and Diseases of
Fruit Trees with Solutions to the Problems
Pests and diseases of
trees abound. You will soon discover, probably during the
first summer, that
fruit-trees have enemies and that they don't need just cultivation and
feeding, but also
protection. In another page we have pictures
of some of the garden pests
being described below for identification purposes.
Diseases of Fruit Trees: Fireblight
The pear, apple, and
quince are liable
to one mysterious disease which it is almost impossible to guard
against or cure, the
Fire blight gets its name from the burnt appearance of affected
blossoms and twigs. The disease still remains a
disheartening mystery, and is more fatal to the pear
than to the other fruits mentioned.
I have had
thrifty young trees, just coming into bear suddenly turn black in both
wood and foliage, appearing in the distance as if scorched by a blast
furnace. In another instance a large mature tree was attacked,
losing in a summer half its boughs.
were cut out, and the remainder of the tree appeared healthy during the
and bore a good crop of fruit. The disease often attacks but a
single branch or a small portion of a tree. The authorities advise
that everything should be cut away at once below all evidence of
infection and burned.
prevent fireblight you will fine that trees that are fertilized with
wood-ash and a
moderate amount of lime and salt, rather than with stimulating
manures, will escape the disease.
If the ground
is poor, however, and the growth feeble, barnyard manure or
its equivalent is
needed as a mulch.
Diseases of Fruit Trees: Apple Blight
Apple blight is
another similar disease. Again, no better remedy is
known than to cut out the infected part at once. In coping
with insects we can act more intelligently, and therefore successfully.
study the characters of our enemies, and learn their
Pests and Diseases of Fruit Trees: Aphids
black and green aphids, or plant-lice, are
often very troublesome.
Aphids appear in
numbers on the young
and tender shoots of trees, and by
sucking their juices
check or enfeeble the growth. They are the milch-cows of ants, which
usually found very busy among them.
apparently has made
ample provision for this pest, for it has been estimated that "one
individual in five generations might be the progenitor of six
a barrel of tobacco juice by steeping stems for several days, until the
is of a dark brown color; we then mix this with soap-suds.
pail is filled, and the ends of the shoots, where the insects are
assembled, are bent down and dipped in the liquid. One dip is
enough. Such parts as cannot be dipped are sprinkled liberally with a
garden-syringe, and the application repeated from time to time, as
long as any of the aphids remain.
liquid can be so strong that it can damage the leaves; therefore it is
better to test it on one
or two subjects before using it extensively. Apply it in the
8 More ways to Prevent or
Treat Aphid Damage
Encourage predators into your garden such as ladybirds, spiders and
Go easy on the nitrogen fertilizers as the softer growth encourages
Inspect vulnerable plants and break off and discard any affected pieces.
Plant pot marigolds and nasturtiums close to any plants you want to
Spray affected plants with derris or very diluted washing-up liquid.
Hang up strips of fat in the trees to attract blue tits who love eating
Use resistant plant varieties to start off with.
Burn or bury heavily damaged plants.
Pests and Diseases of Fruit Trees: Apple Scale
Apple scale attacks
weak, feeble-growing trees, and can usually be removed by
scrubbing the bark with the preparation given above.
Pests and Diseases of Fruit Trees: Apple Tree Borer
The apple tree borer
is another very
formidable pest, often destroying a young tree before its presence is
known. I once
found a young tree in a distant part of my place that I could push
over with my finger.
June a brown and
white striped beetle deposits its eggs in the bark of the
apple-tree near the
ground. The larvae when hatched bore their way into the wood, and will
soon destroy a small tree. However, you will soon see their evidence if
exudes from the holes by which they entered, and hopefully you are able
to discover them before they have done much harm. I
prefer to cut them out with a sharp, pointed knife, and make sure
that they are dead; but a wire thrust into the hole will usually
pierce and kill them.
up against the base of
the tree are said to be a preventive. In the fall it can
be spread, and makes one of the best of fertilizers.
Pests and Diseases of Fruit Trees: Codling Moth
another enemy that
should be fought
resolutely, for it
destroys millions of pounds of fruit. Who has not seen the ground
premature and decaying fruit in July, August, and September?
specimen will be found perforated by a worm hole. The egg has been
laid in the calyx of the young apple, where it soon hatches into a
small white grub, which burrows into the core, throwing out behind
it a brownish powder.
three weeks of eating the
eats its way out, shelters itself under the scaly bark of the
tree. If allowed to be scaly, or in some other hiding-place, spins
a cocoon, and in about three weeks comes out a moth, and is ready
to help destroy other apples. This insect probably constitutes
one of nature's methods of preventing trees from overbearing; but it
its mission that it has become an insufferable nuisance.
Natural control of
codling moth recommend that trees
should be scraped free of all scales in the spring, and
washed with a solution of soft soap. About the 1st of July, wrap
bandages of old cloth, carpet, or rags of any kind around the trunk
and larger limbs.
The apple worms
cover, and will swarm into these hiding places to undergo
transformation into moths. Therefore the wraps of rags should be taken
down often, thrown into scalding water, dried, and replaced. The fruit
as it falls should be picked up at once and carried to the pigs,
and, when practicable, worm-infested specimens should be taken from
the trees before the worm escapes.
Diseases of Fruit Trees: Canker Worm
The canker worm in
those localities where it is destructive can be guarded against by
tar-covered canvas around the trees. The moth cannot fly, but
crawls up the tree in the late autumn and during mild spells in winter,
but especially throughout the spring until May.
Pests and Diseases of Fruit Trees: Tent Caterpillar
We have all seen the
flaunting, unsightly abodes of the tent
foliage-denuded branches about them. Fortunately these are not
stealthy enemies. You only to look very early in the
morning or late in the
evening to find them all bunched up in their nests. These should be
taken down and
Diseases of Fruit Trees: Cherry and Pear Slugs
Cherry and pear slugs,
"small, slimy, dark brown worms," can be destroyed by dusting the trees
with dry wood ashes or air-slacked lime.
Diseases of Fruit Trees: Mice
Field mice are often
found around young trees, especially during the winter, working beneath
Unless heaps of rubbish are left here and there as shelter for these
little pests, one or two good cats will keep the acre free of
them. Treading the snow compactly around the tree should also be
done from time to time.
Diseases of Fruit Trees: Apple Scale
Finally be nice to the birds!
are the best of all insect destroyers, along with frogs in a pond tht
should be close-by, or having your orchard enclosed and allowing a
family of Khaki ducks to feed on fallen
fruit and insects.
Put up plenty
of bird houses
for backyard birds such as bluebirds and wrens, and treat the
song-sparrow as one of your stanchest friends.
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