Ah ha! Rush Limbaugh is your master, your mother ship. I knew it sounded
familiar. Or, do you have a relative working for Dow, who says "Of course
these things are safe. How could we sell them if they weren't safe?"
You have to spray them prior to bloom, during bloom, and each week after
bloom for a couple of months. If I understand that right, that is just for
the worm that goes to the core. Then you have apple maggots that come later
and probably something else.
You can also put traps in your trees to get a lot of them. Some have a
sweet liquid to draw the bugs in and then they drown. Another is covered
with sticky stuff and when the bugs get on it, then they cant get off.
Gardens Alive has a good line of stuff for sale. I have bought from them
but cant vouch for everything they have.
I get apples and pears from trees that have not been sprayed and cut out the
Each week may be a bit of overkill. You can stretch it out to two or three
but it depends on how badly the trees are being attacked. For certain
is a critical time to kill them, and that would be the period to hit them
hard. For just
general maintenance and protection, you can let it slide, a bit. Don't wait
though, as you may miss the entry of something nasty that you weren't
and miss the window to stop it.
I have given up on the pheramone traps from Garden's Alive because the lures
are too expensive, and I don't find them any more effective than sticky
That works fine if you are the only consumer, but you don't want to give away
any damaged apples to your friends and neighbors. Reminds me of the old
that what is worse than finding a worm in an apple? Answer: not finding it.
It would be a bit helpful to know where you are located, but not critical
issue. The first line of defense would be a spraying of dormant oil. This
the eggs of the insects before they emerge. Pick a dry spell and reasonably
days above freezing, to apply. Add a 'sticker' for retention. Too early and
lose some effect from the washing away of the oil, and too late might miss
emergence of the insects from their eggs.
I would follow up with spraying with fungicide in the Spring. You can
add a pesticide to this after the petals fall from the blossoms, to avoid
killing any friendly
pollinator insects like bees. After this, follow up with periodic spraying
weeks, to harvest. I would recommend a general orchard spray for this later
If you find you have some really nasty bugs or fungus problems, you may have
to change the sprays to something stronger and more specific. This sounds
kind of nebulous, but you need to figure out what kinds of bugs and fungus
are attacking your trees. You can check with your local Extension Services
for assistance, if normal measures don't work.
Be sure and wear a breather mask, cover all exposed skin, goggles over the
eyes, and wash up good afterwards, when using the chemicals.
Ron H wrote:
It would also be helpful if you checked ALL the postings as I immediately
followed up my posting by saying I missed his location the first time, but
I corrected in my second posting.
I'm not sure the point you are trying to make with the article you referenced.
Was it intended to support chemical spraying, or not. The article starts off
in the first paragraph with the following:
"To successfully grow apples organically under Michigan conditions growers must
recognize that the limited number of organically
approved insect and disease control chemicals that are available leave them
particularly susceptible to two major insect pests,
Plum Curculio and Apple Maggot since no real good organic controls have been
devised for these insects. Major diseases of
apples can be controlled but require many frequent sprays particularly from
tip to 4 weeks after petal fall."
I would not consider that a recommendation for total dependence on Organic
He also recommends Pyrethrum or Rotenone for Apple Maggot. I have tried both and
inadequate. He also says that there is no effective spray for Plum Curculio, but
Imidan does nicely
for that, although it's distribution is restricted.
The UW Extension has a couple of great publications on growing apples:
"Growing Apples in Wisconsin" & "Apple Pest Management for Home Gardeners."
I prefer to use no or little pesticides in my garden, but considering
everything I know about growing apples, I think the trade off to cut way
back on chemicals is your time, e.g., hanging bait traps, monitoring for
Also, I think one of the reasons it's especially difficult to grow pest-free
apples -- in comparison to other fruits-- is that it's probably one of the
most abundant fruit plants that's grown, which contributes to the
monoculture effect -- plenty of host plants to provide a "banquet" for
insects & disease.
Wisconsin, Zone 5
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