Southeast Michigan fruit regional report – July 1, 2014

Apple maggot trap catches and Japanese beetle sightings make an early appearance. Strawberry harvest wraps up for farms in the south and continues for most others while sweet and tart cherry harvest begins.


Warmer temperatures and good rains have continued to push rapid growth in fruit crops. Strong thunderstorms with high winds moved throughout the region overnight with some hail reported. Our season remains close to normal for growing degree day (GDD) totals and ahead of normal for beginning harvest.

Tree fruits

Apples have sized well in the last week; near Flint, Michigan most are 1.5-1.875 inches. June drop is continuing. Hand-thinning is in full swing. Winter injury and tree collapse from extreme cold winter temperatures continues to be seen (refer to my Michigan State University Extension June 17, 2014 report for further details).

Apple maggot trap catch on yellow sticky traps started to be found yesterday, June 30, which is about a week ahead of normal first trap catches in the region. Apple maggots usually take 10 days before they begin to lay eggs in fruit. Japanese beetles are just are starting to be found on several fruit crops, including apples. San Jose scale crawlers are very active on twigs, now is the time to control crawlers. Good predator numbers continue to be seen in most apple blocks, but overall pest pressure is low, so predators may be running out of food.

Sweet cherry harvest began and ended early at farms in the South because of lack of a crop. Birds are already feeding heavily on the few fruit that we have this season. Spotted wing Drosophila traps need to be set in sweet cherries yet to be harvested. Larger scaffold limbs on stressed sweet cherry trees continue to collapse from winter injury.

Tart cherry harvest is underway at many farms. Bird feeding is a problem here as well. Spotted wing Drosophila traps need to be set in start cherries.

Small fruits

Grapes are at green fruit for Concord and Niagara varieties with a wide range of development stages this season. Wine grapes continue to have extensive cane death in most varieties, but new shoots continue to emerge from latent buds on the trunk. It is still a bit early to prune these back as I hope to see more buds break in the next few weeks. Grape berry moths are continuing to be caught in traps.

Strawberry harvest has wrapped up at farms in the south. Renovation has started at a few farms. Most other farms are hoping to continue harvest through July 4. Gray mold continues to be seen. A fungicide application is needed to arrest the problem and growers need to be closely monitoring plantings for possible spread.

Raspberries are at harvest for the earliest maturing varieties with enlarging green to red fruit on most summer fruiting types. Fall-bearing varieties are 36-40 inches in length. A few flower clusters are just starting to be seen on fall-bearing raspberries. Spotted wing Drosophila traps need to be set in summer raspberries.

Blueberry fruit are mostly 11-14 millimeters. No blueberry maggot has been caught in traps, but is expected soon.

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