Standard Pest ID and Protection

emmalehmanMay 5, 2014

We are relatively new to fruit gardening and have a number of trees in our orchard at this point (apple, cherry, pear, plum, peach, nectarine). We were wondering what the standard home orchard pest traps would be, and standard systems for pest identification. We have a few leaves with holes in them but nothing extreme. One of our three year old trees was almost entirely destroyed last year by some pest, but we were out of the country and came back to see the after-effects. We would like to stay on top of things this year, and so we are doing walk arounds and close inspections every few days, but still are struggling to see what is eating the leaves.

Is it too late for moth traps? What kind of sticky tape etc do you all use?

And, we have a few light red ants on our trees - i don't think they are the fire ants. Are ants generally bad for fruit trees?

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Bumping to see if anyone has ideas, and to emphasize the question about how dangerous ants are to fruit trees.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 11:35AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Lots of pests. Not sure exactly where you are, but i'll run down the ones I know of and have dealt with...

1. Plum Curculio (these are everywhere east of the Rockies from what I know)... they make crescent shaped slits in almost any fruit and lay eggs. They love stonefruit without fuzz the most (nectarines, plums, pluots)...then apples, peaches, pears. Outside of apples and pears (which will be deformed), the fruit will fall from the tree with larvae inside that crawl out into the soil and start the process over next year. You need to spray an insecticide or at least SurroundWP for protection.

2. Japanese Beetles ==these come out in summer, seem to be heavier in some areas then others...some years are worse. They will do a ton of damage to foliage. Seem to really prefer sweet cherries, plums.

3. Borers (lots of them, covering almost all trees types). They can kill young peach trees/i assume other trees too. Trunk sprays/traps.

4. Stinkbugs? (not around here......yet)

5. Rose Chafers (similar to Japanese beetles, live in sandy soils, annoying, but not as destructive as the Japanese beetles).

6. SQUIRRELS!!! if you have these around, you have trouble. They love almost ripe peaches...apples, pears, etc etc...pluots! Trap or shoot (if possible)...

7. Birds...around here they peck apples...they also swarm cherries.

8. deer (don't have them here, don't want them).

9. Humans (they steal!).

Most sprays seem to cover most pests, but you have to read the labels. You have Pyrethrins, NeoNics (systematics), Carbamates and Organophosphates... along with a few others (SurroudWP/Neem)..

Trust takes some time to identify what you are dealing with and how to respond. You might think you have things under control and the next morning a fat grey squirrel has a prize Flavor King Pluot up on the power line gnawing away.

Since I planted apples/peaches back in 2005...over the years I think the worst "pest" is the squirrel. The smaller insects are easy to control *if you get the right spray at the right time and reapply when needed*.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 1:31PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Frank is spot on in his advice. The only thing I would add to his list would be Oriental Fruit moth and Codling moth, which are common here.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 9:25AM
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