Peach borer (organic) prevention ideas

persianmd2orchardMay 20, 2013

Hello all,

I've been getting peach borer pretty bad. It girdled off like half the circumference of a baby Winblo, and is now after one of my apricots.

I read up a bit on borer life cycle and control methods. Control methods summary I have read about:

-Using a metal wire (this is great)
-Digging out the surrounding dirt (this is great)
-Neem oil I saw somewhere listed as possibly effective??! That would be great if spraying the ground with neem did anything. But I have doubts on that. Any thoughts on this one?
-Nematodes (not sure efficacy... and sounds cumbersome not one and done...I think would have to keep adding more nematodes as needed every season or so around a bunch of trees...)

-White latex paint
-PDB crystals/Moth balls
-Heavier chemical sprays (don't really wanna go there)

Then I read this thread below from the organic forum and that got me thinking about mechanical prevention of invasion. This person suggests what seems to me a great idea. Basically just wrapping the base of the tree/underground a bit with cloth dipped in tangle foot. I think this would get the moths stuck trying to lay eggs on bark... And maybe the larvae will get stuck too if they try to enter the tree. It would still leave a bit of possibility of eggs laid in surrounding soil and also feeding on unprotected near surface roots--but I don't think that is the main worry. In either case, this sounds simple and pretty effective and just a couple mins added to the initial planting time for each susceptible tree.

I've never used Tanglefoot before but it is listed as organic in case that is a concern having non-organic stuff under soil near roots. I've used those long windy sticky paper mosquito traps. That stuff might break down underground or even over ground with rain...not really sure their durability... But some sort of wrapping with sticky stuff seems like a good idea. Maybe even planting a tree with those plastic tree guards to go a couple inches below the soil would help if it was really tightly bound to the trunk. Now that I think about it... how about just wrapping the bottom up with burlap? That should be woven fine enough to keep out the bugs too.

What do you guys think? It seems as though some sort of preventive method is in line for me, I can't bear to keep waiting for it to hit all my trees and then try to damage control.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tanglefoot + Tshirt strip method

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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Wood ashes around the base is a well-known folk treatment I have been meaning to try. Unfortunately I didn't save any ashes from the last winter.

The tanglefoot method should work if you get it all the way around. The main problem with tanglefoot is the stuff is a total mess to deal with. Some wrap could also work but it would need to be a complete barrier and would have to go up 6" or so above the ground, and even with that they may just lay the eggs at the top of the barrier.

I have just been digging mine out but I am probably going to switch to some other plan, I am getting too much damage still.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 11:09AM
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bart1(6/7 Northern VA)

I've been using moth balls around the base of the tree and it has worked pretty well. I replace them a couple of times a year when they disappear.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 11:37AM
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alan haigh

I've used nylon screen taped to the lower trunk with rubber electric tape (stretches, unlike vinyl).

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 6:45PM
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Anyone thought about maybe wraping the trunk with double faced carpet tape? Maybe up the trunk 8-10 ". What are your thoughts on this?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 6:11PM
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Paint works the best.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 8:52PM
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austransplant(MD 7)

When I first planted my nectarine and plum trees, I read that garlic chives planted around the tree would help prevent problems with borers, so I planted a ring of garlic chives right up around the trunks of my trees (in retrospect, the source said to plant them about a foot out). So far, 5 years later, I've not had any problems with borers (touch wood).

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 8:59PM
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Thank you all for the excellent ideas--I love this forum. I now have plenty of tricks to try out over the next couple seasons to defeat this guy as gentle as he'll let me.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 10:15PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

AJBB, the paint didn't work for me, I dug out and painted every trunk last year but still had a lot of borers this year. Well, I did have much less damage than last year, maybe 1/3 the damage compared to last year.

PersianMD, let us know what you try and how it works. I might try the garlic chives, it sounds pretty easy to do.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 11:08AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

What are garlic chives? I grow garlic from garlic i grow (break apart the bulbs/plant the cloves) ...but not sure what a chive would be? Can i just grow garlic around my trees?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 1:26PM
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Frank! Hi its Mrs. G. Garlic chives grow and look like a chive plant, but their leaves (stems are not hollow, they are flat.) They just taste stronger than regular chives. The re-seed very easily, so be sure to pick off the flower heads while the flowers are still white. This will prevent the seeds from forming. They also multilply underground as they too are a single bulb plant and grow in clumps. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 9:48PM
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I attached a post from the Herb Forum. There was a picture of garlic chives in it.

Another post I read, people complained about how invasive garlic chives can be (probably like mint). So, you have to decide. Plant at your own risk!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Garlic chives

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 9:50PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I think i get it now...yeah..have to watch it so they don't get out of control, although i guess you could mow them or weed whack them and then smother if you had to...

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:41PM
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