University of Vermont

UVM Fruit

Tree Fruit: Horticulture

Pest Management Considerations in Vermont Apple Orchards

Terence Bradshaw, University of Vermont Apple Program Research Specialist

Disease and Insect Management -- Using an IPM approach

IPM stands for integrated pest management which is an approach to managing pests (i.e., insects, mites, disease-causing organisms, mice, etc.) which combines biological, cultural, physical, and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health, and environmental risks.

It is a significant challenge to produce a high quality apple crop while minimizing spraying. A high level of knowledge of the crop, the various pests, the beneficial organisms, and how they interact and affect each other within the apple ecosystem is required.

There are many insects and diseases which attack the various parts of apple trees. Various degree-day models, monitoring techniques and action thresholds have been developed to aid in IPM decision-making. Disease risk can be reduced by planting disease-resistant apple cultivars which are commercially available. However, depending on your marketing goals, these may not be appropriate for your orchard. Disease-resistant apple cultivars are highly recommended for those considering organic apple production.

Information about the various insects and diseases which you will have to manage can be found on the Tree Fruit IPM website:

A synopsis of key arthropod and diseases affecting apples can be found at:

An IPM Checklist of management items for consideration during the year is at:

It is highly recommended that all orchardists obtain education and training in the safe use and storage of pesticides. Information on how to obtain your Vermont Pesticide Application License is at:

Useful Links to Articles on Orchard Pest Management:

Multi-Level Comparisons of Organic and Integrated Fruit Production Systems for Liberty Apple in a New York Orchard

Rodale: The Integrated Bridge

Apple Scab: Improving Understanding for Better Management. (large pdf file)

Fruit Crop Ecology (large pdf file)

West Virginia University's Kearneysville Tree Fruit Research and Education Center

Deer Management in Fruit Plantings

OMRI Products List - a Directory of OMRI Listed® Products Check the most recent lists for allowable products if maintaining organic certification

Susceptibility of Selected Apple Cultivars to Rusts (Plant Management Network)

Susceptibility of Selected Apple Cultivars to Powdery Mildew (Plant Management Network)

An Organic Apple Production System For New York (2003 NYS IPM report)

"Surround" for Organic Plum curculio Control (2004 CCE bulletin)

Evaluation of Organic Pest Controls and Thinning on Multiple Apple Cultivars (2006 NYS IPM report)

Evaluation of Pest Management Tactics for Organic Apple Production (2000, 54 kb pdf)

Last modified March 31 2014 05:06 PM