Tree Fruit Newsletter — July 8, 2024

In this newsletter:

  • Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) in Stone Fruit
  • Time to Collect Leaf Samples
  • Summer Tour Announcement

Spotted Wing Drosophila in Cherries

Unfortunately, SWD has been found in a cherry orchard in Maine. As a reminder, stone fruits are susceptible to damage by this insect pest. Plum, peach and cherry fruits become soft as they ripen, and become very vulnerable to egg laying by adult females. Fruits turn to mush on one side and show signs of decay. A small puncture may also be visible on the fruit surface. At this time, sweet cherries have ripened, but sour cherry season should begin this week in the Highmoor Farm region. Plums will begin to ripen at the end of July. SWD does not attack apples.

Leaf Sample Time

Mid to late July is the ideal time to collect leaves for foliar analysis, an important tool for determining nutritional status and fertilizer needs. Each sample must be accompanied by a form for the Lab. Soil samples can be done anytime the ground is not frozen. The forms for these samples can be found on the Analytical Lab and Maine Soil Testing Services website.

Next week, I will begin collecting Honeycrisp apples for peel sap analysis to help predict bitter pit in cold storage. If you would like to participate in this research, call (207-713-7083) or email ( me to schedule a visit.

Summer Tour at UMaine’s Highmoor Farm

July 24 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm, followed by a vegetable and small fruit twilight meeting at 6 pm.

The Maine Ag. Experiment Station, UMaine Extension and the Maine State Pomological Society will be hosting the annual Summer Tour at the Highmoor Farm in Monmouth. To RSVP, call Renae Moran at (207) 713-7083 (or email at by July 20. Cost to attend the Summer Tour is $20 but is free for Pomological Society members.

Two credits offered for pesticide applicator recertification.


1:00 Welcome and Registration

1:15 Hannah Carter, Dean of Extension, UMaine

1:30 UMaine Ag. Exp. Station Director, George Criner

1:45 Guest speaker, Maria Gannett, Univ. of Mass, Managing Weeds in Perennial Crops: Perennial weeds often become difficult to manage in perennial cropping systems. Dr. Gannett will present results from trials at Cornell and UMass, attempting to manage bindweed in apple and blueberry orchards and discuss optimal times for control.

2:30 Pomological Society Announcements from Standing Committees

• Labor
• Legislative update
• Marketing
•, the website

3:15 Break

3:30 Orchard Tour with Renae Moran, Maria Gannett and Greg Koller.

• New scab resistant apple varieties, tests for predicting bitter pit in Honeycrisp and cold hardy peach varieties.
• We will look for perennial weeds at Highmoor Farm and apply what we discussed earlier to weeds we find in the field. There will be an emphasis on weed identification.
• Drone spraying demo, Active Intelligence, Rockland, ME
• Karla Boyd, Board of Pesticides Control

5:00 Dinner

Sandwiches and Highmoor farm strawberry shortcake

6:00 Twilight meeting with David Handley and Mark Hutton, Vegetable and berry variety trials.

From the North:
I95 Exit 109b, go West on Rte. 202 (toward Winthrop) for 16 miles. Highmoor Farm is on the left.

From the South:
I95 exit 86, left on Rte. 9 and continue 0.7 miles, then take a right onto Pleasant Hill Road for 0.8 miles. Continue through the stoplight where the road becomes Rte. 132 (Wales Rd. and then Pond Rd.) for 4.6 miles. Take left onto Leeds Junction Road, travel 2.9 miles to Rte. 202. Take a right onto Rte. 202 and go 1.4 miles. Highmoor Farm will be on the right.


Mention of a trademark, proprietary product, or vendor does not constitute a guarantee or warranty of the product, nor does it imply approval or disapproval to the exclusion of other products or vendors that may also be suitable.

In complying with the letter and spirit of applicable laws and pursuing its own goals of diversity, the University of Maine System does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship status, familial status, ancestry, age, disability physical or mental, genetic information, or veterans or military status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities.  The University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity, 5713 Chadbourne Hall, Room 412, University of Maine, Orono, ME  04469-5754, 207.581.1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System).