apple tree pest questions

Asked December 26, 2013, 10:08 PM EST

I had to cut down a young Braeburn because of borer damage. I wondered a few things. 1) can I replant in the same raised bed the tree was in or do I need a new spot or new soil? 2) if I get a new apple, is there a way to keep the borers away? 3) are other fruit trees easier to grow? I have a lot of trouble with apples. I planted the tree two years ago (it was a few years old then) and then coddling moth larvae gets every apple. I spray and this past spring put a nylon "sock" on every apple, twisting a wire tie to close the ends, and the larvae still got them all, sometimes eating right through the nylon. Any suggestions would be welcome. I really want an apple tree. Second would be plums but the Grange Coop lady said they wouldn't do well, even though my neighbor has two she ignores and they produce well. The Grange lady said pears or peaches, but pears seem to ripen all at once (at least my mother's did) and I worry about peach trees and the leaf curling problem.

Jackson County Oregon fruits and vegetables insect issues fruit trees

2 Responses

Generally there should not be a problem with planting an apple tree where another was killed by borers. Normally when an apple tree gets attacked by borers it is a sign that the tree was under some kind of stress. When planting fruit trees in raised beds make sure they have rooted down into the ground and give them lots of water in summer since the raised bed will dry out faster than the ground. You can give your trees a close look around the base of the tree every year around late May to late July. Do it once a month at least. If you see a small hole and some saw dust coming out use a small gauge wire and poke in the hole. You can often kill the borers that way. A spray of Spinosad can also help during late June to July.
Codling moths are going to get most apples if unsprayed. I start around May 1 and make an application about every 10 days until August. You can use organic low toxicity products like Spinosad, Cyd-X, Surround, and horticultural oil. I normally do a rotation of 2 to 3 products. The Cyd-X is a virus that only attacks codling moth, and the Surround is a clay compound that irritates the insects. The Spinosad is an extract from a fermentation process. It is the only way to get bug free apples.
Plums do well in the SW areas of Oregon if you are not in a frost pocket. They do bloom early. Try to find the latest blooming plums. I have one call Mariposa and another called Superior that bloom pretty late. I lose a crop once in awhile but get most. Pears do ripen at once but that is pretty true with all the tree fruit. Get a frost variety peach that is really resistant to leaf curl. My frost peach almost never has leaf curl.

Thank you very much! I think I will go with a new apple tree. I didn't know fruit trees were so hard to keep healthy! My father made it look so easy.