How to identify apples and prevent insect damage naturally?

omgdFebruary 18, 2008

We have about 7 apple trees that were here when we moved in, all are in need of major pruning and all the apples are eaten by apple maggots every year.

How can we get these trees back into shape? How do you

get rid of apple maggots organically? or is it better to just use chemicals for this type of insect?

Also how do you identify apple species? We have no idea

what type of apples we got here, there are sevearal

different kinds. If we cannot figure out how to identify

them will they still sell at market?


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hopflower(z8/z15 CA Sunset)

Mature apple trees need major pruning and you might have to sacrifice a year's crop for that. Apples also tend to bear on spurs, so you would get some of the apples, but not as many as you normally would. I would go to my county's agricultural extension and get some advice there. Many apples grow well in different areas; someone could perhaps come out to help you with this, and I am sure there are publications on pruning and spraying and natural management. Give them a call or drive over and see what you can find. A local, privately-owned nursery could help you, too.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 10:31AM
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Thanks for the tips!


    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 11:30AM
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you would want to do a dormant spray now if it isn't too late. It is kinda hard to tell what you have until they bear fruit and if you need to do a heavy pruning you may not get much this year. For sure I would clean up any debris around the trees and maybe lightly dig up the soil around the trees a bit, that is where some of the bugs hide. Did you see the article about the guy who let his pigs into his organic orchard and they cleaned up his problems. I thought that was great, I think he is in Michigan

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 3:46PM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

Pigs will do 'rototilling' in the orchard for you.

Chickens confined to the orchard will eat as many insects and larvae (and fallen fruit) as they can find. Many insects overwinter in the soil under the trees, then reinfest the trees. Chickens are your friends.

If you ran a few (two or three) young pigs in your fenced orchard, then put in a flock of chickens after them, to scratch and pick through the soil, there's a good chance your infestations would be less the following year.

Below is the site for ATTRA (National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service). Just type "chickens orchard" in their search box for more info.


Here is a link that might be useful: ATTRA home

    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 4:31PM
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