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Protect your fruit trees from pests

658 651 Nisha Muire
Protecting your fruit trees from pests in Toronto is actually not all that hard. There are a few very simple precautions that you must take to ensure a bumper crop of fruit throughout the growing season. Since most pests and fungi tend to overwinter to emerge strong in the spring, it is best to take some precautions during the trees’ dormant season which is usually between November and May.
Once the trees enter their dormant cycle it is wise to spray them with the proper dormant spray to prep them for the next growing season. By spraying while it’s cold you are also attacking the bugs at their most vulnerable time. The best sprays to use are natural and include dormant oil spray to prevent spider mites and scale on apple and pear trees and a lime-sulphur spray for plum, peach, apricot and cherry trees. The lime-sulphur will also help to control peach leaf curl and plum pocket.
In the spring, most pests will emerge from their hibernation and start laying eggs. The best way to beat them is to prevent them from doing this. Traps are the best way to prevent this from happening. An easy trap to deter apple maggots is to place a large ball painted red and covered with petroleum jelly to your apple trees. Apple maggots will be attracted to the ball and will get trapped on them. To prevent coddling moth, use 1 cup sugar, 1 cup vinegar and 1 banana peel. Put all of the ingredients into a plastic container, fill to the top with water, close and shake vigorously to mix well. Then remove the cover and secure to your fruit trees. The insects will be attracted to the mixture and will drown in it. Just be sure to keep filling it up as the summer goes on.
The next steps to keep pests away from your trees are basic maintenance. Pruning is necessary to open up the canopy to light and to increase air circulation, so it should be done yearly during the dormant season. The other very important task is to clean up the old fruit and diseased leaves from the ground and the tree itself. Remove rotten fruit from the tree and from the ground to prevent disease from coming back in the spring – the same holds true for diseased leaves. If left to rot on the ground beneath the tree, it will infect the tree again the following season.
Ensuring that your trees are healthy and bear plenty of fruit is not very complicated as long as you are willing to put in the little bit of extra effort it requires.


Nisha Muire

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