Michael’s Apples Releases August 2014 Fruit Tree Care Newsletter



Michael's ApplesHONEY- Paradise Honey Ranch (that’s me http://www.michaelsapples.com ). I will start harvesting the honey crop in late August. I will again have 1, 2, and 3 lb jars for $8, $15, and $22 after Labor Day. I am taking orders now for large containers: 5 lb jug for $35 and 1 gallon jug (~12 lbs) for $70. Call me before Aug 20 at 722-6303 to order 5 lb or gallon jugs.

FARMERS MARKETS- Fruits and vegetables are coming in! I’ve already harvested kohl rabbi, eggplant, and some cherry tomatoes. I’ve also had a taste of early Autumn Bliss raspberries. If you are looking for produce to augment your garden crop, try these folks:

Got Fruit? If you have more fruit than you can ever imagine using, consider donating the excess to one of the gleaning organizations in the area. In Reno/Sparks, contact Pamela Mayne at Reno Gleaning Project renogleaningproject@yahoo.com; leave your name, address, phone number and the fruits you have and she will get back to you. After you have picked the fruit you want, her volunteers will come out and pick the rest of your crop and donate it to needy folks in the Reno area. For a recent article on her work, see: http://www.ediblerenotahoe.com/editorial/fall-2010/307-fall-2010-edible-notables

In Carson City, Healthy Trees’ Tom Henderson and Fruit Barons’ Gianna Shirk support and manage a similar program. To volunteer your time or your tree fruit, contact Gianna at 775-220-6330. For a recent article on their work, see: http://carsonnow.org/reader-content/09/20/2011/fruit-barons-first-plunder-plum-success.

If your trees are overloaded with fruit and bending branches, you can thin out damaged fruits and support limbs with scrap lumber.  Cutting a V or U shape on one end and an old rag or carpet remnant on contact point will help protect the tree bark.  Remember to pick up and remove fallen fruit at least once weekly, and keep the area under your trees clean. When picking apples and pears, twist and lift; yanking the fruit off the branch may damage/remove next years’ buds.

Codling moths will have a third hatch this year. If you have apples and pears, hang your third pheromone trap now; we should start catching them again within a week or so; use that date as the third biofix.  Again, count the degree days, and apply pesticide at 160 degree day hours and again at a week to 10 days later. I recommend using Spinosad A, D for this spray; it is a bacterial that is effective and will not prevent harvesting or consumption of early varieties.

If you have cherry trees, you will want to check for pear sawfly larvae damage now. Although a pest of all fruit trees, cherry trees seem to be especially susceptible in northern Nevada. Examine the leaves on your cherry tree for leaf damage evidenced by the green upper surface of the leaf is gone leaving only the brown skeletal veins. Then look on the leaves for a small (3/8 inch long and 1/8 inch wide), slimy, dark brown to black, little slug—the larva of the pear sawfly (a small wasp). For more info, go to: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r603302211.html.

If the damage is extensive (more than 20 % of the leaves effected) and the larvae are still present, take action. I generally will spray with Sevin or Spinosad. If unchecked, the larvae will strip the leaves on a large portion of the tree and severely damage the tree if not kill it.

Now is the time to apply Bt to tomatoes to kill the tomato hornworm before one eats one of your tomato plants for a quick snack; you can also use Bt on cabbage to control the cabbage looper (the 1” green caterpillar).  Buy a small container; it goes a long way.

A Hoop House Class will be given by Western Nevada College in Yerrington on August 18. For complete info, go to: http://www.wnc.edu/ce/sci/2014_hoop_house_workshop.php

Utah State University has several good newsletters on pests and other gardening info. Their insect pest info is timely for our area (in the same Great Basin). To subscribe, go to:  http://utahpests.usu.edu/ipm/htm/subscriptions

Check your soil moisture and adjust watering accordingly.

A quick glance around town and you will see many trees with dead limbs. Trees with green growth lower on the tree with dead limbs on top show what happens when trees do not get sufficient water in the winter and early spring.

Some trees, especially apples, show dead limbs with brown, peeling bark.This die back may be caused by Botryosphaeria canker. ‘Bot’ is a common fungus that affects many plants including apple trees, when plants are stressed. Bot can be overcome with good cultural practices like more mulch and deep watering as needed.  For more than you ever wanted to know about Bot, unless your tree has it, go to: http://www.google.com/search?q=Botryosphaeria+canker+of+apple&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&gbv=1&sei=WDn0Ub24HumpigLXvYDoDA