How to Care for Fruit Trees With Insects

How to Care for Fruit Trees With Insects
Fruit trees save you money and time at the grocery store. When the fruit is properly canned or dried, a single tree can provide enough fruit for a family for an entire year and is ideal to take along on outdoor excursions. One of the only downsides of fruit trees is the constant need for insect control. A single pest species can destroy an entire crop. Fruit trees must be taken care of promptly to avoid loss of food.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Pruning shears Lime sulfur/dormant oil spray Natural or organic pesticide Spray bottle (if needed) Plastic sandwich bags (optional)
  • Pruning shears
  • Lime sulfur/dormant oil spray
  • Natural or organic pesticide
  • Spray bottle (if needed)
  • Plastic sandwich bags (optional)
Step 1
Prune trees before the springtime to help eliminate pests that target rotten wood. Remove any decaying or dead wood late in winter by pruning using a method appropriate for your tree.
Step 2
Spray your tree with a lime sulfur and dormant oil mix right before buds appear in the springtime. Brands such as Bonide can be purchased at local garden and greenhouse centers. Ensure that you spray the entire fruit tree with it, coating the bark of both the trunk and stems. Spray the tree when the temperature will remain above freezing and below 65 degrees for at least 24 hours for maximum effectiveness.
Step 3
Apply an organic pesticide spray, such as Spinosad, once your fruit sets, when the flowers drop the petals and form small fruiting balls. Apply it at three-week intervals throughout the growing season to kill insects on your fruit.
Step 4
Place sandwich bags around your fruit if insect problems persist. Put the bag around the fruit, then zip it closed around the stem. This will help with moth and worm problems the most by repelling flying insects.
Step 5
Pick fruit soon before it is ripe --- this will keep insects that attack ripe fruit from becoming a problem. Fruit picked soon before it is ripe will continue to ripen on its own.
Step 6
Remove dropping and rotting fruit from around the base of your trees promptly. Rotting fruit is a breeding ground for many insects, which also attack the live fruit still attached to the tree.
Step 7
Knock down and remove any fruit that hasn't ripened by the end of the season. This will remove breeding grounds for insects that might spend the winter on your tree.
Step 8
Apply the lime sulfur and dormant oil mix one more time once the tree reaches dormancy in the fall. This will help kill any wintering insects that have managed to find places in the bark or branches.

Tips & Warnings

Your local county extension and Department of Agriculture can also provide excellent sources of information on caring for fruit trees.
Always cover plants in the over-spray area, spray that does not hit the tree, with tarps if you do not intend to treat them.

Article Written By Justin Chen

Justin Chen is a freelance writer and photographer with 6 years of professional experience in outdoor activities, extreme sports, travel and marketing topics. His professional work experience includes publication with KOMO 4 News Seattle, Fisher Interactive Network, and Demand Studios. He is a current Pre-Med student at Walla Walla University.

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