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
Seasonal updates from Virginia Tech's tree fruit extension specialists and agents. Click on a title to read the full post. Or, visit the blog homepage for Horticulture (Sherif Sherif), Disease Updates (Srdjan Acimovic), or Pest Management (Chris Bergh) to read previous postings.
Commercial tree fruit production updates
- 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
- Fruit Thinning Decisions for Apple Orchards in Winchester/Frederick County- May 3, 2022. May 03, 2022
- The Carbohydrate Model & Thinning Recommendations-Central Virginia-May 1, 2022 May 01, 2022
- Apple Fruit Thinning: An Overview & Recommendations￼ Apr 30, 2022
- Another, probably less devastating, frost event is expected tomorrow, April 18 Apr 17, 2022
- Early season applications to improve fruit size and control bitter pit in apple. ￼ Apr 11, 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- Section 18 request for dinotefuran withdrawn Aug 17, 2021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
- 1. Plan for Stone Fruit Protection Against Brown Rot Ahead; 2. Rusty Spot of Peach; 3. Bacterial Spot of Peach Mar 27, 2023
- Fire Blight Infections Predicted on 27 March in Southern Virginia; Fire Blight Infections Possible in Central Virginia; Plan to Protect Against Juniper Rusts Ahead Mar 27, 2023
- Where Flowers Are Open near Rustburg, Fire Blight Infection Possible 25 March, But Infection Risk is Extremely Low for the Rest of Virginia Mar 24, 2023
- To Spray or Not to Spray? Apple Scab Infection Predictions for 23 March in Bristol, for 25 March in Rustburg and Tyro, for 24-25 March in Winchester Mar 22, 2023
- Possible Apple Scab Infection Predicted with Rains 17 & 18 March in Southeastern, Eastern and Central Virginia: Bristol, Tyro, Rustburg, Red Hill, Timberville, Quicksburg Mar 16, 2023
- Scab Infections Possible in South-East VA (Bristol) But It is Too Cold for Infections In South-Central, Central and North VA Mar 10, 2023
- THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF APPLE SCAB MANAGEMENT WITH INSIGHTS ON OTHER DISEASES Mar 06, 2023
- Stone Fruit Disease Management Considerations in the Extremely Early Tree Growth Start of 2023 Feb 28, 2023
- (A) Urea/Lime for Reducing Apple Scab and Apple Blotch Disease Overwintering Inoculum; (B). Delayed Dormant Copper for Apple, Pear & Peach Feb 11, 2023
- I. Buy/Service Your On-farm Weather Station for Correct Tree Fruit Disease Model Predictions; II. Join Partnership on Using RIMpro Apple Scab and Fire Blight Prediction Models in 2023 Feb 09, 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.
Relevant Extension publications by topic:
- Environmental Quality
- Insects and Pests
- On-farm Food Safety
- Pesticide Education
- Plant Diseases