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Tree Fruit Field Guides by regions

Posted by Elliot Dembner 
Tree Fruit Field Guides by regions
March 12, 2014 08:08PM
The latest monthly news from the network recommends a particular tree fruit field guide. Since I live in central coast of California (Scotts Valley), is there a better text I should buy focusing on the west coast as opposed to one which seems to reference Eastern North America? Or will much of the info/pics be fairly helpful as well?

scotts valley, ca
zone 9b



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/13/2014 11:30AM by Michael Phillips.
Re: Tree Fruit Field Guides by regions
March 13, 2014 12:07PM
Great topic, Elliot! I gave this a broader title simply to help people understand you're asking for recommendations for other regional guides. The universities and cooperative extension folks mostly post insect and disease identification information on the web these days rather than publish a field guide you can actually hold in your hands. Both Minnesota and Michigan have made available pocket-size versions in the past. Long ago I saw a great guide for southeastern growers but that appears to be out of print for quite some years. It would be great to hear about what else is out there.

The Tree Fruit Field Guide to Insect, Mite, and Disease Pests and Natural Enemies of Eastern North America is the right choice for any grower living east of the "curculio divide" ... in essence the Rocky Mountains. Two-thirds of what's shown is relevant for the West Coast but you guys have other pests. Moths in particular.

Perhaps the best we can do here is point out web resources that health-minded growers in different regions find especially helpful.

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
Re: Tree Fruit Field Guides by regions
March 14, 2014 12:20AM
Michael is right on, 2/3 of what is shown in the guide he recommends is applicable to us out here in California and at the rate that several insects are moving West, maybe 3/4 of it, soon enough. I am thankful we don't have all the issues they have to battle back East . . . our hands are full enough with 5 generations of Coddling moths, per year, and plenty of their friends.

Interested in Holistic orcharding? I recommend you read every book, manual, guide and tutorial, East Coast or West Coast, you can get your hands on. A holistic approach comes from within as much as from external sources. Take in the knowledge, but be cognizant that you will need to apply it through intimate and participatory connection with your growing ground to see it all truly take hold and thrive. Just remember that there is no silver bullet . . . ever . . .and no one book or guide has 100% of the answers. That said, I grow apples in California and think the $40 for the Tree Fruit Field Guide to Insect, Mite, and Disease Pests and Natural Enemies of Eastern North America is a bargain and education money well spent. Much of what we know of apples, for example, comes out of our historic North American growing grounds of New England, Quebec, Several Great Lakes States and the Mid Atlantic. There is much difference (between the West and the East) in year round climate extremes and rainfall patterns, but so much of the grower's in depth knowledge goes into manuals like the one Michael mentioned that they transcend those superficial factors and will prove useful to growers in many parts far from the East.

So how about a similar guide book for the folks out West?

You would be hard pressed to beat UC Davis for their research and publications on orchard production and management in California (and with CA in mind). A book of theirs that I would highly recommend is Integrated Pest Management for Apples and Pears (2nd Edition)

This book has numerous photos, descriptions and strategies for dealing with dozens of pest problems, nutritional issues, weeds and diseases likely to be encountered in the West.

Gopher Hill Apples
Zone 8 in California



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/21/2014 08:09PM by Michael Phillips.
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