Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #400086

Research Project: Healthy, Sustainable Pecan Nut Production

Location: Fruit and Tree Nut Research

Title: Report on perennial fruit and nut crops in Eastern North America. Chapter in "Global Plant Health Assessment"

item Bock, Clive
item DEWDNEY, MEGAN - University Of Florida
item COX, KERIK - Cornell University

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/21/2022
Publication Date: 12/22/2022
Citation: Bock, C.H., Dewdney, M.M., Cox, K.D. 2022. Report on perennial fruit and nut crops in Eastern North America. Chapter in "Global Plant Health Assessment". Book Chapter. E-book 189.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Eastern North America x Perennial Fruit and Nut Crops comprises a diverse environmental range from Mexico to Canada, and overlays the natural eastern temperate forests, northern forests, tropical wet forests, and great plains areas. Perennial fruit and nut crops are grown throughout the ecoregion and represent a diverse range of species including apple, avocado, blueberry, brambles, cherry, citrus, cranberries, grape, mango, maple, papaya, peach, pecan, plum and other minor perennial fruit and nut crops. Some crops are grown over broad areas of the ecoregion, while others are limited in cultivation. The primary purpose of these crops is provisioning services as specialty, supplementary foods (fresh and processed), but in some cases they may have cultural (landscape, native history, national foods, community activities, and art) services, and in a few cases, and to a limited degree, regulating service (erosion control, habitat health). The crops contribute to the local and national economies, with numerous people relying on them for employment and as a supplementary source of food; in many cases, they are valuable exports. We report on disease related status of the 1. Provisioning Services: food, etc., and 2. Cultural Services: culture, spiritual, beauty, etc. of apple and pecan as model crops in the ecoregion. Both are important sources of food and nutrition, for humans (and with apple, for livestock as pomace) with demonstrated health benefits. Overall, disease related prospects for the health of both crops over the next 10 to 30 years can be considered stable. Due to availability of effective pesticides, provisioning as a food resource of neither apple nor pecan has been noticeably impacted by disease, although apple in particular may be subject to greater disease pressure with any shifts in climate. Both apple and pecan are iconic components of landscapes of Eastern North America, and are objects of fine art and folk art, and orchards and activities around orchards and both commodities continue to be appreciated. Thus, provision, and prospects for provision of cultural service by apple and pecan may be considered to be at very least, stable in relation to disease threat. Due to its native status, pecan additionally contributes a regulating service in areas where it grows naturally (the Mississippi watershed area). The status of several other perennial tree fruit and nuts in Eastern North America are similarly good to excellent with stable to improving status (e.g. grapes, blueberries, cane fruit), while a few may be fair, with stable to declining servicing (peaches in the Southeast).