By John Wood, Certis USA Regional Manager
Almond bloom is pretty much finished for the year. The walnut bloom period is just starting, while pistachios are several weeks away from bloom. Trees in the valley are varied in their bloom status right now, but there are a number of spring chores for everyone that are best done right now.
--On almonds bearing nutlets and terminal shoots, there is the potential for worm damage to new shoot growth. If your dormant sprays were delayed or if you didn’t get in a dormant spray at all, you can control worms with a Bt spray as needed at fruit set. This is a time when the Bts really shine. You get effective control of Lepidoptera while using a material that is safe to bees. I recommend Deliver, a Bt from Certis USA. It’s formulated with a higher concentration of Cry1Ac proteins than the average Bt. It has a 4-hour REI. It’s residue exempt, OMRI Listed and NOP approved, so you have the flexibility to use it on organic, as well as on conventional acres.
--With spring almost immediately around our corner, tree roots are flushing with new growth. This time of the year, the active rhizosphere at the root tips is biologically active and full of excudates that attract nematodes. Now is the time to apply MeloCon biological nematicide. You will get the best bang for your buck making your applications of MeloCon to the soil right now. It also has a 4-hour REI and is residue exempt.
--I’m seeing an abundance of young trees this year, and we’re seeing a lot of earwigs inside the trunk protectors. Earwigs can and do damage young trees. If you have new plantings and you use cartons, now is an excellent time to apply Seduce spinosad insect bait. Seduce is economical and lasts a long time. Its REI is 4-hours, and it is residue exempt.
--Right now we are still getting a lot of precipitation, and I’m seeing disease in our trees. Just remember my one-two punch recommendation: treat disease with a systemic fungicide and a contact material, such as Double Nickel 55 biofungicide. Double Nickel 55 is a broad spectrum preventive and curative biopesticide that controls disease by using five different modes of action. With multiple modes of action, Double Nickel 55 is ideal for use to manage resistance. It also has only a 4-hour REI.