it has activity against apple scab as well.


No activity to report for tree fruit insects at this time. Green fruitworms should start to fly soon. If you have the time, scouting for European red mite overwintering eggs should be done.

Meeting notices

Spring Spray meeting is Thursday, April 18, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Goodfellow Orchards near Sparta. It’s the same location as last year. This meeting is open to everyone.

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