Calendar of Apple Orchard Management Activities

Time Activity Purpose Frequency
February to bloom Complete dormant pruning. Keep fruit-to-shoot growth balanced; remove dead wood and improve light penetration. Every year.
Before buds open (Green tip) Rake leaves. Burn; or bury; or mow to shred and speed rotting. If not done previous fall, do now to reduce spring population of apple scab spores.
Bud swell to Green tip Apply dormant oil. Control spider mites and scale insects. Once a year if scales and mites are a problem.
Green tip to petal fall Apply fungicide. 1st generation apple scab control. Before any rain that causes leaves to stay wet 6-10 hours.

One application protects for 7 days or 2 inches rain, whichever is first.

During bloom Identify and mark wild apple trees, to remove at any time. Reduce disease and insect pest pressure. As needed.
After bloom (Petal fall) Apply insecticide.

Remove fire blight infections.

Control plum curculio weevils; Sevin also improves fruit size by thinning; prevent biennial bearing.

Prevent further spread and loss of branches or whole trees.

Spray Sevin (carbaryl), 2-3 sprays at 10-day intervals starting at petal fall or at first sign of damage, to control plum curculio and to thin fruit.

Most strikes appear within one month after bloom; remove to prevent new infections.

Petal fall to four weeks before harvest Apply fungicide at 2-4 week intervals. Secondary apple scab control as needed; also prevents sooty blotch and flyspeck diseases and fruit rots. Before rain. Each application protects 14-21 days or 2 inches rain, whichever is first.

Frequency depends on number of infections present.

July and August


Hang sticky red ball traps on branches near canopy edge, visible from outside of tree, to catch apple maggot flies (AMF). Renew stickiness every 3 weeks.



Apply first insecticide spray when average of 1-2 AMF are caught per trap. Start counting again 10 days after first application. Respray if/ when 1-2 more AMF are caught per trap. Traps provide control when used at rate of 1 trap per bushel; this requires multiple traps per tree.

If not using red sticky traps, control AMF in mid-to-late July and again in early-to-mid August.

Protects fruit against sooty blotch and flyspeck, and prevents spread of apple scab.

Check traps twice weekly for timing.

Each insecticide application protects against AMF egg-laying for about 10 days or 1.5 inches of rain.

Each fungicide application protects for about 21 days or 2-3 inches rain, whichever comes first.

September to November Harvest fruit; clean up fallen fruit. Munch, crunch, a bunch for lunch! Fallen fruit is slippery, and provides food for voles. Some cultivars ripen all at once; others are best harvested over a period of time for best quality.
November to December Rake leaves. Burn; or bury; or mow to shred and speed rotting.

Place trunk guards around tree trunks to remain until spring.

Reduce overwintering apple scab spores.

Protect from vole feeding.

Rake once after all leaves have fallen.

As needed to prevent voles from girdling trunks.

From the GardenPro Answer Book; revised and updated by Lois Berg Stack, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist, University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

Apple management information courtesy of Glen Koehler, Associate Scientist, Apple IPM, UMaine Cooperative Extension.