What to do with Fruit Trees in the Fall

happyhelperOctober 23, 2013

Now that fall is here, I am wondering what I need to do for my fruit trees. I am fairly new at raising fruit trees and have trees that range from five years to newly planted this year. I did have some fruit but the fruit was mostly mis-shaped. I was told that coddling moth was probably the cause. He said it was important to spray just after pedal fall.
Should I be spraying dormant spray soon or do I wait until around February to do that? It is nice to think that you can raise fruit without spraying but I don't see how it can be done.
I am not sure of my zone, it was 5b but I think they changed it to 6.
I plan to put those white rings around the trunk to protect them from deer and my goat.
I would be nice for someone with experience in growing fruit trees to start a post where he would give us heads up on what do do next as the season progresses.
There are probably many of us that could use some practical advice.
Helen

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ltilton

Petal fall means spring, after the blossoms drop.

Most people do dormant spraying and pruning in Feb.

I think one of the most important things to do in fall is rake up all the fallen leaves and fallen fruit and take it away so it can't harbor disease or pests. Check the trees to make sure no mummies are clinging.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 9:21AM
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mamuang_gw

Helen,

A couple of questions for you, please:

What state are you in? Different locations/states, though in the same zones, have different affect on fruit trees.

What fruit trees do you grow? Different fruit trees have different problems. You may need different products to make it work.

With more details, you probably will get more advice from the people here who grow those fruit trees.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 6:39PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Helen,

mamuang is right. Generally, the more information you can give, the better the advice.

That said, I assume the deformed fruit you referred to are apples. If so, first generation codling moth can cause deformity, but generally deformity in apples is caused by cat facing insects like stink bug or feeding by plum curculio.

Cat facing insects feed by injecting digestive juices into a small spot on the fruit and suck out the contents. It obviously kills the fruit cells at that location. As the fruit grows, the dead portion of the fruit won't develop while the live portion of the fruit develops normally. This gives the fruit a deformed appearance at maturity. The younger the fruit is at the time of attack, the more deformed it will be at maturity, since the insect feeding kills a larger percentage of the fruit's cells when the fruit is smaller/younger. Many times the fruit will also develop a small amount of scar tissue around the feeding site which, although not harmful, can detract from the eating experience.

Most of the time codling moth eat the seeds out of the apple and it drops, or you pick the apple and you can find the larva inside. Codling moth frequently bore into the calyx end (the end opposite the stem) and there will be "frass" exuding out of the entrance hole (Frass is euphemism for "worm poop".)

BTW, I love your name. You don't hear many people these days with the lovely name Helen. It also belongs to my wife.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 8:41PM
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