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Chris East

I have a 'Discovery' apple tree which I planted 8 years ago.  The problem is that every year the tree is subjected to aphids that cause really bad leaf curl, followed by balls of woolly aphids that appear on the branches (I rub these off as much as I can), followed by the codling moth damaging the fruit.  In April I hang up the moth trap and renew the sticky trap and pheromone each month right through to August.  I also thin out the apples in June so as to give plenty of room for each apple to grow.  What else can I do?  Should I be spraying the tree with a chemical to give the fruit a fighting chance in which case what should I use and when? I would welcome any help I can get to solve this problem! 

Posts

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 29,053
    I'd avoid spraying anything you're considering eating. 
    Try to encourage more birds/wildlife which prey on the aphids.
    Devon.
  • east.cceast.cc Posts: 4
    We have lots of birds in the garden including a Goldfinch nest this summer.  Any more suggestions?
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 29,053
    yet more patience? 
    Sorry.
    Devon.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,210
    In my experience tits and sparrows are the best hooverers of aphids to feed their young and then ladybirds and hoverflies eat loads too as do their larvae.

    Try hanging bird feeders in the apple tree and also planting more flowers to entice beneficial and predator insects to your garden.  Providing shelter in the form of bundles of hollow canes and stems for ladybirds to hibernate will help and you can even buy ladybird attractant feed - https://www.rhsplants.co.uk/product/_/ladybird-food-and-attractant/classid.2000029702/


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 10,842
    I would consider the possibility that the moth trap will be drawing in every interested moth over a five mile radius. The minute I stopped using house moth pheromone traps my problem disappeared. I realised I had been drawing in moths from every street in the area. Moths can detect pheromones over many miles. Traps are supposed to use a tiny, tiny amount of chemical to limit the radius of interest, but often they are far too strong.
  • east.cceast.cc Posts: 4
    Good ideas, unfortunately the bird feeders attract rats and mice into our garden (we tried again this year) and we already have a bug hotel situated near the tree!  I will look into the ladybird attractant though - not heard of this before.  Thanks.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,210
    Use hanging bird feeders so there's less for the rodents.   I used to hang mine near roses so they'd find the aphids easily.   Worked a treat.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • east.cceast.cc Posts: 4
    The moth trap could be the problem - not thought about it in that way - the moths are all the same - codling moths.  Perhaps next year I won't use the moth trap and see if the apples are left alone!  Wonderful if so!  Thanks for your input.
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