Dying Peach Trees!

gatorguy1885(8b)June 18, 2012

I need help. The past few years me and my dad have tried to plant peach trees in our orchard. We have experience with growing a lot of other kinds of fruit trees but not peaches. It seems we plant them and they are healthy for a year or two and then begin to die. The leaves first start turning yellow. Then brown and drop off completely. One of my 2 or three year old trees now has no leaves at all. Is it completely dead or can I save it? Also another one of my trees is starting to yellow. I removed the mulch which I just read I shouldn't have around it and found big gooey gobs of sap all around the bottom of the trunk under where the mulch was. I have pictures below. Any help you can give me would be great. I don't have a clue. I live in North Florida and we are getting a lot of rain right now if that helps also.

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Heres another

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 11:08AM
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One of the top

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 11:10AM
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Looks like borers to me. Your trees are in bad shape. What do you use for spray?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 11:57AM
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john222-gg(Mississippi 8a/8b)

I lost a peach tree this year to peach tree borer.It looks like that is what you have .Once they get in the tree I have never been able to get rid of them.I have more trees without them.I spray regular from June till August to keep them out.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 12:04PM
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I don't spray at all. Didn't know I had to. I guess that's whats the problem...so there's nothing I can do for the tree? In the future what do I spray and when?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 3:50PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Bug Juice is a remarkable, odorless insecticide paint additive designed to eliminate crawling and flying insects on interior and exterior surfaces. Bug Juice is an EPA registered product upon which research and development was conducted for six years Bug Juice can be added to any oil or latex-based paint, stain or sealant, is easy to use and lasts for the life of the coating.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The finish to which Bug Juice is added needs to be used within 3 hours. Otherwise, the insecticide in the coating will become ineffective.

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Will it affect the appearance of the finish?
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It is recommended that you hose off the treated surface with water twice a year. This provides a clean surface for insects to land on.

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Here is a link that might be useful: Borers this only thing that work

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 4:59PM
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The spray combo I use is Triazicide, Captan and Immunox. I spray every two weeks beginning in may after petal fall. Every 21 days I spray with Monterey Fungi Fighter. In Feb and early spring I spray my peaches with copper. Kocide 3000 is excellent as well.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:32AM
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I have 3 peach trees (all reliance). Thankfully I have not
seen any borer issues so far. IF I recall correctly, peach
borer in my part of the U.S. will bore into peach in august?

I thought the correct time to spray for borer was in August and around the base of the trunk.

Olpea: can you shed any light on this? I thought you grew
peaches too.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:44AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

You're right Spartan,

The best time to spray is just before the borers start flying. August sounds about right for WI.

Lesser peach tree borer starts flying a little earlier.

I haven't had much problem with borers in my backyard orchard. Since I spray the trees in my backyard with a wand, I go ahead and hit the trunks and scaffolds when I spray, so they've remained pretty clean. The only peach tree borers I've seen on my trees are a couple container peach trees I ordered 6-7 years ago. I've also seen borers on unmanaged trees in the area.

I've been worried about my new planting. I have 225 peach trees plus apple, cherry and plum trees. Last week I made the decision to go ahead and treat the planting for borers. Lorsban arrived yesterday.

I haven't seen any borer activity yet, but they just started flying a few weeks ago. There is another commercial peach orchard with three to five hundred peach trees only 3 miles away, so it's highly likely there are borer flights.

Normally I wait till I see a problem to spray, but in this case I can't afford to wait to see if the trees get infected. Clearing up borer infestation from such a large number of trees would be big task. That, combined with the likelihood of nearby borer flights made me decide to go ahead and treat. I probably should have purchased traps to monitor borer flights and probably will in the future.

I don't like using organophosphates, but Lorsban does such a good job that there really isn't a comparable substitute for it (once a year treatment). Hopefully as the trees age and start bearing I won't have to use Lorsban any more.

Gator rider,

The active ingredient in "Bug Juice" is deltamethrin, a pyrethroid. Despite the manufacturer's claims, I doubt it's any more efficacious than other common pyrethroids like Once and Done.

Pyrethroids as a class have a fairly broad spectrum of control and lethal to almost all insects. They are used in everything from termite, ant, wasp, bedbug insecticides.

An advantage of "Bug Juice" is that it sounds like it's specifically labeled for paint. I don't know that it would be effective that long, since, as a class, pyrethroids break down fairly rapidly.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 2:23PM
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Thanks everyone for the replies. What Ive gathered so far is the best way to go is prevention. But can I save my peach trees that have the borers in them? What can I do?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 10:49AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Dig out the borers. I use a pointed knife myself, but you probably want to start with a stiff wire. They tend to dig out the bark in an upside-down U shape and are usually found on one of the sides of the U. They don't go very deep into the tree wood, they are eating at the cambium later and not the woody parts further in. Any bark that is totally dead you can remove (gently) with a knife, to see better what is going on. Also clear the dirt out right around the trunk for the same purpose. They can go several inches down into the ground so you need to dig down.

Once you have dug out all the borers and removed any dead bark, you can paint with latex paint. I would put on several coats for goose measure. You can also spray some bug killer for added effect. Google for peach borer lifecycle to read up on what they are doing during various seasons of the year. The most important time to look for borers is early spring, before they have started doing serious damage. April/May is the main period when they are big and eating a lot of your tree.

I have a lot of this to do now as I have a major borer infestation in one of my peach plantings.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 12:17PM
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Two of my peach trees got hit by these borers. I sprayed them at the base. They lost all of their leaves and I waited to see if they would die but I think they are bouncing back. One is putting out leaves and the other is trying to at the bottom. Maybe they will live. I will continue to spray every 2 or three weeks until the end of august.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 11:57AM
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I see borers on my 40y/o peach tree every year, yet the tree is fine. As far as seeing your 1st and 2nd pics, you have planted it in moist soil. It's said peach trees do not grow well in moist soil.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 6:57AM
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I know this is a year old but after some more research and thought before I try my peach tree endeavors again this year I came across this and deffinately think San Jose scales are weighed completely or partly responsible for the death of my peach trees. Look at the original photos I posted above and look at the small white bumps. I'm not saying the borers weren't there but I think thsese scales are the culprit. After looking at these links tell me what you think about what the culprit is and best prevention/treatment.



    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 4:58PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Those white bumps at the base of the tree aren't scale and even if they were aren't your issue. San Jose scale is very bad and can kill a tree but the scale would number in the thousands and would be up on the branches, twigs, leaves, and fruit; not down by the ground.

Borers kill more trees than all scales put together. And what you would notice with scale is the leaves and branches covered with a sticky sugar solution, the scales honeydew. Then you'd see scale everywhere.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 5:26PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Agreed, its not scale. Peach bark has little horizontal bumps in it and it looks like some white stuff is coming from the bumps.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 10:03PM
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While we are on the peach tree subject, not to de-rail gators concerns, but I have about 30 peach buds this year finally on my one tree, and lately as they get about a half an inch in size, I see 4-5 crystal-like deposits on each piece of fruit. Looks kind of like a couple grains of white sugar stuck together and deposited on the outside of the fruit; every single one, from top to bottom of the tree. I don't see anything on the leaves, yet. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 7:52AM
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I planted a few peaches last year (2013). This year (2014) I recently pulled off the spiral plastic protectors to discover one of the dwarfs was filled with jelly and the scion was sprouting leaves! evidently, I have peach tree borers. Ive sprayed with bonide fruit tree spray, but I guess that didnt kill the borers. Does anyone know if it should have and I didnt spray at the right time or something? I cant imagine the insecticides in the fruit tree spray arent as strong as the borer miner killer bonide also sells, but i guess so...

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 4:28PM
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Your peaches are damaged by either Oriental Fruit Moth (OFM) or Plum Curculio (PC). They have some differences but the end result is the same - both insects cause most damages on peaches (fruit).

You don't see them because larvae are hatched inside the fruit. Cut the fruit up, you'll see damage inside. Sometimes, the larvae are still there. Sometimes they are gone to build the next generations of trouble.

Fruit that are damaged will drop prematurely. Pick up all those fruits. Throw them in trash. Do not compost or let them lie around on the ground. Don't let those buggers go underground to build their life cycle.

If you spray, you need to time it before you see damages. Spray when tiny peaches are formed. The longer you wait, the more chance that they will beat you to your peaches.

Once you see damages on your fruit, it's too late. Pick them all off and wait for next year. If you see some "clean" peaches left on your trees, you can safe them by spraying. Spray organically would be with Surround, a kaolin clay product. Spray chemically, I use Triazicide Once and Done, a product by Spectracide Others use other pesticide that work for them.

Greenhouse - your could have both borers and canker. For borers, look around soil line or below for holes with oozes. I use a coat hanger wire and try to kill borers in the holes. Some spray with Triazicide, mentioned above. I have not need to spray for borer yet.

For canker - you don't have much choice but make sure a tree is healthy and hope it will heal itself.

If you read any post about peach problems on this forum, you will come across the following problems: OFM and PC damages, borers, Peach Leave Curl, canker and shot holes. Those are the prominent problems most grow peach growers have to deal with.

Keep reading those posts, the problems and answers are similar.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 5:25PM
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alan haigh

Olpea, and the rest, I manage peach trees at a wide range of places with a wide range of intensity of management and I've never lost a single peach tree to borers.

Partially this is due to the fact that I generally spray the bases with Lorsban whenever I see frass down there and I often cut them out with a knife, but some trees go for a very long time before I happen by. Sometimes I might forget to scout and some trees may end up having borers for a year before I get around to treating them.

If a peach tree is reasonably vigorous it think it stands a very good chance of surviving borers- it is weak growing trees that quickly succumb. Gatorguys trees are competing with sod when they should have mulch or clean turf at least a foot and a half beyond the trunks- preferably at least double that. The young trees probably never achieved adequate vigor to compete.

It would take borers on steroids to kill Olpea's trees.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 7:30PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

"It would take borers on steroids to kill Olpea's trees."

LOL. When I moved grafted trees to the farm this spring, I found one (Lady Nancy) which had two borers (that I could see) at the base. The graft sprouted, but looks like it will die. I'm sure moving it added a lot of stress to an already mostly girdled tree.

It's my understanding greater peach tree borer preferentially seeks weaker/drought stressed trees to lay eggs. Those trees have less ability to drown larva (or interrupt larval feeding) with sap.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 8:18AM
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