Peach Tree Shoot Strike (Twig Flagging)

bluesky204June 25, 2013

Hi everyone, I just noticed the new growth at the tip of my peach tree is drying. the new leaves would lose vigor and then just dry up.

After some research, I think I have twig borer problem, can anyone confirm? I already applied dormant spray in winter but that didn't seem to help prevent the borers from chewing up the new shoots. Also I live in Canada and our provincial government has banned the use of pesticide so I can't really spray anything.

I bought Bacillus Thuringiensis (bt) spray from Ebay, I hope border custom doesn't block it, do you think this product will be helpful? When do I spray and what are other organic pest control methods I can try? thanks!

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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

That tip boring is nearly always the oriental fruit moth. It is extremely common on peaches. Cut off any flagging tips. Bt will help, or spinosad - spray the tips and any fruits.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 2:09PM
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alan haigh

Has banned the use of all pesticide? That can't be right. Bt and spinosad are pesticides but I guess Scott assumes you mean they've banned synthetics, which would still seem extreme by any standard.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 5:37PM
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products like Sevin, malathion, spionsad, even neem oil are banned for home use. But they are still allowed for commercial operations.

here are some links from government website

this ban is frustrating because I have limited products at my disposal to keep my backyard peach tree healthy.

Bt is supposed to be more environmentally friendly, but I am getting it shipped in from the states.. hopefully I get it

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 6:23PM
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Did you receive your spray yet? Did it kill the infestation?

A few of my peaches and nectarines are affected with the same thing, peach twig borers. I actually saw two of the black little flies (and squashed them), so I'm pretty sure mine is infected with the twig borers not the moths, but maybe both.

My local nursery suggested I get Neem oil, which I bought yesterday but didn't apply because it rained all night. Does anyone know if neem oil will work?

Also, I heard about a Bayer systemic insecticide that will work for a full year after applying it to the soil, but read somewhere that the Bayer stuff causes CCD in bees. Can anyone confirm this? Does it make sense to use both a foliar spray application and systemic application to the soil?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 12:22PM
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Any updates?

I finally had a break in rain here and sprayed mine last night with neem oil after cutting all affected tips. Does anyone know if neem oil will successfully treat peach twig borers?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 10:22AM
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sorry for the late reply, yes I got my BT and it worked! My tree has put out new growth with no sign of damage. So either BT really worked or the oriental moth went somewhere else.

I heard oriental moth and tree borers cause similar damage on young shoots, since i did not see any black flies I would assume my tree was attacked by oriental moth.

I am not sure if neem oil works (it's banned in my province anyway), but BT seems to be doing its job!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 11:56PM
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