Apricot

Year-Round IPM Program

(Reviewed 10/14, updated 10/14)

These practices are recommended for a monitoring-based IPM program that enhances the use of IPM practices to reduce the risks of pesticides on the environment and human health.

When a pesticide application is considered, review the Pesticide Application Checklist at the bottom of this page for information on how to minimize the risks of pesticide use to water and air quality. Water quality can be impaired when pesticides drift into waterways or when they move off-site. Air quality can be impaired when pesticide applications release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere.

This year-round IPM program covers the major pests of apricot in California. Details on carrying out each practice, example monitoring forms, and information on additional pests can be found in the Apricot Pest Management Guidelines. Track your progress through the year with this annual checklist form (PDF). Color photo identification pages and examples of monitoring forms can be found at forms and photo ID pages.

Dormancy/Delayed-dormancy (leaf fall to bud swell)

Why is this season important in an IPM program?

Special issues of concern related to water quality: pesticide applications, drift, and runoff.

What should you be doing during this period?
Remove and destroy all mummy fruit (using soil cultivation) to reduce the amount of brown rot inoculum in the orchard.
If shot hole disease is a concern and the dormant season has been rainy, treat according to the Pest Management Guidelines.
If mites, scales, or aphids have been a problem in the past:
  • Examine several spurs randomly throughout the orchard and map out areas of concern for monitoring at bloom.
  • Apply an oil spray for European fruit lecanium, brown mite, European red mite, or San Jose scale according to the Pest Management Guidelines.
Look for pocket gopher mounds in areas where they are active. Manage according to the Pest Management Guidelines.
Treat peach twig borer with an environmentally sound material or delay treatment until bloom.
Other pests you may see:
  • Peachtree borer
  • Fruittree leafroller egg masses
  • Western tussock moth egg masses and pupal cases (in coastal orchards)

Survey weeds in October and November after first rains.

  • Complete a late-fall weed survey form.
  • Manage weeds in and between tree rows with herbicides or mechanically according to the Pest Management Guidelines.

Bloom (red bud to petal fall)

Why is this season important in an IPM program?

Special issues of concern related to water quality: pesticide applications, drift, runoff.

What should you be doing during this period?
If peach twig borer was not treated in the dormant season, apply a bloomtime treatment according to the Pest Management Guidelines.
Install pheromone traps for peach twig borer in the orchard no later than March 15 in the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Coast and April 1 in the Sacramento Valley.
  • Check traps and keep records (PDF) to determine timing of an in-season treatment.
  • In orchards where mating disruptants are to be used, place dispensers in orchard as soon as moths are caught in traps.
Apply fungicide treatments as needed according to the Pest Management Guidelines for:

Watch for these invertebrate pests:

  • Cankerworm
  • Citrus cutworm
  • Green fruitworm
  • Fruittree leafroller
  • Obliquebanded leafroller
  • Western tussock moth larvae
  • Katydids (from Madera south—on weed cover or feeding on lower leaves in the crotch of the tree)

Manage according to Pest Management Guidelines.

Manage orchard floor vegetation.
  • Cut ground cover short

Note weeds escaping treatment and their location in the field. Pay particular attention to weeds escaping control after glyphosate use, which might be an indication of resistance.

Watch for crowned sparrows and house finches to minimize damage to fruit buds.

  • Manage according to the Pest Management Guidelines.
Other pests you may see:
  • Peachtree borer
  • European red mite
  • Bacterial canker
  • Mealy plum aphid

Fruit development (petal fall to harvest)

Why is this period important in an IPM program?

Special issues of concern related to water quality: pesticide and fertilizer applications, drift, runoff due to irrigation or rain. Air quality: volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

What should you be doing during this period?
Monitor for peach twig borer.
Look for mealy plum aphids. Manage as needed according to the Apricot Pest Management Guideline.
During early fruit set, set out pheromone traps for obliquebanded leafroller.
  • Check traps and keep records (PDF) on a degree-day monitoring form.

In areas with a history of obliquebanded leafroller damage, set out pheromone traps during early fruit set.

Apply fungicide treatment for powdery mildew as needed according to the Pest Management Guideline.
Assess weeds in late spring to identify perennials and any species that escaped earlier management efforts.
  • Survey weeds and record on a weed survey form (PDF). Apply postemergence herbicides, mow, or cultivate as required.
  • Refer to herbicide labels for the appropriate preharvest interval (PHI)
Look for:
  • pocket gopher mounds
  • bird damage to ripening fruit

Manage according to the Pest Management Guidelines.

Watch for signs of disease:
  • Bacterial canker
  • Eutypa dieback
  • Phytophthora root and crown rot
  • Ripe fruit rot (Monilinia spp.)
  • Shot hole disease

Manage according to the Pest Management Guideline.

Watch for invertebrate pests and manage according to the Pest Management Guidelines:

  • Cankerworms
  • Earwigs
  • European fruit lecanium
  • Fruittree leafroller
  • Green fruitworm
  • Katydid (from Madera south)
  • Obliquebanded leafroller
  • Orange tortrix (Central Coast)
  • Redhumped caterpillar
  • Tussock moth larvae

 

Harvest

Why is this period important in an IPM program?

Special issues of concern related to water and air quality: unknown.

What should you be doing during this period?
Examine harvested fruit to assess the effectiveness of the current year's IPM program and to determine the needs of next year's program.

Postharvest

Why is this period important in an IPM program?

Special issues of concern related to water quality: pesticide and fertilizer applications, drift, and runoff.

What should you be doing during this period?
Take leaf samples in July for nutrient analysis to guide your fertility program throughout the year.
Summer pruning: Prune trees as soon as possible after harvest, in July or August. Complete pruning 6 weeks before the onset of rainfall. Remove and destroy dead wood to reduce inoculum levels for:
  • Eutypa dieback
  • Brown rot
If shot hole disease has been a problem in the previous season, treat the orchard before rains begin, right after leaf fall if possible.
Assess weeds to identify any existing summer species, emerging winter species, and perennial weeds that escaped the previous year's weed control program.
  • Keep records (PDF) of problem weeds.
  • Manage weeds in tree rows with herbicides, mowing, or cultivation as appropriate.
Manage vegetation in tree middles:
  • Let resident vegetation grow, consider planting a cover crop, or clean cultivate.
Other pests you may see:
  • Armillaria root rot (oak root fungus)
  • Crown gall
  • Phytophthora root and crown rot
  • Redhumped caterpillar
  • Pacific flathead borer
  • Peachtree borer
  • Shothole borer

**Pesticide application checklist

When planning for possible pesticide applications in an IPM program, review and complete this checklist to consider practices that minimize environmental and efficacy problems.

  • Choose a pesticide from the Pest Management Guidelines for the target pest, considering:
  • Before an application:
    • Ensure that spray equipment is properly calibrated to deliver the desired pesticide amount for optimal coverage.
    • Use appropriate spray nozzles and pressure to minimize off-site movement of pesticides.
    • Avoid spraying during these conditions:
      • Wind speed over 10 and under 3 mph
      • Temperature inversions
      • Just prior to rain or irrigation (unless it is an appropriate amount, such as when incorporating a soil-applied pesticide)
      • At tractor speeds over 2 mph
    • Identify and take special care to protect sensitive areas (for example, waterways or riparian areas) surrounding your application site.
    • Review and follow label for pesticide handling, storage, and disposal guidelines.
    • Check and follow restricted entry intervals (REI) and preharvest intervals (PHI).
  • After an application:
    • Record application date, product used, rate, and location of application.
    • Follow up to confirm that treatment was effective.
  • Consider water management practices that reduce pesticide movement off-site.
  • Consider management practices that reduce air quality problems.
    • When possible, reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions by decreasing the amount of pesticide applied, choosing low-emission management methods, and avoiding emulsifiable concentrate (EC) formulations.
    • Use the Department of Pesticide Regulation calculators to determine VOC emission rates from fumigant and nonfumigant pesticides.
  • PDF: To display a PDF document, you may need to use a PDF reader.

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    Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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