We are a collective team of Extension specialists and agents who deliver year-round programming for the Commonwealth’s tree fruit producers. We provide our stakeholders with the latest research-based information for making sustainable management decisions on their farms. We also develop resources for beginning farmers and home fruit enthusiasts. Our information is disseminated through this website, Extension publications, workshops, on-farm meetings, and one-on-one conversations.
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- Home Fruit Production
- Tree Fruit Production in Virginia
Commercial tree fruit production updates
- Optimal Timing for Thinning Apple Trees and Increasing Return Bloom May 02, 2023
- Thinning Recommendations and Timing for Central Virginia and Winchester/Frederick County Apple Orchards Apr 26, 2023
- Carbohydrate Thinning Model Updates for Central Virginia- April 18 Apr 18, 2023
- Apple Orchard Thinning Recommendations for Central Virginia and Winchester Apr 16, 2023
- Chemical Thinning Decisions: A Refresher on Key Factors and Tools Apr 13, 2023
- Assessing the Extent of Frost Damage: Unexpectedly Devastating Effects on Apples and Severe Damage in Peaches and Cherries Mar 20, 2023
- Anticipating Potential Frost Damage Tomorrow, March 20, 2023￼ Mar 19, 2023
- Sprinklers for Frost Protection: What You Need to Know Before Turning Them On Mar 07, 2023
- Effects of Ethylene Inhibitors on Pre-harvest Drop, Fruit Quality, and Stem-end Cracking of ‘Gala’ Apples Jul 17, 2022
- Fruit Thinning for Apple Orchards in Winchester/Frederick County- May 9, 2022 May 09, 2022
Commercial tree fruit production updates
- Chlorpyrifos Tolerances for to be Revoked in 2022 Sep 24, 2021
- Section 18 request for dinotefuran withdrawn Aug 17, 2021
- Test message 8.10.21 Aug 10, 2021
- Section 18 for use of Brigade WSB, Bifenture EC, and Bifenture 10DF against BMSB in apples, peaches, and nectarines in Virginia Aug 06, 2021
- CM and OFM Degree Days and Optimal Spray Timing, 7.26.21 Jul 26, 2021
- CM and OFM Degree Days and Optimal Spray Timing, 7.22.21 Jul 22, 2021
- CM and OFM Degree Days and Optimal Spray Timing, 7.19.21 Jul 19, 2021
- Tree Fruit Pathology Survey for Dr. Srdjan Acimovic Jul 16, 2021
- CM and OFM Degree Days and Optimal Spray Timing, 7.15.21 Jul 15, 2021
- CM and OFM Degree Days and Optimal Spray Timing, 7.12.21 Jul 12, 2021
- First Apple Bitter Rot Symptoms in 2023 Visible in Winchester, VA and an Orchard in Maryland (Both From 5th July 2023) Jul 13, 2023
- 1. Possible Small Hail with Storms Today – Fire Blight Caution; 2. Bitter Rot Prime Time for Infections Is Now – Hot and Wet Weather Jun 27, 2023
- Warning 6/16/2023, 9 AM: Possible Hail in Virginia Could Cause Intensive Fire Blight Spreading and Trauma Blight Infections – Prepare to Apply Streptomycin Tomorrow if Hail Damage Occurs Jun 16, 2023
- Use NEWA Sooty Blotch & Flyspeck Model to Predict When First Infections Occurred/Will Occur for Your Location May 20, 2023
- 1. First Apple Scab and Cedar Apple Rust Symptoms on Leaves Visible in Winchester on 16 May; 2. Primary Scab Season is Over on 10 May May 20, 2023
- 1. If Young or Cider Trees in Bloom, 8 May Fire Blight Infection Needed Streptomycin; 2. Primary Scab Season Over in South VA but Juniper Rusts Continue to Infect Apples; 3. Powdery Mildew is a Risk May 08, 2023
- 1. First Fire Blight Symptoms on Flowers Visible in Winchester; 2. Cedar Apple Rust Galls Fully Developed and Basidiospores Infecting Unprotected Apple Trees May 01, 2023
- Major Apple Scab Infection with Rain Events 28 – 30 April, Along With Cedar-Apple Rust Infections Apr 26, 2023
- 1. Fire Blight Infection Predicted on 22 April for Any Apple Orchards Still in Bloom; 2. Scab and Rust a Continuing Risk, Apply Fungicides Before Rains 21-22 April Apr 19, 2023
- Major Apple Scab and Juniper Rust Infections Predicted 14-17 April in Whole Virginia Apr 14, 2023
Virginia Tech offers a number of publications with information about growing fruit for personal consumption. These publications are written by our extension specialists and contain research-based information.
- Pest Management Guide: Home Grounds and Animals. The Pest Management Guide contains information on how to control pests and diseases of many crops, including fruit trees.
- A home fruit spray guide organizes the printed information into table and can be used as a quick reference guide.
- The Mid-Atlantic Orchard Monitoring Guide is the go-to resource for information about insect and disease identification and monitoring, including many color photographs.
- Additional information about gardening can be found under the Home and Garden Section of the Virginia Cooperative Extension Publications Website.
Virginia’s varied topography and large geographical area allows for the production of tree fruits in many parts of the Commonwealth, with the majority of orchards located in the Northern Shenandoah Valley and along the slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The 2007 U.S. Census of Agriculture reported 13,774 acres of apple, 1,538 acres of peach and nectarine, 171 acres of pear, and 99 acres of sweet and tart cherry orchard in the Commonwealth (USDA-NASS, 2007). Nationally, Virginia is the sixth largest producer of apples.
Between 2009 and 2011, the average annual value of Virginia’s apple crop was $35 million, while the peach crop was valued at $5 million over that same period (USDA-NASS, 2012).
About 70% of the apples grown in Virginia are used for processed products, but fresh market apples account for 57% of the farmgate value. These figures do not include value added through processing into products such as fruit slices, applesauce, juice and cider, vinegar, and alcoholic beverages, which are all important for the overall profitability of orchards.
Additional economic and social benefits of Virginia’s orchards add significant value to fruit production in the state. Current production trends indicate increased tree-fruit production for direct marketing and agritourism enterprises.
Visit Virginia Apples to learn more about commercial fruit production in Virginia. Find additional statistics about Virginia orchards in the 2005 Virginia Orchard Survey and through the USDA-NASS Virginia Field Office.