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.
- Tree Fruit Updates
- Facebook Feed
- Home Fruit Production
- Tree Fruit Production in Virginia
Commercial tree fruit production updates
- Summer disease update Aug 10, 2020
- Bitter rot; sooty blotch, flyspeck threshold and activity Jul 22, 2020
- Extended wetting periods and volumes of rainfall expected to increase sooty blotch/flyspeck and rot pressure Jun 21, 2020
- Extended wetting events and accumulated wetting hours favor early rot development Jun 09, 2020
- Extended wetting events and accumulated wetting hours predict the development of sooty blotch and flyspeck Jun 02, 2020
- Extended wetting last week will trigger early summer disease development May 26, 2020
- Fire blight infection conditions on late bloom May 15; scab and rust infection May 14-15. May 19, 2020
- Secondary scab infection May 5-6; fire blight infection conditions on late bloom May 15-18. May 12, 2020
- Secondary apple scab and rust infection periods April 28 through May 4; fire blight pressure low to moderate in the Winchester area May 05, 2020
- Apple scab and rust infection Apr 23-27; fire blight blossom symptoms reported on early blooming Asian pears in Clarke Co. Apr 28, 2020
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.