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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Research Project #441609

Research Project: Experimental Orchard for X-Disease and Little Cherry Disease Research

Location: Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research

Project Number: 2092-22430-003-042-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2022
End Date: Jun 30, 2025

Develop and maintain an experimental cherry orchard for X-disease/little cherry disease research.

The proposed experimental orchard will be located at the USDA experimental farm near Moxee, WA. The site was historically planted with cherries nearly 15 years ago. Main irrigation lines remain intact and functional, but secondary irrigation lines and risers may need repair. The current sprinkler risers are spaced 40 x 40 feet. The well capacity can realistically deliver water to 10 sprinklers, which would cover about 50 trees with 20 x 20 spacing or up to 100 trees with 10 x 10 spacing. The orchard will be planted with Bing cherry trees on G5 rootstock unless infected trees can be transplanted from other locations. The proposed experimental orchard will be located 4.5-5 miles from the nearest possible commercial cherry. Rattlesnake ridge, a conspicuous semiarid ridge that rises nearly 1000ft from surrounding valleys, separates the experimental orchard from the nearest possible commercial cherry orchards north of Zillah, WA (Fig. 1, bottom). This isolation reduces the likelihood that the experimental plot will threaten commercial orchards with x-disease. Each tree will also be confined within 6x6x6’ mesh enclosures. The presence of broadleaf weeds that may serve as hosts for leafhopper vectors will be controlled within the cages. The enclosures will provide additional protection to commercial cherry orchards within the region and will also allow us to control exposure of trees to leafhopper vectors in studies (see ‘research plans’). All trees will be removed after completion of the studies. The proposed experimental plot will be used by USDA and WSU researchers to conduct studies on epidemiology and control of X-disease and little cherry disease under field conditions.