Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:42 pm
Bug Notes (part 1)
I work with many public places and their fruit trees in the Seattle area. I predominantly use foot sox and baggies and have a few notes and observations. On this post, I will cover some basic observations and I hope in a week or two to have some more detailed observations:
1. Variety and location are important and need to be studied. A lot of folks know that varieties like Liberty and Spartan seem a little more resistant to the bugs (and not just the scab) but I am finding that each variety of apple has its own unique characteristics. For example, the apple maggot flies go to the earliest ripening varieties first.
Even more interesting, perhaps, is the micro-climate. The codling moth seems to fly even before mid-May at one place in Seattle where the trees get heated up because they are surrounded by a parking lot......while the Piper's orchard (surrounded by woods) seems to have zero codling moths throughout the summer .......and a wooded hilly area north of Seattle doesn't get codling moth until July 1st but it does get it. Three different micro-climates with three entirely different populations of codling moth. There are big differences depending on micro-climate.
2. This year I found that the month of May produced a good fruit set with lots of sun. And then June was wet and cool. The result was that we got apples.....but we didn't get apple maggot flies until almost the first of July as the wetness delayed the little flies This was ideal for people with summer apples because if you didn't spray or bag the apples, you could probably eat the apples thinking (but not really) that they were bug-free.
3. I did not see spotted wing drosophilia in plums. Yes, these little drosophilia flies are tormenting us in blackberries and red raspberries. And yes, they will probably torment us in plums at some time in the future. But for now, at least, I don't see Armageddon with this bug in quite the way I had been expecting it.
4. The European pears did not have very much codling moth damage this year, from what I saw....and no other pest invades the hard skin of this kind of pear (orcas, Highland, Bartlett, Comice, etc) In my opinion, nest to plums, we should think about growing pears here west of the Cascades and look for pear scab resistant varieties if we can while we are at it.
5. I talked to Tim Smith in Seattle Saturday. He just couldn't understand people's reservations with GF 120 NF cherry fruit fly bait and he said it is just about as safe as anything you can find out there. He did NOT rec it for spotted wing drosophilia, however, at this point. But he did indicate it could work for apple maggot fly. He also said there is a new product that is synthetic but is even more harmless than ANY organic out there. I forgot the name....I could find out....but apparently this product will meet resistance from organic "purists" as it is technically synthetically derived and it will aslo meet other kinds of resistance and may not be available to the homeowner but only commercially due to legal (or political?) finanglings....anyway, this paragraph is a "teaser"....I hope to find out more about what this new product is that apparently has a "lethal dose" rating that makes it so safe it is as safe as table salt (my words, to make a point).
more technical detail on bags and footies next time.
Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Location: Portland, OR
Re: Bug Notes (part 1)
Great info, Don. I look forward to meeting you in person some day.