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Evaluation of selected crabapple cultivars for insect resistance


, : Evaluation of selected crabapple cultivars for insect resistance. Journal of Environmental Horticulture 11(4): 171-175

Twenty-four cultivars of Malus spp. were evaluated for resistance to naturally occurring insect pests at replicated plantings in Detroit, Lansing, and Cadillac, Michigan. 'Adams,' 'Candied Apple,' and 'Sugar Tyme' crabapples were the most resistant to defoliation by gypsy moth, fall cankerworm, and eastern tent caterpillar. 'Sugar Tyme,' in particular, was almost untouched by gypsy moth or fall cankerworm (less than 1.3% defoliation). These data must be interpreted cautiously, because previous research has shown that gypsy moth larvae are attracted to the largest Malus trees in a planting, regardless of cultivar. Two cultivars, 'Robinson' and 'Red Jewel,' were highly resistant to rose chafer and apple-and-thorn skeletonizer damage. The fact that neither of these were particularly resistant to gypsy moth or cankerworm suggests a different mechanism of resistance for defoliators and skeletonizers.

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