Early spring curculio

ltiltonMarch 21, 2012

Is it reasonable to assume that with this early hot spell the plum curculios will already be out and ready to go? The degree-day calculator for my location says not, at 129, but it said that last year and the curculios got most of my apriums. otoh, that was the first week in May.

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alan haigh

The trees and the bugs are usually on about the same timetable, however a warm spell just as trees are in bloom may bring PC out on the early side, but I have always waited until last apples have lost petals. Maybe that's because Imidan has some kick back- I don't know. This is in orchards with apricots, all kinds of plums, etc.

Are you sure your Apriums got hit on the early side of their development and are you sure it was PC? There's so much mystery in all of this. My J. plums are always protected by my schedule but I've had some loss of E plums and I haven't been attentive enough to figure out what end of the sched they sneak in.

Last year I gave them an extra shot at the end (5 weeks after petal fall) and I didn't have any problem, but that proves nothing.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 1:28PM
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denninmi(8a)

There was a most excellent post by someone here last year, which linked to a cooperative extension service publication about PC, which gave exact heating degree day type numbers about emergence. I'll try to find it later tonight, I think I bookmarked it on my netbook at home.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 3:40PM
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ltilton

I kept good records last year. [for once!] The aprium flowered April 21, which is about normal. Early in May there was a heat wave slightly more extreme than this week, and on May 10 I discovered very clear curculio marks on just about every fruit. At this time, the apples had just begun to bloom, a bit late for them.

I resolved to ignore the degree days and spray at shuck split, no matter when. But I never figured that might be in March!

I note that this year the mason bees emerged 3/15, only two days before the aprium bloomed, so my belief in the bug/tree coordination is strengthened.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 3:45PM
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theaceofspades(7 Long Island)

Tilton. if you have a small tree just install footies to protect the fruits. The footies only need to be on a month or two till PC are gone. No spraying, timing or worrying.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 5:45PM
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alan haigh

So your PC behave differently than mine. I don't even get signs of PC stings on my stone fruit, even when they've laid eggs. It's on apples that I see the crescent shaped scars.

On my plums the only sign is when they ripen too early and there are worms and rotten areas in the fruit.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 6:18PM
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ltilton

hman - I've never seen the scars on plum, either. The damage is just as you describe. This was a new thing on the aprium. But the shape of the scars is unmistakable.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 7:53PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

"On my plums the only sign is when they ripen too early and there are worms and rotten areas in the fruit."

Around here PC leave scars on plums. Here's a pic I took a few years ago. The smaller plums are about thumbnail size.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 8:10PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

If there is no crescent scar it means OFM not PC. Stick the live wiggler on your hand, if it thrashes about its a PC and if it tries to crawl away in a definite direction its an OFM. PC larvae have no feet. I was confused a long time on which I had until I tried this test. I thought my cherries were getting OFM but I discovered it was PC when I did this test last year.

Re: timing there are probably some subtle variations but the bugs and the trees are generally on the same timer (or, the bug would have died out because he woke up at the wrong time).

Scott

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 9:44PM
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ltilton

Timing. Yesterday, when the sky cleared, I sprayed the cots with triazicide. Today, I spot shucks splitting, tiny fuzzy little green cotlets.

Are the PCs out there, with the temps supposed to drop into the 30s tonite? Who knows.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 1:20PM
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john_in_sc

They sure are out down here in force!

I was out yesterday morning - my Methley(?) plums already got hit.. as did my "Super sweet" peach... I broke out the spray and slathered everything down.... I was picking off some of the fruit with the little a) marks on them... Grump grump grump!

I would plan on it being a heavy insect pressure year.

Thanks

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 9:38PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Yup look for a heavy bug year due to mild winter. When I go out with my light at night I usually don't get swarmed til May but I'm getting swarmed already!

My apricot shucks are going to split any day so the bug spray program is about to commence here.

Scott

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 9:48PM
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