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Christmas trees : addressing quality concerns in the european market


The overall objective of this novel work is to exploit naturally occurring or artificially released predatory mites to regulate populations of eriophyoid mites on Christmas trees. The growing habit of Christmas trees makes it difficult to get sufficient pesticide penetration into the centre of the canopy. This allows populations of eriophyoid mites to build up each year. These mites suck at needles of tree and the tree sheds its new needles. Because of stringent quality controls these trees cannot be sold. The sees require research that will investigate sustainable methods of pest control using natural predators of the eriophyoid mites as control agents. The research objectives are as follows: - determine the distribution and phonology of eriophyoid mite species present in commercial Christmas tree plantations of different tree pieces. - Determine the species of predatory mites present in commercial and unsprayed Christmas tree plantations. - Evaluate the effectiveness of naturally occurring and commercially available species of phytoseiid mites as predators of eriophyoid mites- evaluate the selectivity of available aphanites on phytoseiids in commercial plantations. The results will be exploited by the sees through their programmes of integrated pest

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Greenfield Farm
United Kingdom

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