2019 Tree Fruit Management School registration and agenda now available

Register by Jan. 18 to join Michigan State University Extension in Traverse City, Michigan, to learn about tree fruit horticulture, entomology and pathology.

Photo by MSU Extension

Registration for the 2019 Tree Fruit Management School is open through Jan. 18! The 2019 Tree Fruit Management School will take place Feb. 12-14, 2019, at the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, Michigan. This year, we are truly appreciative of the gracious support from our sponsors. Their donations helped us reduce the cost of the school’s registration to $130 per person. Registration and lodging information is below.

We are also pleased to announce our three guest speakers. Duane Greene, University of Massachusetts, will discuss using plant growth regulators. Danielle Kirkpatrick, U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, will speak on novel research of invasive pests that threaten tree fruit. Kerik Cox, Cornell University, will present new information on SDHI fungicide resistance and unique management strategies for apple pathogens.

The school will also feature tree fruit horticulture, entomology and pathology. Horticultural topics will include up-and-coming tree fruit varieties and rootstocks, modern training systems, top-working and plant growth regulators to improve fruit quality. Entomologists will present the latest research findings on invasive species like spotted wing Drosophila, brown marmorated stink bug and spotted lantern fly, and other key pests like San Jose scale, black stem borer and codling moth. Phages for controlling bacterial pathogens, new approaches for fire blight and cherry leaf spot management, and cutting-edge research on Armillaria will also be presented.

See the agenda below for additional information regarding topics and speakers.

This school will provide world-class information to its participants. Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development pesticide applicator recertification credits for private and 1C commercial applicators and certified crop advisor credits will also be available.

RegistrationRegistration form

Registration is $130 per person and includes two breakfasts, two lunches, break refreshments, course materials and classroom facilities. Dinner and lodging are on your own. Please register by Jan. 18 by calling Jenn Zelinski at 231-946-1510 to pay with a credit card. We also accept registration by mail; send the completed registration form and a check payable to Michigan State University to:

Attn: Jenn Zelinski
NW MI Horticultural Research Center
6686 S. Center Hwy.
Traverse City, MI 49684


Book your room by Jan. 18 to receive a discounted rate of $99 plus tax per night at the Great Wolf Lodge, 3575 N US Highway 31 S, Traverse City, MI 49684. Book a room online by using code 1902MSUF or calling 1-866-962-9653.

Questions? Contact Jenn Zelinski or Emily Pochubay at 231-946-1510 or goodr100@msu.edu.

Tentative agenda

Day 1 – Tuesday, Feb. 12

9:00 a.m. – Registration open


9:45 – 10:00 a.m. – Welcome and Program Overview, Emily Pochubay, MSU Extension

10:00 – 10:30 a.m. – PGRs impact on tree growth and fruit quality, Phil Schwallier, MSU Extension

10:30 – 11:00 a.m. – (Title TBD) PGRs in apples, Duane Greene, University of Massachusetts

11:00 – 11:30 a.m. – Using the pollen tube growth model to optimize thinning strategies, Phil Schwallier, MSU Extension

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Precision thinning and crop load management, Duane Greene, University of Massachusetts

11:50- 12:00 p.m. – Meet your sponsor

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. – Lunch

1:00 – 1:10 p.m. – Meet your sponsor

1:10 - 1:35 p.m. – Using ethephon to remove fruit in tart cherries, Nikki Rothwell, MSU Extension

1:35 – 1:55 p.m. – Winter injury – the extension educators answer to everything, Amy Irish-Brown, MSU Extension

1:55 – 2:20 p.m. – Is top-working right for you? Amy Irish-Brown, MSU Extension

2:20 – 2:30 p.m. – Meet your sponsor 

2:30 – 2:50 p.m. – Break

2:50 – 3:00 p.m. – Meet your sponsor

3:00 – 3:30 p.m. – Tart cherry training systems and rootstocks for high-density orchards, Nikki Rothwell, MSU Extension

3:00 – 3:30 p.m. – Update on the MSU dwarfing cherry rootstocks, Amy Iezzoni, Department of Horticulture, MSU

3:30 - 4:00 p.m. – New, up and coming fruit varieties and rootstocks to consider, Wanda Heuser, International Plant Management

4:00 – 4:30 p.m. – Apple varieties that compete with Michigan, Phil Schwallier, MSU Extension

4:30 – 4:55 p.m. – MSU Enviroweather – Management tools for tree fruit growers, Keith Mason, Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences, MSU

Fill out pesticide recertification and certified crop advisor sheets

Dinner is on your own.

Day 2 – Wednesday, Feb. 13

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. – Breakfast


8:30 a.m. – Welcome – Day 2 Overview, Emily Pochubay, MSU Extension

8:40 – 9:05 a.m. – Progress toward developing an SWD IPM model, Nikki Rothwell, MSU Extension and AgBioResearch

9:05 – 9:30 a.m. – Rainfastness Attributes of Insecticides for Control of SWD in Cherries, John Wise, Department of Entomology, MSU

9:30 – 10:00 a.m. – Research update on two key invasive fruit pests: BMSB and SWD, Danielle Kirkpatrick, USDA ARS

10:00 – 10:10 a.m. – Meet your sponsor

10:10 – 10:30 a.m. – Break

10:30 – 10:55 a.m. – BMSB trapping and opportunities for biological control, John Pote, Department of Entomology, MSU

10:55 – 11:15 a.m. – Spotted lantern fly: an invasive on the horizon, Danielle Kirkpatrick, USDA ARS

11:15 – 11:35 a.m. – Novel ways to reduce black stem borer damage, Larry Gut, Department of Entomology, MSU

11:35 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Sterile insect release: a new tool for codling moth control in Michigan, Chris Adams, Department of Entomology, MSU

12:00 – 12:10 p.m. – Meet your sponsor

12:10 – 1:10 p.m. – Lunch 

1:10 – 1:20 p.m. – Meet your sponsor

1:20 – 1:45 p.m. – Opportunities for mating disruption of San Jose scale, Larry Gut, Department of Entomology, MSU


1:45 – 2:10 p.m. – Cherry leaf spot management in the age of resistance, Cory Outwater, Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences, MSU

2:10– 2:40 p.m. – Understanding SDHI fungicide resistance in apple scab, Kerik Cox, Cornell University

2:40 – 3:00 p.m. – Break  

3:00– 3:10 p.m. – Meet your sponsor

3:10– 3:40 p.m. – New and upcoming methods for bacterial disease management, George Sundin, Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences, MSU

3:40 – 4:10 p.m. – A new fire blight management approach using Apogee, Kerik Cox, Cornell University

Fill out Tree Fruit IPM School Survey, pesticide recertification and certified crop advisor sheets

4:15 – 5:30 p.m. – Happy Hour and Tree Fruit School Trivia Social Event

Dinner is on your own.

Day 3 (half day) – Thursday, Feb. 14

7:30 - 8:30 a.m. – Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – Welcome – Day 3 Overview

8:40 – 9:10 a.m. – Screening Prunus Species to Find Sources of Resistance to Armillaria Root Rot, Pratima Devkota, Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences, MSU

9:10 – 9:40 a.m. – Preventing disease while minimizing harm to pollinators during bloom, Julianna Wilson, Department of Entomology, MSU

9:40 – 10:10 a.m. – Farm business management: telfarm and cost of production assistance, Dan Ochs, MSU Extension

10:10 – 10:30 a.m. – MAEAP tips on pesticide storage and handling, Lauren Silver and Parker Ameel, MAEAP

10:30 – 11:00 a.m. – Sprayer optimization and alternative pesticide delivery systems, Matt Grieshop, Department of Entomology, MSU

11:00 – 11:15 a.m. – Sprayer airflow adjustment demonstration, Matt Grieshop, Department of Entomology, MSU

11:30 a.m. – Finish surveys, fill out pesticide recertification credit and certified crop advisor sheets

Lunch is on your own. Have a safe trip home!

Thank you to our sponsors!


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