Spraying cherry trees
Hello- We recently moved and we now have a beautiful sweet, dark cherry (I think bing) tree in our back yard. Last year we had an amazing crop of cherries but every one of them had some sort of fly larvae in it! Is there an easy, healthy pesticide we can apply to prevent that this year so that we can actually eat the fruit? If so, when is the best time to apply it?
Thanks in advance for your help!
Mesa County Colorado
Right now you would want to finish and pruning and spray dormant oil to prevent mainly aphids from hurting your tree. If the buds are swollen since winter or showing any green, we are past the time of applying dormant oil. The worms you see in the cherries are Western Cherry Fruit fly. They are currently overwintering in the soil near the tree. The adults will emerge and start laying eggs on the cherries when cherries just start getting color beyond green, a slight blush of pink. They continue to lay eggs from first emergence for about 8 weeks. There are controls listed her: http://wci.colostate.edu/Assets/pdf/western.cherry.fruit.fly.pdf Make sure to clean up any cherries that you don't pick and use to reduce the fruit flies. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Thank you so much for your response and explanation. The handout you provided had great pictures that look exactly like what we experienced last summer. We will make sure to spray the cherries this year to prevent this from happening again.
You are welcome. Hope you have a good crop this year.