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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Pest control for fruit trees

Pest control for fruit trees

user 3022592
Portland, ME
Post #: 206
Thought you'd like to see the response I got from Richard Brzozowski's office -- from Renae Moran. Beth, I don't know how you got away with giving me his email address. This meetup software won't let me give you Renae's email address so I changed the @ to "at" to make it through.

"To properly diagnose each problem, please send me good samples of the puckered leaves from the peach and cherry and the spotty apple leaves. The peach could have peach leaf curl which is showing up at this time. The cherry leaf puckering is more of a mystery, but could be due to aphids. The bugs collected from the fruit trees can be sent to the pest management office in Orono for identification. I doubt that they are problematic. Please send photos of the peach tree with bark problems. It may or may not be a problem, but I would like to see it before making any suggestions.

Renae Moran
PO Box 179
Monmouth, ME 04259

207-933-2100 ext 105

rmoran at
Cape Elizabeth, ME
Post #: 3
Hi Elaine-

Dick's email is actually on the Cumberland Co. Extension website - he's incredibly accessible, which is wonderful. For further resource, etc, take a look at the website:


Let us know what info you get! I have a peach, 2 plum, one Asian pear and a nectarine tree, all of which are filled with fruit this year (3rd year) and am learning as I go...

user 6954726
Sullivan, ME
Post #: 38
i have discovered a pretty intense aphid infestation on our cherry this year. i dont know what kind of cherry it is, we only have one tree so it flowers beautifully but never fruits. the ants are really farming the aphids, but i did see a ladybug on the tree too. i ended up clipping off the accessible leaves that were totally covered w/ aphids..... there are still plenty more out of reach to feed the ladybugs and keep the ants happy.

this cherry also has one large branch whose leaves have developed brownish spots both on the margins and in the center of the leaves. so far it seems to be only on this one area... any thoughts, and does this sound like something to worry about?

i have a really hard time with ants..... last year they nested (?) under many of my cosmos and i think were even tunneling in the stalks..... many of the cosmos fell over but since they are such tough buggers they kept putting out roots along their stems and survived, tho rather less gracefully than before. do you think it's a good idea to let the ants do their thing w/ the cosmos, sort of using the cosmos as a "trap crop" so other plants aren't targeted? this year i'm noticing that some cosmos (which self sowed) are already being used as farm-ground by the ants for aphids.... i am dithering between removing the aphids or just leaving them as a trap crop. any suggestions?

i was also checking out our wild apple the other day, and noticed some leaves were curled under at the edges. many of them house very tiny white larvae, so i removed those leaves that i could. other leaves seem to be developing some rust colored patches along the edges where they are curled under. i'm not sure if this is related to the larvae or something else.

and finally, the peach tree i got from fedco this year has been unbelievably late in leafing out. when i bought it, it was covered with pink buds, but the buds died and fell off. then it took at least a month before any leaves even starting showing themselves. now it has finally begun to leaf out, but pretty sparsely and the leaves are small. the only thing i can think of that might have contributed to this is that it's not in a sunny enough place. perhaps in my effort to plant it in a spot that won't warm up super early in spring, i put it where it's getting too shaded. any other thoughts about this? or should i just be glad that it *is* leafing out and not worry!?!? :) lol
user 3022592
Portland, ME
Post #: 208
One experience to share, Alder: Last fall I noticed that one of the two plum trees looked as if it was dying. Someone who visited us and knows about trees guessed that it's because it had been planted too deeply. You see the fruit trees were planted the fall before the following spring when we sheet mulched over newly trucked in compost . In planting a semi-hybrid tree (and I imagine a hybrid also) the joint where stock and scion meet -- which looks like a knot -- needs to be above ground.
With all the mulch we permaculture folks use it's easy for it to get covered up.

In any way hearing that fact, last fall I dug out some of the soil that had indeed risen too high around the stem. And the good news is, though it did look a little beaten then and even in early spring this year it has rallied and looks healthy now. It's 1/3 smaller than the other plum tree near it which is the happiest of all the 8 trees, but it's going to make it! Hope this helps you or someone else.
user 3022592
Portland, ME
Post #: 220
Two things:
1) Permaculture and general life has been so full I haven't been able to post the terrific info given me through the cooperative exchange person, Renae Moran -- from her friend, a retired fruit tree expert. But I will.

2) In the meantime -- anyone want a Baldwin apple semi-dwarf tree?
Its leaf problem was diagnosed as rust caused by the Juniper tree nearby with which it's incompatible.

But if you don't have a Juniper tree nearby, and if you have some other apple tree even crab apple nearby it can interact with, and if you want it, I'd be happy to give it a new home without the aggravation it's getting here.

More later,
user 4058763
Hollis Center, ME
Post #: 52
Hi Elaine,

I'd like that tree very much!

Gorham, ME
Post #: 212
Elaine, how large is the apple tree? I'm sure I can find a spot for another apple tree somewhere on this little plot of land....

Of course, I have all that comfrey that is growing leaps and bounds....

user 3022592
Portland, ME
Post #: 221
Well, Tree, seeing that you responded one minute before Zengeos did -- first come first serve. It's yours. (Zengoes, I'll email you about the comfrey.)

Anyway, Tree, I plan to replace the semi-dwarf Baldwin apple with a cherry later in the day when the sun goes down.

Are you able to pick it up? We live off 302 close to Morrill's Corner. If so, shall I send you directions?

OR -- should I bring it on Sunday's mushroom walk (if there's room in Jan's or Penelope's car.) Or perhaps you can pick it up then? Whatever you'd like.

Delighted it'll get a good home!

user 4058763
Hollis Center, ME
Post #: 54
Dear Elaine,

OR -- should I bring it on Sunday's mushroom walk "

That would be great, or I could follow you home, perhaps.
(IF I wasn't looking for a Baldwin variety specifically, I'd step aside, LOL)

Thanks so much, I really want that apple variety!

Gorham, ME
Post #: 213
Ahh well.. Since I still have 20+ containers of wintersown seedlings to plant out, I probably don't have time to dig and prep for another apple tree anyways.

Unfortunately, in my vigorous weeding of the back flower beds last week, I inadvertently pulled several of the seedlings I planted earlier this Spring. Luckily, I have plenty more to replace those plants with.

The columbine seems to be what I looks too much like the clover growing throughout the garden.

At least today I got the last 4 flats of seedlings I started this winter put in. My goodness! Once these sprinkles stop and the grass dries a little (hopefully in the next 20 mins) I'lll at least carry the containers to the garden for planting.

Taking several folks' advice from the May meeting here, I have planted the last of my peppers in the flower garden, and also plan to plant out the wintersown tomato (White Zebra?) in the flower bed. I also planted horehoud, more Borage, a couple Lovage plants and several other herbs so, it should have a nice mix. BTW, there is already lemon balm planted, Stevia and Spilanthes all growing gangbusters.

Of course, remembering what is what is another matter altogether.
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