Saturday and Sunday in April I’ve been busy giving workshops on Organic Pest Control, which includes instruction about insect pests and how to keep them out of your fruit. We talk about netting as well as footies and baggies. There are still several workshops on the calendar through May 4 if you haven’t managed to get to one yet. See www.cityfruit.org/calendar for the full schedule.
I love hearing stories from the workshop attendees. I’ve learned that some squirrels eat bunches of cherry blossoms, but don’t eat them all so they can come back in June and eat the cherries. (Netting would help in both cases.) I’m told about pests from tiny ants (try Tanglefoot) to lumbering racoons (try netting and let me know), for trees from 3 feet to 30 feet tall. I’ve met people who have bagged apples and love the Zen process of that, others who have done the baggie/footie thing but are ready to throw a net over it. Some who have codling moth damage, some only apple maggot, some with both, and others who are trying to figure out what they have.
So what’s up with you and your fruit trees? Are you ready with your pest control plan for May? Apples should be covered by either nets or baggies/footies by the end of May. With pears you have a little more time, by the end of June.
As always, feel free to email me with your fruit tree questions any time: [email protected]
– Barb Burrill, Tree Care Manager
Pest Control Packs (paper baggies) – coming soon – free at many Seattle garden centers
On April 22 we’ll be hosting a volunteer work party at the City Fruit office to assemble our paper baggie Pest Prevention Packs. Sign up on our web site if you want to help. Soon after we’ll deliver the PPPs to local garden centers which is your no-cost option for protecting your apples and pears.
Thinking of netting? We have lots of good information on the City Fruit website, including the “How to Net Your Tree” document which I hand out at my Organic Pest Control workshops.
My pest control goal for City Fruit tree owners is that someone in every corner of Seattle will try netting their fruit trees this year. I want to hear from you! I’ll be tracking who is netting (and if bagging, I want to hear about that, too) so that I can report back which neighborhoods are on track. And, of course, anyone who nets their tree can sport a Save Seattle’s Apples “hairnet” yard sign to explain to your neighbors what’s going on. Email me if you need a sign.
Our volunteers did a great job pruning on March 30!
I am a huge fan of before and after photos of rejuvenated fruit trees, and here is my favorite. The original photo is from 2008. What you see is an apple tree bravely poking a branch through the top, middle above an enormous prison of cherry laurel. Also note some red apples on the right. The After photo was taken March 30 after our Pizza and Pruning work party. The apple tree hasn’t leafed out but, thankfully, the laurel is long gone. This seedling apple tree along the Burke-Gilman Trail near I-5 produces a large crop of Common Delicious-like apples every year.
Tree Assessments – a starting place for better health for your tree and you with more perfect fruit!
Are your espalier trees out of control? Does your tree’s shape need to be reined in for pruning? Are you really tired of seeing wormholes in your fruit? We can help! Email [email protected] to schedule a Tree Care Services assessment.