Haskap plants are among the first to leaf out and flower in the spring. Their growth habit is that of a “sprinter” in the plant community: they produce an early burst of growth quickly followed by flowers. Ripe fruit is produced before many forest crops have even realized that spring has arrived. This rapid early growth places Haskap ahead of many insect and disease organisms. However, there are some issues of concern. For example, from our experience, Botrytis – a fungal organism – is a disease of some significance. It can completely defoliate plants with new leaves during periods of high humidity or wet conditions. Conventional and Bio-Rational approached may offer prevention and or management techniques for this disease in season.
A pest problem of economic significance is bird-feeding activity. Haskap berries are elongated, delicate and ideally shaped and textured for consumption by birds. As they are the first available berry in the spring, Haskap are targeted by many bird species. A species of note are the Cedar Wax Wings – berry-consuming birds that have a passion for Haskap berries, both in their ripe and unripe forms. Phytocultures has been active in developing bird control measures for our commercial plantation site. Control measures have been implemented; however, commercially viable techniques are still in development. Visit our plots during late June to observe our recent berry loss prevention techniques.