Orchard Outlook Newsletter Vol. 24, No 5

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Today's newsletter shows signs of king bud injury from the April freezing temperatures that is minor but it will influence chemical thinning decisions. We warn that the next apple scab infection period is going to release a very large spore load and that this week presents ideal conditions for powdery mildew infections. Stone fruit are at risk of brown rot in warm and wet weather now that they are in bloom. We give advance notice of considerations for fire blight, blossom end rot, pre-bloom insecticides, and blossom thinning. The recent thorough rain has settled the soil for young plantings and nurseries if you wish to follow up with a residual herbicide before the next significant rain and conditions are currently good for activity of post-emergent herbicides. Thanks to the ongoing commitment of the Orchard Outlook Committee members.

Table of Contents:

  • 2024 Degree Day Accumulations
  • Freeze Injury
  • Apple Buds
  • Pear and Stone Fruit Buds
  • Apple - Scab
  • Apple - Powdery Mildew
  • Fire Blight Prevention
  • Apple and Pear - Fire Blight Blossom Blight (Advance notice)
  • Fire Blight - Shoot Blight Management
  • Apple - Calyx/Blossom End Rot (Advance Notice)
  • Stone Fruit - Brown Rot
  • European Red Mite
  • Pre-Bloom Insecticides (Advance notice)

Blossom Thinning (Advance notice)

  • General
  • Pollination
  • Grafting
  • Mowing
  • Notching for Blind Wood
  • Weed Management
  • Pruning
  • Fertilizing
  • Liming
  • Nursery Trees
  • Planting Trees

Events and Notices

  • PomeBlight
  • Cover Crop Selection Tool
  • Marbicon Inc. / Jim Jotcham Pesticide Exam Preparation Courses
  • Resilient Agriculture Landscape Program

Online Pest Management Guide



2024 Degree Day Accumulations

The degree day accumulations beginning on March 1 for base 5°C continue to be slightly less than the 5- and 10-year averages (Figure 1). The base 5°C is comparable to the years 2023 and 2019. Temperatures have been trending slightly below seasonal for the last month or so and are forecast to trend higher than seasonal for the next month.

The degree days at base 10°C are below average and may suggest delayed insect activity so monitor your scouting reports and any guidance from your crop consultant as pre-bloom insecticide timing approaches. The base 10°C accumulation is more than what we observed in the abnormal year of 2020 but less than every other year on the graph. The delayed heat for insect activity may warrant insecticide application close to the full pink stage just before blossoms open. The bud stage called full pink occurs when the blossoms petals are puffy, especially the king bud.

Rainfall is currently below average (not shown).
Figure 1: Heating degree day accumulations for plant (above 5°C) and insect (above 10°C) development from March 1 to May 13 for the past 17 seasons. Provided by Jeff Franklin (AAFC).
  • Approximately 5% less plant development heat units compared to the 5-year average, and 6% less compared to the 10-year average.
  • Approximately 1% less plant development heat units compared to 2023, and 17% less compared with 2022.
  • Approximately 23% less insect development heat units compared to the 5-year average, and 32% less compared to the 10-year average.

Freeze Injury

There continue to be reports of minor freeze injury to buds from multiple successive nights of freezing temperatures in late April when buds varied from green tip to half-inch green. The injury is most common on early varieties but also appears on Honeycrisp, and affects largely the king fruit but occasionally the side fruit. The injury is widespread but appears to be minor so it will not affect the final crop load. However, unfortunately with the king buds being injured it will make chemical thinning decisions more difficult.

For the photos of bud injury shown in Figure 2, the lowest recorded temperature in this region was -4.3°C on April 28 when Idared was at late half-inch green and Honeycrisp was at half-inch green. About 10% injury could be expected according to the critical spring temperature chart.

Buds are now easy to check so have a look if you are unsure if injury occurred (Figure 2). King buds with a short stem are injured and fall off. If you cut fruitlets vertically, green is good and brown is bad. Let crop insurance know of any suspected damage to have it on the record.

Figure 2: Buds are now easy to check for freeze injury. Vertical cuts on Idared buds reveals king buds with brown and dead reproductive organs (top left), and living green tissue on lateral buds (top right). Honeycrisp buds that are beginning to separate reveal a dead king bud with a short stem (bottom left). A vertical cut through the Honeycrisp king bud reveals brown and dead tissue (bottom right). The injury will not reduce the final yield but will make chemical thinning more challenging.

Bud Development

Apple Buds

An early region on Middle Dyke Road in the Kentville area is monitored to guide this newsletter. Yesterday on May 13, the Idared buds were at bud separation, Honeycrisp was at tight cluster and Ambrosia was at tight cluster (Figure 3). If you want to target the early timing for Apogee/Kudos of 2.5 cm, note that vegetative growth currently ranges in length from 1.0 to 2.5 cm (Figure 4).

Figure 3: Fruit bud development in an early region on Middle Dyke Road in Kentville on May 13. Shown from left to right: Idared (bud separation), Honeycrisp (tight cluster), and Ambrosia (tight cluster).

Figure 4: Vegetative bud development in an early region on Middle Dyke Road in Kentville on May 13. Shown from left to right: Idared (2.5 cm), Honeycrisp (1.0 cm), and Ambrosia (1.5 cm).

Pear and Stone Fruit Buds

Yesterday on May 13 at an early region in Greenwich, the pear buds were at tight cluster, peach was at first to full bloom depending on the variety, European plum was at white bud to early bloom, Japanese plum was in full bloom and sweet cherry in Kentville by K. Hiltz was at first bloom (Figure 6).

Figure 5: Bud development in an early region in Greenwich on May 13. Shown from left to right: pear (tight cluster), peach (first to full bloom), European plum (white bud to early bloom), and sweet cherry - Kentville (first bloom).


Apple – Scab

Table 1: Apple scab infection events in Kentville from May 7 to May 14, based on the Modified Mills Table. 
1 For a high inoculum orchard, a significant number of spores can be released during darkness, so begin calculating leaf wetting regardless of the time of day when the wetting event started. An orchard is considered to have a high inoculum load if last season it had 100 or more scabby leaves observed over 600 shoots.
2 Assuming a green tip date of Saturday, April 15th. Please use this as a guide because microclimates will cause conditions to vary on individual farms.
Note: The environmental conditions for an infection are listed in the Modified Mills Table.

Light wetting of 0.2 mm also occurred on Sat May 11 for an estimated 19 hours of wetness at 5.6°C. It may not have been sufficient to cause infection (minimum 23 hours of leaf wetness required). Most orchards were likely covered anyway. Ascospores were 24.1% mature with 5% available since the last release.


  • At this time it is unclear if rain is expected in the long term forecast so I cannot predict the maturity of the ascospores for the next infection event. However, given the forecast warm temperatures the ascospores are expected to mature at a rate of 5% per day. Be warned that the next infection event is going to release a very large spore load. Also, in warm temperatures the risk of infection is highly likely given rain. Post-infection control is not encouraged and especially not for the next infection event. 
  • Let's review some considerations for product options at this time of the year. 
    • Mancozeb (Manzate/Penncozeb) can be used only 4 times/year. It is recommended that you save one mancozeb spray for during the bloom period because it is compatible with oil and may be used around the same time as streptomycin/kasumin + Agral 90 or it may be used as the spreader-sticker. Captan is not compatible with oil and does not help with distribution.
    • Captan may be applied as long as oil has not been applied within 7-14 days. Fontelis has oil in the formulation. It is worse to apply Captan after an oil instead of before. Note the max number of applications per season for high density trees is 10 and for low density trees is 2.
    • Allegro may be applied as long as oil has not been applied within 3 days (including Fontelis). the REI is short at 24 hrs. 
    • Do not apply: Folpan/Follow and Syllit should NOT be applied between tight cluster and 30 days after petal fall to avoid fruit russeting. 
    • Buran is registered for scab suppression only and must be applied post-infection so it is not recommended for the next event that will be high-risk.
    • Note that single site products in group 3 are not expected to provide control of apple scab due to resistance. For other single site products, check the label for rates required for apple scab control because for Luna Tranquility the high rate is needed unless it is tank mixed with another product for scab control.
  • Apply a protectant fungicide to green tissue prior to an infection event and reapply on a 7-day interval, with a shorter interval after wet weather (cumulative 1-2” rain) or rapid tissue growth.
  • Pears: For pear scab, Allegro and mancozeb are NOT registered uses. Captan may be used 2 times for low density and 10 times for high density. Note that for pears, Scala and Luna Tranquility have a 72 day preharvest interval. The registered products are listed in the online guide under Tree Fruit and Pears.

Apple – Powdery Mildew

Typically, conidia are released around the tight cluster stage. Powdery mildew infections can be expected when conditions are warm (10-25°C), humid and dry.


  • This week presents ideal conditions for powdery mildew infections as far as we understand. Powdery mildew protection is recommended in the near-term if one has not already been applied. I suspect that the first powdery mildew sprays will be applied this week to later regions as they reach the tight cluster development stage.
  • For early regions, consider your second application of a mildew protectant using the re-application schedule noted on the product being used (usually 7-14 days).
  • If you're using Luna Tranquility for powdery mildew, concurrent activity for scab control is only provided at the high rate. If you're using a full rate of Nova, Fullback or Cevya, no scab activity is expected due to resistance. If using Nova, the water soluble packaging should not be mixed with oil or boron.
  • Avoid more than two consecutive applications of products with a group 3, 7, or 11. Powdery mildew resistance to group 11 products was reported in a survey done in 2013 so success is unlikely. Group M products do not have activity on powdery mildew. 
  • Buran is registered for control of powdery mildew in apples under low to moderate disease pressure and local research is ongoing. Apply with 0.1% Agral 90. This product does not have protectant scab activity so will only provide scab protection post-infection.
  • Remember to treat young plantings because severe infections can reduce shoot growth, which is most concerning for young, non-bearing orchards.
  • Pay particular attention to susceptible and high-value varieties such as Honeycrisp and Gala.

Apple – Fire Blight Prevention


  • Cankers may be active now and it is difficult to confirm because ooze may be reabsorbed by morning. Pruning practices should be done on dry and sunny days, especially in high risk blocks. Wounds can take about 2 days to heal. Do not work in trees when they are wet from dew.
  • If interested in pinching buds on young trees the practice can begin around the bud separation stage when it's possible to avoid removing the terminal shoot. Pinching buds becomes risky as bloom begins because fire blight bacteria grow on the flower stigma and are expected to be present in high numbers in warm weather. Do not pinch flowers when tissues are wet. This practice is time-consuming and any remaining flowers are susceptible to infection.

Apple and Pear – Fire Blight Blossom Blight (Advance notice)

Fire Blight Biology
Open blossoms must be present for a blossom blight risk. Fire blight bacteria are transported from overwintering canker sites to open flowers by the action of insects and rain. These bacteria then reproduce on the stigma of flowers and are washed down into the base of the flower by a wetting event – a minimum of just 0.25 mm of rain or heavy dew – which then initiates an infection if adequate bacterial populations are present. An average daily temperature of at least 15.6°C is needed to establish infections and the infection potential rises with consecutive hours above 18.3°C. Blossom blight risk increases with warm temperatures between 23°C and 27°C, especially when occurring over consecutive days because this temperature range is ideal for bacterial reproduction. The Maryblyt model criteria is used to predict blossom blight infections.

Monitoring Regions for Blossom Blight Alerts
This year, all NSFGA-owned weather stations will be used for industry alerts. Those weather stations are located in the following communities: Atlanta, Aylesford, Grafton, Grand Pre, Melvern Square, Morristown, Moschelle, North Medford, Windsor, and Woodville. 

  • If the replacement part for the Grand Pre station has not arrived by bloom time, a nearby Davis weather station in Grand Pre will be used instead.
  • Short notice blossom blight alerts will be delivered directly to your email inbox. Periods with high fire blight bacterial populations are defined by Maryblyt as having an Epiphytic Infection Potential (EIP) greater than 100. Notifications will be sent as soon as it is evident that the EIP will approach 100 for apples and pears. 
  • If you would like to join the alert contact list, please let me know at mcortens@perennia.ca or sign up online. Alerts will be delivered on weekends and holidays.
  • Ideally you will monitor your own farm-specific conditions and improve your management decisions using PomeBlight that was developed for Nova Scotia apple and pear growers. Contact me if you need a quick refresher or need help setting up. Run the model using your own temperature, rainfall, bloom and spray dates (industry alerts will offer limited scenarios). 
  • Please watch for and take note of your first blossom date which is the first flower that opens on your orchard.

Fire Blight - Shoot Blight Management


  • Apogee/Kudos (prohexadione calcium) supress shoot blight. The timing of the first application at 2.5-7.5 cm of new shoot growth is critical to success. Follow up with a second application applied around 14 days later.
  • The products slow fire blight movement in the tree to buy time for removing infections and also reduce the incidence of canker formation. The product becomes effective about 10 days after application so for maximum prevention of fire blight damage apply it early and before symptoms of infection appear.
  • Apogee should be put on with higher water volumes to cover all new leaves and growing tips.
  • Include Agral 90 at 500 mL per 1000 L of water. Do not exceed this amount of surfactant. 
  • If applying Agral 90 there may be a risk of burn if using Captan.
  • Apogee should also be applied with spray grade ammonium sulphate (AMS) in an equal 1:1 ratio with the amount of Apogee used (e.g. 500 g Apogee = 500 g or 0.5 L of ammonium sulphate). This is not the blossom thinning product ammonium thiosulphate (ATS)!

Apple  Calyx/Blossom End Rot (Advance Notice)

The disease is caused by the organism Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Infections develop when conditions are warm (15 to 25°C) and moist during and shortly after bloom. The infection originates on sepals or dying petals and spreads to the calyx end of the fruit. The disease is most common on Paulared, Delicious, Cortland, Honeycrisp and McIntosh.

Symptoms appear about one month after petal fall on the calyx end of the fruit as a brown/grey discolouration that later develops a red border. The lesion is usually sunken and a corky dry rot develops in the flesh. When in storage, calyx end rot can lead to moldy core. 

The disease should not be confused with dry eye rot that is caused by Botrytis cineria from an infection that occurs later in the season. If you typically see symptoms, contact me if you would like to confirm the organism through lab testing.


  • If calyx/blossom end rot has been an issue in the past, consider using a captan product during full bloom. Infections can occur in problem blocks as the pathogen can last in the soil for several years.
  • If applying Streptomycin with Agral 90 there is a risk of burn if using captan. Prioritize fire blight over blossom end rot.
  • Keeping grass and dandelions mowed will allow the soil to dry and reduce the environmental conditions for spore ejection. Other broadleaf weeds are also a host of this disease so weed control prevents the build up of this pathogen.

Stone Fruit - Brown Rot

  • Fungicide protection from brown rot should begin just prior to bloom and be maintained during periods of warm and wet weather.
  • For plums, the use of Captan/Maestro for brown rot during the white bud stage through fruit set will also give some control of new black knot infections.
  • Rotating classes of brown rot fungicides is key to slow resistance development. 


European Red Mite

Erika Bent with APM reports that egg hatch began in the Valley yesterday on Monday, May 13. The opportunity to apply oil has closed and the next opportunity to control European red mites will be by using summer miticides post-bloom.

Pre-Bloom Insecticides (Advance notice)

Depending on the heat in the forecast, your region, and monitoring reports, the action period approaches during the pink stage. As mentioned in the degree day section, insect activity may be delayed and timing close to full pink bud stage may be ideal.

Choose pre-bloom insecticides according to the pest complex on your scouting report. Take note of the higher rate required for some pests. You may begin by determining the product and rate for your most difficult to control pest and then note the other pests that will be managed by your product selection and whether or not additional products are required.

Spring Caterpillar Complex

(winter moth, green pug moth, eyespotted bud moth, speckled green fruitworm, obliquebanded leafroller)


  • If treatments for OBLR are required at pink, the treatments will also have some activity on WM and GPM. Products in group 11 (Bt) and 18 (Intrepid) are very effective and are reduced risk to beneficials and bees. Intrepid is a second generation product developed to replace Confirm. These products are activated by ingestion so complete coverage of foliage is important.
  • Treatments for spring caterpillars should not be applied too early because product must enter the developing flower clusters where the larvae like to feed to be effective. Treatments should be applied pre-bloom so target the pink stage. 
  • Evidence of feeding includes tiny holes in new leaves and flower buds, and black specks of frass. Begin scouting procedures described in Perennia’s Best Management Practices or monitor your scouting reports for notes on WM, GPM, and other caterpillars for those with scouting services.
  • Note that there is a lower tolerance for winter moth than green pug moth. Green Pug Moth do not feed directly on developing fruitlets.

European Apple Sawfly


  • In orchards with a history of damage and high numbers of EAS catches, an application of a group 4 or group 28 product at full pink is recommended to control the adults prior to egg laying. 
  • For organic management, Surround is registered for application at first detection and throughout egg laying.

Tarnished Plant Bug


  • If history of tarnished plant bug damage indicates that pressure is moderate to high, an application of insecticide at pink is warranted. Treatment must be applied before bloom for control, not after.
  • Pyrethroids (group 3) and Closer/Cormoran (group 4) are registered for control. The pyrethroids have high efficacy.
  • If a pyrethroid is applied for tarnished plant bug at pink, it will also have activity on WM and GPM. Similarly, pyrethroids are expected to have some activity on EAS if being applied for other pests.

General Notes

  • Monitor for rosy apple aphid populations that exceed thresholds when aphid stem mothers start producing offspring. Treatment pre-bloom is ideal. Closer works well for aphid control and other products are listed in the online guide.
  • As a reminder, pyrethroids are best used at moderate temperatures (20°C or less) and lose efficacy at around 25°C. They are harsh on beneficial insects and predator mites. They should only be used where potential losses justify their application.

Blossom Thinning

The caustic thinner ammonium thiosulphate (ATS) is the first chemical thinning opportunity of the growing season. ATS reduces pollen germination, interfering with fertilization. A tailgate meeting about thinning is in the works for next week so stay tuned.

  • May lead to increased fruit size and return bloom compared to later fruitlet thinning. ATS could be a good consideration for early thinning of small fruited varieties (e.g. Ambrosia and Gala). 
  • The caustic activity of ATS does not depend on the temperature at application, unlike fruitlet thinners.

  • The apple floral structure is a cyme meaning that the central flower opens first followed by successive opening of the peripheral flowers. The flowers open in order and set in order. This year there was frost injury to king buds. This is a complication because blossom thinning attempts to thin after the king bud is set to target killing side buds. Without a king bud, the differentiation between side buds is challenging as they open in quick succession. 
  • Beware that if the fire blight risk is high (infection pending a wetting event) an antibiotic is needed prior to ATS or wait until the risk has decreased.
  • You are thinning with an unknown crop load (before fertilization). 
  • There is potential for foliar spray injury. If ATS is applied to dry leaves then there is less chance of injury. Some foliar and petal burn is normal and suggests the concentration is effective for thinning. 
  • It can increase fruit russet so avoid sensitive varieties as a precaution.
  • Blossom thinning cannot compensate for a lack of bud removal during pruning.


  • Where king flowers are viable, ATS can be applied towards the later part of full bloom (80-100% FB), at which point adequate pollination of king flowers has occurred. Do not wait much longer and especially don't wait until petal fall because it can be too late.
  • The goal is to apply ATS when the king flower has had enough time to become fertilized but prior to the lateral flowers becoming fertilized. For more accurate timing, consider that in order to become fertilized, a pollen grain must germinate on the stigma and grow a pollen tube to the base of the style to reach the ovary. In cool temperatures of 13°C, fertilization of open flowers takes 5 days and in warm temperatures of 24°C, fertilization takes 2.5 days. Therefore, time the ATS application for several days after the desired percentage of bloom has opened.
  • In Nova Scotia, ATS has been used at 5.5 L in 100 gal/acre (13.6 L ATS in 935 L/ha). The concentration is what matters for its activity so don’t concentrate it by spraying a lower volume. Keep records to learn from your results. If you are not familiar with the product, be conservative with the rates, use it on a small area first, and talk to someone with experience about rates.



  • Remove tree guards because otherwise they can trap moisture and encourage disease. 


  • Consider plans to move honeybees into the orchard for pollination when king flowers open.


  • Bark typically slips from pink to bloom but can be checked early if you plan to get a head start.


  • Keeping the orchard floor cover mowed pre-bloom will minimize dandelion flowers that attract bees, which increases the safety of pre-bloom insecticide applications.

Notching for Blind Wood

  • Notching and applying plant growth regulators (Promalin and MaxCel) is best done from green tip and up until bloom time. The ideal time is at the stage of half-inch green.
  • Please note that the success rate of inducing a branch depends on the age of the planting. Applying a mist of plant growth regulators to the notched area can increase the success rate, namely for older plantings of up to 7 years of age.
  • Notching is preferred over scoring. Scoring can oftentimes heal over and you lose the effect.
  • The plant growth regulators work in cooler temperatures but warm temperatures at the time of application increase the response. For more information, see an article by MSU Extension.

Weed Management

  • Studies have shown maintaining weed free strips from bud break to 30-days after full bloom has the greatest impact on tree growth and yield. Timely herbicide application will ensure you make the most of the weed free window.
    • Create a plan for the whole year. Put on residual products before weeds emerge and use the post-emerge products as backup.
  • Post emergence herbicides are best applied on warm and sunny days so this week may be a good opportunity if needed. Glyphosate and 2,4-D require daytime highs of 10°C-15°C after a night above 3°C to have good activity. If using glyphosate alone, consider coarse droplets and low pressure to reduce drift. Use Ignite during hot days in full sun if possible.
  • In young plantings, weed control is essential. Local research showed that by year 4, a weedy planting was 39% the trunk cross sectional area of a hoed comparison. Trees planted this year before May 8 would have received a good settling rain and you may consider a residual herbicide before the next rain.
  • Understand and consider using more Venture for grass control in young orchard. Venture is slow to work (2-3 wks) but you can check for activity by removing the flag leaf on treated grass and examining the base of that shoot for rot.
  • Add Prowl H2O or Dual II Magnum to improve your grass control spectrum. These pre-emerge products won’t work for bluegrass species however.
  • Sinbar is good for pre-emerge grasses in young orchard.
  • Lontrel is a great post-emergent for vetch, clovers, and sheep sorrel.
  • Chateau has activity on Ragweed whereas Authority does not.


  • Plan ahead and watch re-entry intervals for pruning activities. 
  • Ensure that youngest blocks are pruned first so growth is directed into desirable leader and terminal extension. Prioritize high value trees and then return to low value areas. 
  • Pruning may be delayed for vigorous Ambrosia to reduce its vigour.
  • Mature blocks can be pruned later and are best when pruned prior to bloom unless you wish to reduce vigour.
  • A handout for farm workers 'The Fundamentals of Pruning' was published this year.


  • Bearing apple trees need about 0 to 60 kg of actual nitrogen/ha/year banded into the tree row. Triple 17 contains 17% actual nitrogen and ammonium nitrate contains 33-35% actual nitrogen. Nonbearing trees may receive some more nitrogen before the end of June.
  • Bud break to bloom is the ideal time for granular fertilizer application to maximize tree growth. 
  • If leaf and soil samples show that phosphorus and potassium are adequate there is no need to apply phosphorus and potash. Granular formulations with 0.3 boron are encouraged especially for sandy soils.
  • If Honeycrisp is on the rootstock G.41 then potassium additions are discouraged.
  • Target 10-16 inches of new growth on bearing trees each year. More growth is a sign of excessive nitrogen.
  • Foliar nutrients to correct nutrient deficiencies:
    • Boron: Applied pre-pink. Do not use water soluble pesticide bags in a tank mix with boron and rinse the tank well before and after boron. Do not use boron with oil or Epsom salts.
    • Magnesium: Epsom salts are applied starting at pink. Do not use with oil or boron.
    • Nitrogen: Urea may be used from pre-pink to mid-June as a nitrogen supplement. Sprays near bloom give a boost of nitrogen when it is needed most. Urea used from tight cluster to mid-July can remedy a nitrogen shortage.
    • When foliar nutrients are applied in slow drying conditions, about 40% is absorbed in 6 hours. When applied in dry conditions, about 75% can be lost in 48 hours. Foliar nutrients are not well-absorbed at below 10°C.


  • Lime soils prior to planting an orchard with rates according to your soil report. Early spring is an option but fall can be a more practical time to apply lime to a new site and lengthen the time for acidity to become neutralized.
  • Orchard maintenance with surface applied lime twill take a number of years to adjust pH of the soil profile so it is best to apply annually or biannually where needed. If soil testing for pH, measure during the same time each year (August) as pH can change over the growing season. 
  • The provincial limestone trucking assistance program is open.

Nursery Trees

  • The ground received a good settling rain and you may consider a residual herbicide before the next rain.

Planting Trees

    • A new report has been published by Perennia to summarize local research on, "Developing knowledge-based strategies to manage plant parasitic nematodes in Nova Scotia apple orchards."
    • Remember to document the quality of purchased nursery trees with pictures and notes. Did trees dry out? Any signs of disease (cankers, crown gall)? How do the roots look (rinse and take a photo)? Notify the appropriate people of issues you notice. Record the date of planting. An issue that shows up after planting is much easier to diagnose or prevent given this information.
    • Avoid letting trees dry out. About 40% of trees can die from drying out, and surviving trees grow slowly. Survivors of 15-minute dry winds recover by year 3. Survivors of 45-minute drying winds still don't grow well by year 3.
    • Bundles of trees sitting in water awaiting planting can asphyxiate, especially in stagnant water and/or warmish water.
    • The length of the rootstock that is above ground level will influence tree growth. Tree size diminishes as the rootstock portion above ground increases. Trees should be planted so that the graft unions are at a uniform height of 8 to 10 cm above the soil line.
    • Wait for a settling rain before applying a residual herbicide to young plantings.
    • Consider painting the trunks of newly planted trees white to prevent herbicide injury. Use a water-based white latex paint that may be diluted 50% with water.

    Events and Notices


    Apple and pear bloom is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to get PomeBlight, Perennia’s responsive web-based tool for tree fruit growers to help monitor for fire blight infection risk. This decision-support tool is intended to save you money and time by helping you identify optimum management opportunities. Good management decisions can reduce the risk of costly response measures to disease outbreaks.

    Subscribe or renew your subscription here: https://farmdatatools.ca/services/pomeblight/. Then enter your activation code at www.app.farmdatatools.ca in the business settings under 'set up' as shown here:

    Cover Crop Selection Tool

    Perennia has launched a NEW Cover Crop Selection Tool! on the Farm Data Tools website. This tool was designed to help producers make agronomic decisions on cover crops according to their goals. This new online tool will help you learn about cover crops that are suitable for your region and provide detailed information on planting, termination, traits, advantages and disadvantages for different species.

    Marbicon Inc. / Jim Jotcham Pesticide Exam Preparation Courses

    Marbicon Inc. / Jim Jotcham is offering another round of in-person exam-preparation courses (T2380). 
    5 recertification points are available (you can only get credit for T2380 once).
    The following locations are confirmed to date, with possible additional courses pending demand.
    May 16 Thurs – Truro – Douglas St Recreation Centre, 40 Douglas St.
    May 21 Tues – New Germany - Anglican Church Hall, 5311 Hwy 10.

    The full course, preparing for the exam (all pesticide applicator categories), is $125.
    Doors open at about 8:30. Instruction starts at 9:00. Expect to be done around 4:00-4:30.
    For only 5.0 recertification points (T2380), the fee is $110 and finished by around 3:15 pm.
    A manual is provided. Bring a pen or pencil. Food & drink is not offered. Bring your own or go buy it.

    NOTE: Pesticide exams are normally written online, NOT at this course.
    Contact NS Environment for further details on writing the exam.
    A course is not required before challenging the pesticide exam, but it usually helps.

    HST is included in the above prices.
    Cash or cheques (payable to Marbicon Inc) or e-transfer (marbicon[at]eastlink.ca).
    If paying by e-Transfer, please add a message (for who and for which course).
    Pay at the door or by corporate/government purchase order.
    Sorry, no Visa, MC, or Debit.

    Contact Jim Jotcham at marbicon[at]eastlink.ca or at 902-538-7101 for more details and/or to pre-register.

    Resilient Agricultural Landscape Program

    The Resilient Agricultural Landscape Program helps to improve the environmental resiliency of agricultural landscapes by accelerating the adoption of on-farm land use and management practices that maximize benefits for the environment and society. Buffers and shelterbelts are listed in the program guidelines for 100% of the establishment costs up to $1,500/acre for creating or widening buffers. The maximum assistance is on a case-by-case basis. The application is due June 30, 2024. For more details, visit the NSDA Program page.

    Online Pest Management Guide

    The apple, pear, and stone fruit guides have been fully reviewed for 2024. The growth regulator information has been added to the respective guides. If you wish to view growth regulators only, then under the 'Advance Search' for 'Pesticide Type' choose growth regulator.

    Beginning this year, all of the pest management guides are available from an online tool. On the tool you will find guides for organic and conventional apples, pears, peaches/nectarines, plums, and sour/sweet cherries. You can search and filter the information and/or print. To help you navigate the guide, we have developed a brief tutorial video as well as a how to use guide.

    This Orchard Outlook has been published with the input of the Orchard Outlook Committee including this week's participants: Larry Lutz, Jeff Franklin, Suzanne Blatt, Danny Davison, Joan Hebb, Shawkat Ali, Mathew Vankoughnett, and Heather Rand.

    Edited by Michelle Cortens, Tree Fruit Specialist
    Perennia Food and Agriculture Corp.

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