Return to the Fruit & Orchards Forum | Post a Follow-Up

spotting round headed apple borers

Posted by windfall_rob vt4 (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 30, 12 at 9:22

Round headed apple borers have become an increasing problem for me over the last 5 years or so.
We keep the orchard organic, which limits pretty heavily the solutions available to us for this particular pest....and it is a serious pest that can kill and or set back a young tree with just a few grubs.

I have not seen too many others on the forum complaining about them, so perhaps our pressure is high for some reason. But I thought I would throw out some observations for others to consider, and if any have suggestions I would love to hear them.

I have been painting the trunks white with various slurries. I don't believe it has much effect in deterring egg laying, but it does make it easier to spot the presence of the grub and dig them out.

Everything I have read suggests inspecting the trees mid-late summer, but I have never found them at this time, I think they are there but not readily visible. When I find them is this time of year, as the tree begins to shut down and usually a few days after the first good autumn rains. That's when the cambium seems to give one last push of fluid that floods the damaged areas under the bar. This in turn shows as a brown/purple stain on the white paint weeping through an egg slit. So now I do my inspections at the same time I install mouse guards for the winter.

The other thing I have noticed is that it is much harder to chase them down and dig them out when they are in the root flare...more nooks and crannies. When they are up a few inches on the trunk they are both easier to spot (less dirt and mulch stain on the paint) and easier to remove.
This makes me tempted to leave small screen "booties" on the lower 6" of the the trees all summer to force egg laying adults up off the root flare.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: spotting round headed apple borers

  • Posted by rina_ 6a Ont (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 30, 12 at 10:07


Excuse my ignorance, what are small screen "booties"? How do you use them - would you have pics?
(I just started reading this forum, do not have any experience growing fruit trees...just trying to learn something).

RE: spotting round headed apple borers

"booties" is my own phrase, just the closest description to what I have in mind. A piece of window screen maybe 6" tall wrapped around the trunk where it meets the ground. It would have to be partially buried and tied snugly to the trunk at the top, or it would just make the problem the adults a nice sheltered place to lay their eggs.

It would be similar to the mouse/vole guard that many of us use in the winter, but much shorter. I suppose I could use the taller mouse guards all year but I worry about their trapping moisture and "hiding" other pest issues if used all year.

RE: spotting round headed apple borers

At an Oregon fruit festival, I learned of a method where organic heirloom orchardists gather in thirds: manure, sand and clay - adding water and mixing until it is a thick slurry. They apply this to the whole truck up to a branch or two. They reapply (as needed?) every year. I haven't tried this method but they swear by it. Good luck to you in controlling the borers.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Fruit & Orchards Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here