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Show #31/5305. The Exploding World Of Farmer's Markets

Addressing Insects And Fruit Trees

Eric wants to talk about disease and insect control issues regarding apples. There are a few things one must worry about. Insects of course just love to eat fruiting trees. What type of practical advice does David have for homeowners trying to keep their trees healthy. Pruning is a great way to control insects and disease because the drier you can make these trees the better. Disease doesn’t function, it doesn’t grow when bacteria or fungus is in a dry environment it doesn’t grow so pruning would be number one for sure. There are other things one can do in the off-season when there are no leaves on the trees. There are copper sprays that you can soak the tree with, which will help knock down the inoculum. During the summer when there is fruit on the trees there is not much you can do. Here they approach insect control with a lot of organic aspects. They use pheromone traps, which are little lures. Basically what it does is flood the orchard with the scent of a female insect. The pheromone lures David uses are for two of the major pests in apples and there is one of the lures on every other tree, so there are fifty thousand of these lures. They are very expensive to put on but they are a great attribute to the orchard. What is this little pheromone lure? It fills the orchard with these attractants for the male bugs so the male bugs cannot find the female bugs and if males and females can’t get together they don’t have the baby bugs. So he has eliminated a lot of the population with the pheromone lures. They are really great. David feels better about the orchards and feels better about the fruit that they are serving the public. Again, a little bit more expensive but he enjoys doing it.

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By Justin Hancock, Monrovia Horticultural Craftsman
Photographs courtesy of Monrovia

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