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Organic aphid control on fruit trees during bloom?

Posted by samml MA (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 17, 12 at 12:25

Hi All,
I'm new to the forum and hope this is the right place to post this question.
I live in MA and bought a home recently that has 2 Red Delicious, 1 Bartlett Pear and 3 Asian Pear trees. I am not a garden person, so this is very overwhelming to me. I think I'm heading in the right direction though. :)
I started spraying the trees about 2 weeks ago with a homemade mix of liquid seaweed,molasses, baking soda, apple cider vinegar,Murphy oil soap and 1 gallon water. The trees seemed to love the nourishment. All my Pear trees are in bloom, and the Apple trees are in "Tight Cluster" and "Pink Stage".
I have just noticed that there are aphids (tiny black specks?) on the leaves, and showing leaf curl from them. It's not severe yet, but enough of a concern to me. Other then that everything looks good.
My question is, is there anything I can do about it now or do I need to wait for "Petal Fall" ? I would prefer organic methods for now, chemicals if needed later. I also have some Chive Plants I can plant for companion planting.
Thanks in advance.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Organic aphid control on fruit trees during bloom?

I have used Organocide with good results. Its a mixture of fish and seed oils.

RE: Organic aphid control on fruit trees during bloom?

Would that be ok during bloom though? I read about insecticidal soap, or a mix of dishsoap and water. I also heard putting some lady bugs would be helpful. I did see one on there today, hopefully there will be more.
I'm just leery since they are blooming.

RE: Organic aphid control on fruit trees during bloom?

I use oil during bloom. If you use a light mineral oil it will evaporate in a few days.

These aphids are nothing, the bigger problems are coming after petal fall: plum curculio and codling moth. If you don't already have Michael Phillips' Apple book go out and buy a copy. Growing apples organically is a challenge. The pears are less of a problem. Note that if you only have two red delicious you don't seem to have a pollinator for the apples, so they may not set any fruit. Bartlett may also have problems setting well.


RE: Organic aphid control on fruit trees during bloom?

Thanks, I just spoke with the local nursery today and they have a free seminar coming up April 28th on Fruit Tree care and maintenance. So I will be attending that and trying to educate myself more about them.
They told me just leave them there for now, since the trees are blooming and it's not a large infestation. I'm going to bring in some samples and pictures when I attend the seminar.
All the trees set a lot of fruit. Last fall we had over 200+ Apples combined, about 30-40 between the 3 Asian Pear trees, and another 50 on the Bartlett tree. That was with only spraying Bonide once after petal fall. I gave up because I had no clue what I was doing.
The only thing that happened last year was what I think was Apple Scab ( from googling pics ) so we tossed all the Apples. All 4 Pear trees were fine, no insects or disease and had tons of fruit.

I will definitely check out that book and most likely won't be going organic after Petal Fall. I figured it would be easier and cheaper using home remedies, but I just want nice fruit so not a big issue with me. :)

RE: Organic aphid control on fruit trees during bloom?

Yes organocide is good right up until harvest. Its mostly fish oil. For the aphids just blast them with the hose for now. Be careful not to break any branches:-)

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