First time apple grower
We are hoping to plant a couple of apple trees in our yard, and are wondering which pests and diseases we should plan to spray for in our area (we live in Lansing up by the Capital City Airport) - also, whether there are certain sprays that you might recommend for apple trees (the more natural the better!) This is our first time trying to grow anything beyond tomatoes, so we are grateful for any advice you can give us!
Thank you in advance for your help!
Ingham County Michigan
I am so glad that you reached out to me before you have chosen or planted any trees. The best piece of advice if you want to reduce spraying is to choose resistant varieties. Apple scab is one of the biggest problems your apple trees will face, so choose Scab Resistant apple varieties first and foremost. There are some really great varieties available with good fruit characteristics that are also resistant to disease. The insects that you are most likely to have trouble with are codling moth, plum curculio, and aphids. Leafrollers are an occasional problem as well. Here is a list of tree fruit resources for backyard fruit growers that you might find helpful:
General tree fruit care and culture:
Considerations for growing backyard tree fruit http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/considerations_for_growing_backyard_tree_fruit
Pruning and training backyard fruit trees: https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/smart-gardening-pruning-and-training-backyard-apple-and-pear-trees
University of Wisconsin Extension Bulletins:
Growing Apples in Wisconsin: https://learningstore.uwex.edu/Assets/pdfs/A3565.pdf
Growing Pears in Wisconsin (A2072): https://learningstore.uwex.edu/Assets/pdfs/A2072.pdf
Michigan Fresh Bulletin (E3173) ”Growing Tree Fruits at Home”: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/Growing_Tree_Fruits_(E3173).pdf
Washington State University page for fruit tree Pruning and Training systems: http://treefruit.wsu.edu/orchard-management/pruning-and-training-systems/
Pest Management Resources:
Minimizing pesticide risk to bees in fruit crops (MSU E3245): http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/Minimizing_Pesticide_Risk_to_Bees_in_Fruit_Crops_(E3245).pdf
Michigan Fruit Management Guide (for commercial fruit growers) E154 available for purchase at local extension offices or at http://shop.msu.edu/product_p/bulletin-e0154.htm .
Home fruit spray schedule from University of New Hampshire Extension:
Managing pests in home fruit plantings (Purdue University Extension, ID-146-W):
Bagging fruit to protect it from pests and diseases: