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Tree Fruit To Do List for NJ Growers

-Win Cowgill, Professor and Area Fruit Agent

The up and down weather of the last two months has made this spring a challenge to get things done on time. There are some key chores and activities that need to get done before the potential rain events forecast to begin Saturday and continue through Tuesday the 24th.
The following bulleted list are a few I can think of....

  • Fertilize your peach trees and young apples before the rain this weekend.
  • Make sure you are covered up for apple scab before the weekend- we have not had an infection period yet but apple scab spores are 90% mature and ready to go with the first rain of sufficient duration.
  • Apply Apogee in bloom for control of the shoot phase of Fireblight, use low rate of 3 OZ/100. Essential on young apple trees 2-5 years old especially on M9 rootstock.
  • Consider bloom thinning apple with NAA or ATS on heavy bloom blocks or hard to thin cultivars that do not have freez injury.
  • Apply Promalin - We are in the window to apply Promalin (or Perlan or Typy) to increase the length to diameter ratio (“typiness”) of the fruit such as Delicious and Gala. For one application the timing is petal fall of the king bloom- “Typiness” can be an important marketing advantage for some cultivars and markets. These materials are most effective when applied in a narrow timing window when king blooms are open. At later timings and at high rates, they can cause fruit thinning. The best response is obtained when temperatures are warm (>70°F) and the spray is applied as a fine mist in 100 gallons of water/A.
  • Petal Fall Thinning - Be ready to apply petal fall thinning sprays of Sevin, NAA or Sevin + NAA. Almost all apple varieties benefit from the mild uniform thinning effects of Sevin XLR at PF.
  • Remember that at bloom and petal fall NAA does not have as strong, therefore consider increasing the rate to 7-10 PPM of NAA as Fruitone L (3 to 4 ounces/100).
  • Apply copper to newly planted apple trees before this weekends rain for fireblight control. Newly planted apple trees should have two applications of Copper to prevent any potential streptomycin resistant fireblight imported from nurseries.