Little Cherry Disease Pt 2

Little Cherry Disease Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. Little Cherry Disease and Western X are two serious diseases that Northwest cherry growers are watching closely. WSU virologists say it's reached epidemic proportions.

Northwest Cherry Growers president BJ Thurlby says about the only way to deal with it is to start pulling out the trees ...

THURLBY ... "You think of a satellite image and you look down and there's a tree that's infected and the growers will take ten trees around it. And so, you have these little gaps in orchards you're seeing all over the place. But, some growers don't mess around, they'll take out a hundred acres.

They get it 20-30 trees and they just say that's it, we've got to start over and try something else."

Thurlby says it's very difficult to deal with ...

THURLBY ... "We don't know where it's coming from. It's one of those mysteries and it's something that is really scary. It could put people out of business. So, we're paying close attention to. We've got WSU and Oregon State University, the best scientists in the world when it comes to tree fruit. They're looking at it and pounding away at it."

Thurlby says it ranks right at the top for biggest grower worries ...

THURLBY ... "When we look at threats for our industry, labor has been at the top of our list for years, you know, will we have enough labor to get our crops picked and we continue to have enough people that the H-2A programs are in place. It seems to work, but man, I'd say that if after that if you talk to a grower and say what's your biggest concern and most of them will say Little Cherry Virus or Western X depending on where they're growing their fruit. It's a big deal."

Thurlby says there's a 5-to-6 year production turnaround after trees are removed and replanted.


BL: Welcome back to another "Fruit Bites" brought to you by Valent U.S.A. With us again is Valent's Allison Walston. And this week Allison, tell me the difference between summer and winter pears.

AW: Even though there are thousands of pear varieties, about 10 are grown here in the PNW, European pears can basically be put into 2 groups: summer or winter pears. Summer pears, such as Bartlett or Starkrimson, are harvested starting in early August and can ripen on the tree, or after harvest with minimal chilling.

BL: that's good for homeowners to have a summer pear tree.

AW: Winter pears, such as Anjou, Comice and Bosc are harvested starting in early September and need a month or more of cold storage, around 30°F, before they can ripen.

BL: So pears arrive at the grocery store ready to go?

AW: Within 3 to 5 days, check the neck for ripeness as pears ripen from the inside out.

BL: Well, thanks Allison. Join us again next time for Fruit Bites, brought to you by Valent. Until then, I'm Bob Larson.

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