Tree Fruit care for Orchard with Detroit Blight Busters

Asked January 22, 2019, 5:52 PM EST

I am helping a non profit organization called Detroit Blight Busters with their community garden, they have an orchard with pears and apples which are not performing well. We are looking for assistance with the fruit trees, I attached pictures of last June. Could you please direct me on who could assist us identifying and treating trees as well as managing the pruning process. I need guidance this spring and then I will continue the process going foward. Thanks Maria Largacha

Oakland County Michigan

1 Response

The dimple in the pear is due to feeding by a plant bug probably tarnished plant bug. This pest attacks young actively growing fruit and is controlled by insecticide application before and after bloom.
The black lesions on the apple leaves and apple fruit are apple scab.
Apple scab is controlled by fungicide applications from green tip until about a month after bloom.
MSU Extension puts out a large book "Michigan Fruit Management Guide, E154". every year with pesticide recommendations for the commercial fruit growers. This is for growers with large acreages and a Restricted Use Pesticide Certification (RUP). You could buy the fungicides and herbicides but not most of the insecticides which are restricted. The book does have lots of good information about insect and disease control and when and what to use.
There are several excellent resources for tree fruit pests. There are two large format book, "Common Tree Fruit Pest" and "Diseases of Fruit Trees in the East". Both are $10 and are excellent resources. Common Tree Fruit Pests is still available in the bookstore but not the disease book. I have both in my office so if you want to buy them let me know. This book have a lot of information about the life cycles of tree fruit pests and when to control them. There are no pesticide recommendations which are in E154. Someone edit down and combined them into a small pocket guide several years ago and it is available from the bookstore.
The regional fruit Educators post weekly updates on insect and disease control weekly during the growing season which is also a good clue as to when to spray to control insect pests. These are posted at the MSU Extension website.
Ohio and Purdue have a good tree fruit resource, which is more geared to the small backyard grower.
It also has pruning information in it. I am not aware of any local resources for fruit tree pruning in Detroit but you should be able to find some useful videos online at sites such as YouTube