Submitted to: Field Guide to Tree Fruit Insect, Mite and Disease Pests and Natural Enemies of Eastern North America
Publication Type: Book / chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/9/2005
Publication Date: 10/1/2006
Citation: Agnello, A., Chouinard, G., Firlej, A., Turechek, W., Vanoosthuyse, F., Nincent, C. 2006. Tree Fruit Field Guide to Insect, Mite, and Disease Pests and Natural Enemies of Eastern North America. Field Guide to Tree Fruit Insect, Mite and Disease Pests and Natural Enemies of Eastern North America. Ithaca, NY. Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service. 238 p. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Producers of tree fruit crops must overcome a significant number of challenges in their efforts to successfully grow a high quality product and market it profitably to consumers or processors for the domestic and international markets. Crucial among these is the task of maintaining the fruit and the tree in a healthy condition so as to ensure the productive life of the orchard and the quality of the fruit it produces. Pest and disease organisms pose a significant threat to the orchard planting throughout all stages of its development and production, and the complexity of tree fruit/pest ecosystems surpasses that of most other agronomic crops for a number of reasons. Tree fruits are rich food resources, able to be exploited by a number of different organisms, and as perennial crops, cannot benefit from tactics involving pest avoidance in time or space (such as adjusted planting dates or crop rotation). Orchards are diverse ecosystems containing many microhabitats, which promote pest, host and natural enemy interactions, and are usually located in areas near abundant alternative hosts that can serve as pest reservoirs. Ironically, owing to its long history of fruit production, abundant rainfall and a complex geographic and vegetation profile, the northeastern US is affected by a suite of tree fruit insect pests, diseases, and beneficial species that is among the largest of the world's production areas. Growers in this region may typically need to be familiar with as many as 25 key species of pests, natural enemies, and disease pathogens during a given season, with the potential for encountering dozens of additional secondary species on a less frequent but still predictable basis. There are a number of excellent information resources and references available to help familiarize growers, consultants and orchard managers with diseases, pests and beneficial species for the purpose of making informed management decisions; however, most are either too detailed, incomplete, or cumbersome to be used as a convenient field identification guide in the variety of fruit crops likely to be found on modern commercial farms. This project will result in the publication of a comprehensive yet easy-to-use field guide on over 130 arthropod species and 70 diseases occurring in apples, pears, cherries, peaches and nectarines, apricots and plums in the US and Canada east of the Mississippi. For each entry, a single page will contain the species' classification, descriptive biological information, principal period of activity or occurrence, feeding habits or hosts, and number of generations per year, accompanied by high-quality photographs of the adult, immature, and damage (for arthropods) or disease symptoms. A set of diagnostic keys at the front of the book will help the reader to correctly identify pests and diseases on the basis of their damage symptoms to the fruit or tree tissues; a cross-referencing index and a glossary will facilitate finding and explaining the entries. The book will be 200+ pages, and printed in a 4.25 x 7.25-inch "pocket-size" format that is easy to carry.