The local fruit industry faces serious threats from fruiting trees in backyards or on other properties. Unless properly cared for, such trees may serve as hosts for pests which can spread to and damage commercial crops.
Hood River County's Amended Ordinance #263 requires that fruit tree diseases and pests be controlled on host plants. If they are not, the County may require destruction of the crop or trees at the owner's expense.
Preserving a Way of Life
Orchards in the Hood River Valley have a long history. The first fruit trees were planted in 1854; the first commercial orchard in 1876. The valley’s rich volcanic soil and favorable climate have made it one of the world’s finest fruit-growing districts. The fruit industry is our area’s most important economic factor—supporting families, communities and businesses. Trends toward reducing the use of pesticides in agriculture have led growers to introduce non-chemical approaches, such as mating disruption, for the control of codling moth, a damaging pest in pears and apples. In addition to codling moth, other pests which may spread from neglected trees to commercial orchards include apple maggot, cherry fruit fly, fire blight, and pear and apple scab. But the new “soft” pest management programs open commercial orchards to potential attack from pests multiplying on nearby unsprayed trees. Growers must produce “clean” fruit in order to compete in national and international markets. Pests may make fruit unmarketable, causing immediate economic loss.
We can all work together to assure that local fruit continues to be of high quality. A healthy fruit industry will help preserve the economy and keep the Hood River Valley the beautiful and special place that it is.
What Can I Do?
Property owners with fruit trees can take one of the following steps to eliminate pests: