dobro
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Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:13 am
Location: Canadian west coast

fruit tree protection

Hi. I'm a new gardener, and last year I put six fruit trees into what used to be waste space and which is now a young orchard. Two cherries, a pear, a plum, and two apples. They're starting to bud now, and they have some insects which I mostly can't see, but there's some insect silk threads from bud to bud, and some of the leaves have been munched. Some of the leaves seem to have some light rust-colored spots on them, and there are small spots of some sort of blood-red liquid which I don't know is from the plant or not, but since it's on different tree species, I'm thinking it might be from the bugs. I can't see anything, but last night I tried spraying insecticidal soap on the leaves, hoping that might slow the varmints down. Any other ideas?

dobro
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Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:13 am
Location: Canadian west coast

Actually, as the leaves have unfolded, I see that the two cherries took the worst hit, and the pear seems not to have been munched at all. So it's something very small which doesn't like every tree in the orchard. The symptoms don't match what I've read of spider mites.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I accidentally broke a tip branch of apple with some flower buds and blossoms and brought it inside to enjoy on the kitchen table. A few days later we found a 1/2" and a 1/4" caterpillars munching away on the leaves and petals. The 1/4" one obviously had hatched recently. Green with black heads ID'd as leaf roller caterpillars. Young caterpillars, whether they make tents or not, typically use "silk threads" as tether lines. Caterpillar poop are the color of whatever they eat and may account for the red liquid.
Could this be what you have?

I'm inspecting my apple tree every day to see if there are signs of significant damage. I'll spray with Bt if there is. I'm hoping all the wasps and Robins I'm seeing around the tree are taking care of the caterpillar problem. :wink: Once the petals fall -- falling now -- and the rains forecast since yesterday and thru Monday is over, I'm going to spray with Surround.

dobro
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Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:13 am
Location: Canadian west coast

applestar wrote:I accidentally broke a tip branch of apple with some flower buds and blossoms and brought it inside to enjoy on the kitchen table. A few days later we found a 1/2" and a 1/4" caterpillars munching away on the leaves and petals. The 1/4" one obviously had hatched recently. Green with black heads ID'd as leaf roller caterpillars. Young caterpillars, whether they make tents or not, typically use "silk threads" as tether lines. Caterpillar poop are the color of whatever they eat and may account for the red liquid.
Could this be what you have?
That, or a variant, yes. What a difference a day makes. I checked out the trees this morning, and found tiny caterpillars. Really small. 1/8" some of them. So I nailed them with insecticidal soap again, but I'll check out the fixes you're using. Thanks for the input. :-)

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