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Thread: Fruit trees.

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    Registered User Nishu's Avatar
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    Default Fruit trees.

    Two questions-

    I try to buy Dad a fruit tree once a year. A couple years ago I bought him a cherry tree. I haven't seen it yet but he says it's not doing much and that the Japanese beetles are really loving it. Any advice on how to deal with these?

    Second- This year he said he can use a apple tree. I was planning on buying from Gurney's because that's where I get them usually. I'd like something that would bear rather quickly but will also do well where he lives... Illinois. The fruit will likely be used just for snacking. Any of you pros have some tips on what variety and where to buy? thanks!
    Last edited by Nishu; 01-16-2009 at 03:56 PM.

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    Registered User Sassyclass's Avatar
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    Nishu, I'm no expert so I could be wrong on this but I believe cherry trees usually take about 3 years before they start producing fruit. We have one, we didn't plant, and a tree net works wonders for keeping birds and beetles off of it. HTH

    Cat

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    Registered User MandiDawn's Avatar
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    My grandma (a lifelong farmer) told me that cherry trees need to cross pollinute, ie you need two of them to get fruit.

    As for apples, go with what kind you (he) likes best.
    Red delicious are tasty, McIntosh's are good for eating, baking plus they store well, honeycrisp are really sweet. Ask him what kind he buys when he goes to the store and get him that kind.

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    Registered User missyali's Avatar
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    I, too, am a fan of honeycrisp.

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    Registered User fixer's Avatar
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    If he has no other apple trees, make sure you get a self-pollinating variety. I would also check on the cherry tree you gave him to make sure it doesn't need a pollinator. Gurneys catalog should have this information. As for Japanese beetles, they are a challenge to control. Using nets for exclusion is an option. As far as insecticides go, Sevin will work but there is no residual control. This means you kill the beetles on the trees, but nothing will kill them after. You have to keep spraying through their active time.

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    Registered User Nishu's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help. The cherry tree I really didn't expect to be doing much I guess... I was just wondering what to do about the beetles. I talked to Dad about it and mentioned the net... he said he hadn't tried it and that he would look around but I have a 25 off 50 coupon for gurneys so I'll probably buy a couple nets when I get his new tree.

    I do look for self-pollinating varieties so I'm sure the cherry tree is self pollinating. As little as I know about the fruit trees that much I did manage to remember when I bought them.

    But thank you for the reminder because the apple tree I was looking at was not self pollinating so I need to rethink my plan.

    I was thinking about this one...
    http://gurneys.com/product.asp_Q_pn_E_65778

    Maybe I'll go ahead and get it this year and then next year buy one that can pollinate.

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    Registered User Nishu's Avatar
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    Hey Fixer do you know where I might find a net that's fine enough to keep out the beeltes but big enough for a small tree? Gurney's sells one for birds but I'm not sure that will work for the beetles.

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    Registered User fixer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nishu View Post
    Hey Fixer do you know where I might find a net that's fine enough to keep out the beeltes but big enough for a small tree? Gurney's sells one for birds but I'm not sure that will work for the beetles.
    I went to www.gardeners.com for my nets. Look under garden pest control. They are 24X24 ft. I think they would keep out beetles. There is a good picture to show you the mesh size. It may be the same size mesh as Gurneys, I am not sure. I have used this company. They carry a lot of products for a sustainable garden.

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    I can't imagine a net with small enough mesh to keep out Japanese beetles, although I suppose it is possible. I used to just go around in the early afternoon when the beetles were resting and knock them into a pickle jar. I had some Borax in the jar, once I collected a few I would put the cover on and shake them around so the beetles got Borax on themselves. Repeat as needed! Slow, but there is no crap sprayed on your trees that way.

    I do recall the beetles liked my former cherry trees (I moved) as well as the raspberry bushes and the climbing ivy. For apples I would recommend something that is disease and bug resistant as much as possible.

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    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Also, go for a dwarf or semi-dwarf. It will produce more than enough for one person, and it will fruit sooner than a standard tree.

    Remember, if you spray, you kill off any beneficial insects as well. Also, if you must spray, keep the bees in mind and don't spray when there are bees around the blossoms.

    Here are some non-chemical Japanese beetle control, stolen from another site:

    Predators: Starlings...yes, those pesky starlings love to dine on Japanese beetles! Tachnid flies and tiphia wasps kill them. Native birds and chickens will feed on the larvae. You can help the birds along by turning the soil in autumn to expose the larva.

    Repellent plants: Catnip, chives, garlic, tansy and rue.

    Resistant plants: Box elder. Common lilac, Firs, Hemlocks, Hollies, Pines, Rhododendrons, Spruces, Scarlet oak, Tulip tree, White ash, White poplar and Yews.

    Control Methods:

    Good plants for trap crops include: evening primrose, soybeans, wild grapes, African marigolds, borage and knotweed!

    Make bait traps of water, mashed fruit, sugar and yeast. Place on the perimeter of the garden at least 1 inch off the ground in plastic jugs with an entrance hole cut at the top. Choose sunny spots and strain the bodies out of traps every evening.

    For easier handpicking : In the morning spread out a sheet under infested plants. Shake the plants and the beetles will fall onto the sheet. Dump them into a bucket of soapy water. Dew on their wings in the morning keeps them from flying away. The cooler air also makes them more lethargic.

    Use pheromone traps keeping them at a distance from victim plants so you won't attract new beetles.

    Use interplantings of four o'clocks (Mirabilis), larkspur, white geraniums, red (and dwarf) buckeyes whose flowers attract and poison the beetles. The leaves of the castor bean plant also poison them. These plants are poisonous to people to so be careful using them around children or pets!

    Milky spore disease known as Bacillus popilliae can be used against the grub stage as a most effective long term control. This is best done on a wide scale treating entire infested areas in neighborhoods or grasslands. Complete control may take a few years. Once it does take effect the control can last up to 15 years!

    Japanese Beetle Trap and Bait
    The following bait and trap method is to be used during the height of the Japanese Beetle season.

    Ingredients:
    1 cup water
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 mashed banana
    1 pkg yeast

    Dissolve sugar and yeast in the water. Mix the well maxhed banana into the sugar water. Put all ingredients in a gallon milk jug. Place the jug (with the top off) in an area where Japanese Beetles gather. The fermentation and odor of the bait attracts the beetles which get in but not out.

    Trap crops for the beetles are African marigold, borage, evening primrose (oonthera), four o'clocks, knotweed, soybeans, white roses, white and pastel zinnias, wild grapes and blackberries.

    Nematodes: Another control for the grub stage is to apply beneficial nematodes to the infested area. These are applied at a ratio of 50,000 per square foot of targeted area.

    Botanical Control: Pyrethrin, ryania or rotenone.

    Bug Juice spray: If you can handle it this is supposed to work. Harvest about 1 cup of beetles, put them in an old blender and liquefy them. Thin this with enough water to make it pass through a sprayer. Spray it on any plants they victimize. NOTE: If you make this out of beetles infected with the milky spore disease you will actually infect more grubs with the disease. So...if you can handle it give it a try!
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

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