Improving integrated pest and disease management in Tree Fruit


TF 223 - Improving integrated pest and disease management in Tree Fruit

Start Date: 
Completion Date: 
Project Leader: 
Robert Saville, EMR
TF 223

Industry Reps: Steven Castle, Nigel Jenner, Jeremy Linsell

AHDB Horticulture Cost: £699,989


Tree Fruit Diseases

Generally there was great concern for the potential losses of active substances available to the UK horticultural industry in the control of tree fruit diseases. In particular the potential withdrawal of products which are classified as endocrine disruptors such as Systhane (myclobutanil) and the reduction in permitted applications per season of new actives available to the industry.

Aims and Objectives

Develop and implement Integrated Pest Management (IPM)-compatible strategies for the control of key tree fruit diseases and pests with an emphasis on minimising pesticide use in light of future pesticide withdrawals achieved through: (i) utilising off-season control; (ii) optimising treatment application; (iii) integrating cultural controls, biocontrol agents and non-pesticide alternatives; (iv) cultivating and enhancing natural enemies; (v) incorporating novel technologies (e.g. pheromone mating disruption); (vi) considering established and newly planted orchards.
1. Continue surveillance of current and invasive pests and diseases
2. Develop an IPM strategy for canker control from nursery propagation to established orchards
3. Reduce reliance on fungicides for control of apple foliar diseases through promotion of plant health/resistance and off-season control
4. Improve control of stone fruit diseases through existing IPM strategies and novel control options
5. Optimise spray coverage for key pest and disease targets
6. Develop improved apple IPM methods based on sex pheromone mating disruption and non-chemical controls (granulovirus) for codling and tortrix moths
7. Improve the reliability of natural predation of pests, particularly in newly planted orchards
8. Improve the detection and monitoring of apple fruit rhynchites weevil and sawfly to enhance control by approved pesticides
9. Control of pest mites in stone fruit through IPM whilst controlling, Drosophila suzukii, with pesticides


Current 2018 Update


Newly planted orchards are generally devoid of vegetation and ecological diversity. Without these, available habitats for the natural predators of insect pests of orchards are equally limited, so what can we do to speed up the influx of these natural predators to our new orchards? Michelle Fountain of NIAB EMR is leading an AHDB study across six newly planted orchards to assess novel techniques. Michelle Fountain explains more.