• The effects of leaf litter treatments, post-harvest urea and omission of early season fungicide sprays on the overwintering of apple scab on Bramley’s Seedling grown in a maritime environment.

      Mac an tSaoir, S.; Cooke, L.R.; McCracken, A.R. (Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland, 2010)
      The theory that orchards with zero or low levels of apple scab post harvest do not need scab protection at the start of the next growing season was evaluated under Irish conditions. In addition, a range of post-harvest orchard sanitation practices (application of urea to rot overwintering leaves, mowing the orchard or total leaf removal in February) were also evaluated. Due to the high summer rainfall in Ireland (compared to all other European apple growing areas) and the severe susceptibility of the apple cultivar Bramley’s Seedling to scab (Venturia inaequalis), neither clean orchards in the autumn nor sanitation practices were sufficient to eliminate the requirement for full fungicide protection programmes at the start of the following growing season. Post harvest applications of urea proved difficult due to late harvesting of pollinator fruit for the juice market and wet weather. Total removal of leaf litter from plots prior to the commencement of growth did not significantly reduce disease incidence. Regardless of orchard cleanliness in autumn, missing the first fungicide application in the spring always reduced yield.