This pest management guide provides the home gardener with information on pest management for home orchards. It does not meet the exacting requirements of the commercial fruit grower. Generally, in the home orchard, more pest damage can be tolerated than in commercial orchards. Thus, the number of suggested materials and the times of application in this guide have been kept to a minimum. Many fungicides and insecticides are available, which, when used according to the label directions, are effective in managing diseases and insects listed on the label. For more complete information, consult the PNW Pest Management Handbooks, available at https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/.
To effectively manage diseases and insects in your orchard, it is best to combine a number of techniques. In addition to using pesticides, cultural and biological practices also can help prevent or manage diseases and insects. Timing and thorough spray coverage are the keys to good pest management. Good coverage is achieved by thoroughly wetting the leaves, twigs, and branches; however, this can be difficult with hand sprayers. When using wettable powders, be sure to shake or stir the spray mix frequently during application because the powders tend to settle at the bottom of the spray container after mixing.
To avoid excess chemical residues, observe the rate and proper interval between the last spray and harvest, as indicated on the label. Table 1 lists the preharvest interval for all the recommended pesticides. Be sure to rinse fruit with water before eating.
Many commercial fruit growers in Oregon are adopting nonchemical approaches to managing orchard pests. These “soft” control practices may become less effective if pests spread from nearby, unmanaged trees. If homeowners maintain fruit trees for fruit production, it is critical that they help prevent the spread of pests to commercial orchards. Because of recent changes in pesticide registrations, home orchardists have to provide diligent pest control to prevent damage to nearby commercial orchards. See “Required control programs” (page 9). If you have fruit trees in your yard or landscape that are primarily for shade or aesthetic value, you might consider replacing them with types of trees that do not harbor pests that can negatively affect commercial fruit trees. Contact your local Extension office for a list of suggested replacement trees.
Many organic and synthetic formulations of pesticides are available for home garden use. Many are variations with the same active ingredient. Look for pesticides that can be used on a wide range of fruit, vegetables, and ornamentals, so you can limit the number of pesticides you need to purchase and store.
The pesticides listed in this publication were selected on the basis of their effectiveness, availability, and safety. Always apply pesticides according to the label instructions—this is very important. The label contains valuable application information and safety precautions to protect you, others, and the environment. Before you purchase or open the container, read the label. Read it again before you mix, store, or dispose of the product.
Be cautious when using products that contain a combination of one or more insecticides and fungicides, such as the various “home orchard sprays.” Some of these products call for applications during bloom to control fungal diseases. However, if you also apply an insecticide during bloom, you run the risk of reducing or eliminating bees that are critical for pollination. A better strategy, especially during the spring, is to use products that contain only a single type of pesticide and apply them only when necessary. This approach is less convenient but may save you trouble in the long run.
Not every effective pesticide is included here; space constraints make it impossible to list them all. Some of these other pesticide products may be packaged in larger quantities for commercial growers, making them impractical for your orchard if you have only a few trees. Check with your local Extension agent, Oregon State University Master Gardener, or nursery professional for additional information.
A wide variety of cultural and biological techniques can be used to manage or prevent disease and insect damage. Consult your local Extension agent, OSU Master Gardener, or nursery professional for more information.
Moss and lichen do not damage fruit and nut trees. Regular pruning and using the dormant chemical sprays (copper fungicides or lime sulfur) for disease and insect control will reduce the amount of moss and lichen in trees.
Several Oregon counties have ordinances dealing with backyard fruit tree production that require home fruit growers to rigorously control pests to prevent disease and insect spread to commercial orchards. Doing that often entails a more exacting control program than those outlined in this publication. Contact your local Extension office for details if you live in any of the following counties:
• Hood River • Linn • Union
• Jackson • Marion • Wasco
• Josephine • Polk • Yanhill
• Lane • Umatilla
Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys, may be the next exotic pest to affect tree fruits and nuts in Oregon. Until recently, this insect was not considered to be a major threat. First identified in Portland in 2004, BMSB has increased substantially. BMSB is present throughout the Willamette Valley, the Columbia Basin, and other areas of eastern Oregon. Adults will aggregate or overwinter in homes and other structures, and can become numerous in attics and porches. They find abundant host plants in neighborhoods on which to feed and lay eggs. Because this invader thrives in urban and natural habitats, it could prove difficult to manage in fruit and nut crops. For more information on this pest visit: http://horticulture.oregonstate.edu/group/brown-marmorated-stink-bug-oregon
Available online at https://catalog.extension.edu/