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PPP
7 Posts
(Offline)
1
October 5, 2019 - 5:55 pm

I have about 1 acre of trees. Apple, stone fruits, and pear. My ambitions are somewhat limited. I mainly want to keep my trees alive. Getting a small harvest would be good but I am not looking to maximize the harvest or get commercial quality fruit.

 

I have been spraying using either a pyrethrin sulpher general purpose orchard spray or a pyrethrin neem oil general purpose orchard spray when things look "bad" (I maintain a 3 week lag when switching between neem oil and sulpher). In addition, I am using serenade when there are signs of disease/fungus. The results have not been good. I am also spraying quite often (more than I would like) during the months of July and August (every week or every other week).

 

I am looking for advice on what I can do to get better results and hopefully reduce the amount of spraying I am doing.

 

Some background info

 

  1. I am reluctant to use anything that is not organic.
  2. The main insect pests I see are Japanese beetles, caterpillars (various types including gypsy moth), and aphids.
  3. The site is surrounded by forest and is subject to whatever insect or disease pressure is present in the wider forest land.

 

Any suggestions for timing of applications and specific products to use would be appreciated. My priority is to find an efficient solution. Spraying 10+ times a season is probably not sustainable for me.

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John S
PDX OR
2593 Posts
(Offline)
2
October 8, 2019 - 11:54 am

Hi PPP,

If you tell us your location it might hellp with advice.
John S
PDX OR

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PPP
7 Posts
(Offline)
3
October 10, 2019 - 7:14 pm

Hi John,

 

I am in north central Massachusetts. Zone 5b.

 

-PPP

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John S
PDX OR
2593 Posts
(Offline)
4
October 18, 2019 - 5:02 pm

So I'm thinking that you have fairly short, humid, rainy summers, beautiful autumns, and long, cold winters.  Sounds like moderate disease pressure. First off, I would develop careful orchard practices.  By that I mean such things as regular pruning, improving the quality of soil over time, and developing a diversity of plants and mushrooms in your area.   I would gradually collect the balance of nature from your area.  That means the kind of flowers that are going to attract pollinators and "the cavalry" that will kill the caterpillars, aphids, and Japanese beetles.  A good place to start is with plants in the carrot family and aster family.  There are many lists on the internet about these.

JohN S
PDX OR

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John S
PDX OR
2593 Posts
(Offline)
5
October 18, 2019 - 5:07 pm

There are a few pages of helpful orchard practices in the first few pages of the Pome News, the newsletter of the HOS>

John S
PDX OR

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