Montana Apple Pests
Common Montana Apple Pests
One advantage to growing apples in Montana is the relatively short list of apple pests that can be detrimental to fruit and trees. The primary pests include codling moth and fireblight which can severly damage a crop or quickly kill young trees. These pests should be controlled through an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan as described on the codling moth and fire blight web pages provided in this guide.
Other insects like aphids, eriophyid mite (pictured) and leaf rollers can be a nuisance to growers and if populations grow too large these pests can cause damage to fruit and long-term stress to trees. Providing good nutrition and irrigation to trees can help reduce damage to these secondary insect pests.
Other pathogens like scab and powdery mildew can also be damaging if conditions are right including moist warm springs. Planting resistant cultivars and ensuring proper orchard sanitation can assist in reducing pressure from these diseases and reducing the need to treat them with fungicides.
If, however, a grower experiences economic losses from these diseases or insects due to damaged fruit or lower yields an IPM plan addressing cultural and mechanical controls followed by chemical spray applications should be employed. For more information on managing orchard pests and diseases including spray schedules refer to the Intermountain Tree Fruit Production Guide. Before purchasing or using any chemicals be sure to check that the product is labeled for use on apples and the desired pest in Montana and that applicators read the label in full.
These recommendations are provided only as a guide. It is always the pesticide applicator’s responsibility, by law, to read and follow all current label directions for the specific pesticide being used. Due to constantly changing labels and product registration, some of the recommendations given in this writing may no longer be legal by the time you read them. If any information in these recommendations disagrees with the label, the recommendation must be disregarded. No endorsement is intended for products mentioned. The authors and Montana State University assume no liability resulting from the use of these recommendations.