Even Healthy Trees Wear "Hairnets"
Without protection, locally growing apples and pears are at high risk of damage from apple maggot fly and codling moth, invasive pests in the PNW. City Fruit has developed and tested a few organic methods of pest prevention that work as a barrier and look a little bit like "hairnets" and keep the bugs out of the fruit! Get connected with the tools you need to succeed this season and you can help Save Seattle's Apples too! These techniques should be installed when "fruitlets" are the size of a dime and completed before the end of May (for apples) or June (for pears).
A perfect option for small trees, lightly waxed paper barrier bags should be secured to each individual fruitlet with a twist tie once they are the size of a dime.
- "Thin" your fruitlets first! Remove excess fruitlets by twisting or snipping them off so each one is spaced 6 inches apart (allowing for growth).
- Slip "baggie" over remaining fruitlets and secure to stem with a twist tie.
- Keep the baggies on until harvest or remove them one week before harvesting to deepen the fruit color if you like.
- Baggies are food grade quality and compostable!
A better solution for bigger trees with a large fruit harvest. "Hail" netting or netting with space less than 1.5mm in size is adequate to keep out codling moth and apples maggot fly insect pests.
- Measure the height and spread (widest width) of your tree
- Figure out the best netting size for you based on the Tree Netting Calculation Guide
- "Thin" your fruitlets first! Remove excess fruitlets by twisting them off so each one is spaced 6 inches apart (allowing for growth).
- Grab a friend (or two), lay the netting flat in front of your tree, and secure the two front corners to bamboo poles with a loose knot
- Use the bamboo poles to hoist the net over top of the tree and lift and pull it down so it drapes evenly on all sides
- Secure netting to the trunk of the tree with a soft tie like a rubber innertube and use twist ties to secure any gaps in the netting
- Leave it on until harvest! (Remove any fallen fruit caught in the net throughout the season)
- Shake out the leaves, fold and tie it up and store for next year!
See the document "How to Net Your Tree" for more netting tips.
- Amazon.com SHANS - Anti-hail netting, insect netting
- Ag Fabric- Garden netting - Anti-hail netting, insect netting
- GreenHouseMegastore.com- Anti-hail netting, Anti-insect netting (25 or 40 mesh)
- Amazon.com Ag Fabric- Anti-hail netting, wide variety of sizes
Local Vendors: Inquire in store