Silent summer

creekweb(6,7)July 12, 2012

This hot dry summer has been demanding in terms of our needing to meet the trees' water requirements, but on the flip side from what I've seen so far, the worst pests seem to be taking a year off.

At this stage of the season last year, stink bugs and squirrels were causing damage everywhere - the stink bugs virtually destroyed my Asian pears and peaches and the squirrels were taking anything the stink bugs left behind. This year there were just a few stinkers on the pears before I bagged them and now nothing. I haven't seen a squirrel in a month. I'm allowing my fully loaded unsprayed peach trees to ripen their fruit on the tree. No one's interested in my ripe plums. The ripening apples are untouched. The only place I've seen any number of stinkbugs has been on the figs. Just why they would be interested in unripe figs when so much better stuff is around is puzzling, but I'll take it.

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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Creek I think your pests took the bus to Maryland. I'm up to my ears in bugs, squirrels and deer. The stink bugs are not worse than the record year two years ago but they are up to their usual badness. The June beetles are horrible this year, and usually they are not on my radar since they caused so little damage. I have trapped dozens of squirrels and more keep showing up.

Scott

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 7:26PM
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ltilton

A squirrel stripped my few remaining plums the PCs missed, for the liquid, I think. It left the pits. Birds, too, attacking the fruit like never before.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 7:44PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

One peach robbing squirrel was detained today. Still a black one out there I need to get. Its just a bad year. I'm ready for winter.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 11:05PM
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denninmi(8a)

I'm going to be interested to see what happens NEXT year with PC, apple maggot, and coddling moth. There seems to be literally NOTHING for them to live on this year, no apples, no ornamental crabs, no plums, peaches, no flowering pear fruits. Mountain ash did set a crop this year, so perhaps some of them can live on those, I don't know.

And the birds were really going for green blueberries until I covered them. I think they are desperate for food, between the drought which drove worms deep underground and the lack of all kinds of fruiting shrubs that they would normally find, such as Tartarian honeysuckle which also froze off the normal red June berries, or the blackcaps which shriveled to nothingness from drought.

Squirrels a'plenty here, though, they obviously are finding something to eat -- because it's the 'burbs and so many people have bird feeders I think the squirrels are as fat as ever.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 6:16AM
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canadianplant

Up here in NW ontario its been weird. Very unusual winter (warm with just below average precip), and a warm, very wet spring (we had almsot 5 months of rain in end of april - middle of june), then hot and dry. I cant remember the last time we had this long of a streach at 30+C up here. Ive been recording that temp for the last 3 weeks in my yard.

There were trpple the amount of birds this spring, and here a month early at least. Squirrels were out all winter. We had one of the largest butterfly migrations in recent history this year, that means caterpillars, and LOTS of them. Some ive never seen before, like a massive amounts of luna moth. They destroyed my jostaberry (which recovered).

Spidermites overwintered, which ive never seen before. Big amount of slugs here too. There were a bunch of bugs ive never seen before on my apple. Small and black, and they distorted new growth. Simple dish soap spray stopped that.

Im not loosing much, which is a good thing. The other bonus, inr egards to bugs, is that the bee population exploded this year. Honeybee and native. THe same with my preditory wasp population.

One other thing ive had to deal with due to the massive spring rains is some sort of rust on my pear. Dark blotches are covering the some leaves. Doesnt seem to be affecting the new growth. There is a massive powdery mildew outbreak here as well, especially on the careganna.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 9:29AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Den-

I'm still finding curculio larvae in plums... They just went nuts this year with this goofy wx.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 10:51AM
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creekweb(6,7)

So, looks like no one else is seeing a silver lining in all this heat and dryness.I tweaked a few things this year as I do every year, but wouldn't expect that to cause such dramatic changes in pest pressure.Part of it may be that the fruit is ripening so much earlier and harvested before the stinkbugs peak in numbers. I'm also wondering whether synergy exists between some pesticides and the hot dry weather that have made them a lot more effective this year.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 11:38PM
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ltilton

I see quite a few bright spots. The Japanese beetles seem to have petered out early.

And the vegetable garden, that I water while letting other stuff go, has done well ever since the early spring.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 12:47AM
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