Pests of blueberries on São Miguel, Açores, Portugal.
In February and March 2006, two plots of 154 plants each of three southern high bush blueberries cultivars (Vaccinium corymbosum 'Emerald', 'Jewel', and 'Springhigh') were planted in two locations on São Miguel Island, Açores, Portugal. One plot was planted near the town of Furnas, where the native mountain blueberry Vaccinium cylindraceum was also planted, and a second plot, was planted near Calhetas with high bush only. At Calhetas, blueberry plantation establishment was difficult due to heavy soil, high pH and low organic matter, and only 10% of the plans survived. The blueberries at Furnas established well and leaf rust, caused by Pucciniastrum vaccinii, was observed. Symptoms included distinct yellow foliar lesions, with brown reddish pustules later in the season. 'Jewel' had the most rust infection, followed by 'Emerald' and 'Springhigh'. Foliar lesions of the rust were not observed on any of the native, V. cylindraceum seedlings. This fungal disease exists in other European blueberry growing regions and can be managed with fungicidal sprays. The greenhouse thrips, Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis and the light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana infested each of the blueberry species and was/were observed at both locations. The heaviest infestation of thrips was observed on plants of native V. cylindraceum. The blueberry insect complex in the Azores is not very different from that in other locations where blueberries are grown and corresponding control measures are available.