How to prevent worms in apples

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Here is yet another apple tree question. My old apple tree has a bazillion apples on it. Question: Exactly what do I do to it to keep worms from eating the apples? Every year, almost every apple has one or more worms in it. Is there a spray that can be safely used? And - here is the important question that I haven't found an answer to - exactly how do I go about applying it, IE what equipment do I need? This tree is 30-40 feet tall, and 30+ feet across, it's quite large. My wife bought me a hand sprayer (bless her soul LOL), but it isn't quite up to the task. How do I spray a huge apple tree?
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On Sat, 14 Jun 2008 19:37:13 -0700, "Zootal"

There are larger sprayers for larger tasks. Apples is at the top of the list for having pesticide content. Certainly, there must be methods to worm-free apples labeled as "organic" or "organically grown."
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Phisherman wrote:

I made a sprayer out of a stainless steel fire extinguisher when I lived in Texas and had a small orchard. (it would spray a 30' tree pretty easily.) Your little sprayer can probably handle 20 feet; give it a try and it might surprise you. Your tree also might need a good pruning this winter to make it easier to deal with next year.
Keeping a small flock of chickens under the tree would be a natural way to reduce worms in your apples. :-)
There are red sticky traps you can use to catch apple maggot flies before they infect the apples.
Here, you can skip most of the spraying and get away with it, but the July and early August sprays are very important. I spray with diazanon in July and then stop, and put up with a few worms.
Bob
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wrote:

Note to Self...."Skip Bob's house at Halloween."
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On Jun 15, 12:49 am, Charlie wrote:

Diazinon was banned in 2004- for very good reasons.
If you're still using stock from before then, it's likely degraded quite a bit.
http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/chemicals/diazinon-factsheet.htm
Chris
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apples are very pesticide spray intensive. I wouldnt even bother planting one in my yard because next door they got a big apple tree and DONT spray and every pest on earth is breeding right there and would swarm mine.
My mother had an orchard and she sprayed every 10 DAYS starting with dormant oil in spring before it flowered.
OTOH, you dont have to spray if you 1. put mosquito netting around the entire tree after blossoming (you need the bees to pollinate) and 2. you put a wide band of tangle foot at the bottom to stop anything crawling up under where you bunch and tie off the netting on the trunk. Ingrid

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Many worms lay their eggs in the flowers, and the worms eat their way OUT of the apple. Noting can be done after the fruit sets.
Steve
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So am I basically SOL? Is it too late for this years crop?
Of all of the worms that typically infest apples, how many are already there, and how many can I prevent by spraying?
If diazanon is evil, what are the alternatives?
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Zootal wrote:

Check with your county agent (remember Mr. Kimball on "Green Acres"?) or your state agricultural extension service web site. They should have a spray schedule for apples for your area. Early sprays are for fungal diseases and apple curculio. Summer sprays are for "apple maggots".
Here in Minnesota, the serious damage is done by apple maggots, in mid- to late-summer. (that's why I switch to Diazanon in the summer, it is more persistent than Sevin or Malathion)
The pest that aggrivates me the most is a new one; Asian lady beetles. After the first frost when most of the other small insects are gone for the year, the ALB's attack my apples.
"Organically grown" apples is a nice concept, but it doesn't really work unless you are just making cider. There's something called "Integrated Pest Management" that can greatly reduce the amount of pesticides that you use. It mostly involves good orchard hygiene and continual monitoring for pests so you spray at precisely the right time instead of spraying prophylactically.
Bob
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I agree. If the tree is truly large and there is dead wood then it is best to remove the tree. Clean up the area very well. Then find a very very good apple tree supplier that is SPECIFIC for your area and plant apples on dwarfing rootstock. It is very important to get the right rootstock for your area. Forget Starks and other "magazine" suppliers. in the same area you could have a whole orchard of different varieties that ripen at different times.
1. you will need to stake dwarfed apples cause the size of the apples are normal and will pull the tree over.
2. you will need to be on a spray schedule anyway. but do look for rust and other resistant varieties if you dont have a favorite variety.
Ingrid

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Definitely check with your extension agent. Not only for help on controls, but some areas REQUIRE pest management of home trees and orchards. I live in a significant apple growing region and in an attempt to reduce the pest population in the area, any homeowners failing to "maintain" their trees will find themselves slapped with a fine. On the flip-side, they've recently started a program where for each apple tree you allow them to cut down (they will happily do it, saving you the labor), they will provide two boxes of apples each year, of the variety of your choice, for the next 10 years... and yes, there are organic apples available.
Cheers!
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I said many, not all, and made the mistake of saying worms lay eggs. They don't. Adults of the species do who have a worm stage in their metamorphosis.
Spraying now will help keep interlopers off who come along, but won't do anything for the ones already in the inside. Consult your local nursery or coop to get info pertinent to your exact location. It may or may not be much help now, but it will be location specific, and may help with next year's crop.
Steve
Steve
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A Haa.. Good i dea.
--
kona

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These are just a few of my thoughts after reading all the suggestions and Zootal's questions and replies.
Your links wouldn't come up for me so I'm just going on what I've read of your descriptions and commentary.
All living things have a life span. You say your apple tree is now approximately 100 years old. Because of a lifetime (the tree's, not Zootal's) of insects, disease, neglect, ignorant maiming and now just plain old age it's in death throws, why prolong the useless misery?
Putting netting over a 30 foot tree (that's about the height of a three story building folks!) would be damned near impossible for the lone homeowner to do unless they had a rocket launcher or helicopter. The mind also boggles at just how large a piece of netting you'd need to get your hands on to effectively cover that tree, never mind the cost and storage of said netting. Then you need to get it back off the tree. Spraying that much Diazanon, as it drifts over the neighborhood, your yard, garden, home, furry and feathered animals, children, family and YOU is absolutely insane. WE know better than that now!! Dormant oil sprays fall and spring should really be the only thing you're spraying on your home fruit trees.
Get a nice, fresh, healthy, new tree. There is no law or moral mandate chiseled in stone from The Mount that says you have to keep that tree. Why anyone needs a 30-40 fruit in their home garden is beyond me. You aren't getting descent apples, it's an ongoing PITA, you've put in hours of work and worry with, so far, no return. Unless you really absolutely NEED the shade what's the point? If you can't comfortably and safely pick the fruit in your home garden without renting scaffolding or motorized equipment you need to prune it lower. Use the wood for a fragrant winter fire, smoking or grilling meat. Fruit wood is much sought after, if you don't want the wood put an add on Craig's List.
Go to a GOOD local nursery and talk to them about what kind of apples you want/like/desire, what they have that fills your desires, is disease resistant and grows well in your area. Then ask about the care, feeding and maintenance of your new tree and follow their advise. Learn about thining apples to get the most productive crop. Learn how and why to prune. Seek the advise of professionals, face to face visual contact is best. Hire a sherpa to guide you to the nearest library. You'll find books with pictures, step by step instructions and everything you need to guide you through an ORGANIC, healthy relationship with your apple tree. If you find one book with all the information you need and understand go buy it, keep it close, read it often.
Pounding your head against a brick wall will only culminate in a bloody head, no matter how sincere your warm & fuzzy, good intentions.
Val
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Yes listen to this person. Fruit trees are not immortal and a 30 foot tree is nigh impossible to manage from a pest standpoint. Besides, applewood make great lumber.
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Sounds like my tree. I've never sprayed it, but now I'm trying to clean it up. So, my apples are about one inch in diameter. What can I do right now, today?


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On Sat, 14 Jun 2008 19:37:13 -0700, "Zootal"

Google for Coddling Moth and Apple Maggot, two of the most common pests.
And for diseases, google for Apple Scab.
Read all that and you'll wonder how several generations of humans have never seen a worm in an apple nor seen a deformed one, apple, not worm.
-dickm
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Forget about your worms. Use the wormy apples to make cider. Wonderfully refreshing and nourishing. You can ferment it and legally make 200 gallon of "hard cider". That will help you forget all about your worms. The worms will provide for protein in your power-drink.
Newton developed the Law of Gravity when he saw an apple fall. Just sit quietly under an apple tree, enjoy some hard cider or applejack, and maybe you will present the world with the Unified Field Theory.
:-)
--
Walter
www.rationality.net
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Pshaw...I did that many years ago. I came up with a trans-dimensional quarternally unified field theory that went so far as to explain how to keep wormholes open using common household items and proved that the universe is actually eliptical, not round.
Problem is, I quit smoking, and now I can't remember any of it....

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But if we're preventing worms? How can there be any wormholes to keep open?
-dickm
On Sun, 15 Jun 2008 12:29:12 -0700, "Zootal"

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