Pest & Disease Control

As it grows, a fruit tree may experience issues such as the presence of pests or diseases. Factors such as location, weather, and upkeep play a part in which issues your tree encounters and how well it stands up against them. Disease-resistant fruit trees are easy-care options for growers who prefer a low-spray or no-spray orchard, or simply low maintenance.

Examples of good practices are adequate watering, fertilizing as needed, seasonal pruning, preventative, and active spraying, fall cleanup, and winter protection.

Common Pests for Apple & Pear Trees

Aphids

  • Tiny, pinhead-sized insects, varying in color depending on the type. Will cluster on stems and under leaves, sucking plant juices.
  • Symptoms:Leaves curl, thicken, yellow, and die. Aphids produce large amounts of a sticky residue called “honeydew” that attracts insects like ants. Honeydew becomes a growth medium for sooty mold.
    • Control Spray: Bonide® Fruit Tree Spray
    • Control Natural Spray: Bonide® All Seasons® Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil, Bonide® Insecticidal Soap, Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray or Bonide® Neem Oil

Apple Maggots

  • Adults are similar in appearance to a housefly, but smaller. Larvae are yellowish-white grubs. Traps are an option for luring adults.
  • Symptoms:Small, pinpoint-sting marks visible on fruit surface. Eggs are laid under fruit skin. Hatched larvae tunnel, making railroad-like mining pattern.
    • Control Spray: GardenTech® Sevin® Concentrate Bug Killer or Bonide® Fruit Tree Spray
    • Control Natural Spray: Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray

Bud Moth

  • Adult female moth is around 1/2-inch long; male is slightly smaller. Color varies from mottled gray to brown. Full-grown larvae are around 3/4-inch long. Pupae are brown and about 3/8-inch long.
  • Symptoms:Feeding occurs along leaf midrib and fruit. Shelters are created by rolling leaves and tying leaves to other leaves or fruit. Damage appears as tiny holes, irregular scarring, and areas of rot – generally found around the stem. Rot or corking around the stem occurs after the larvae have finished feeding and have pupated.
  • Control Spray: Bonide® Fruit Tree Spray
  • Control Natural Spary: Bonide® All Seasons® Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil

Codling Moth

  • Adults are moths, gray with brown patches on wings. Larvae are worms, about 1-inch long. Pests and damage are similar to Oriental Fruit Moth. Traps are an option for luring moths.
  • Symptoms:Affected fruits will have holes from outside to core.
    • Control Spray: Bonide® Fruit Tree Spray
    • Control Natural Spray: Bonide® All Seasons® Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil

Flatheaded Apple Tree Borer

  • Adults are small brown beetles that may target the graft location (in young apple trees) for laying eggs as well as damaged or sunken areas. Grubs have horseshoe-shaped heads and cream-colored bodies. Difficult to control once infested. Preventative spraying (including the ground around the roots) is a strong defense. Traps – in the form of tanglefoot-coated logs or posts that are later removed from the site and burned – are an option for luring adults.
  • Symptoms: A thick, gummy substance (sap) leaking from round holes on the trunk or in a crotch of the tree. Grubs tunnel through trunks, weakening and eventually killing the tree. Eggs hatch and larvae tunnel into tree’s vascular tissue.
    • Manual Control: If infested, use a fine wire to try to pierce, mash, or dig grubs out.
    • Control: Spray: GardenTech® Sevin® Concentrate Bug Killer

Gypsy Moth

  • Adults are moths, from cream white to grayish brown. Eggs are laid in masses along bark, limbs, and other areas on the tree and can overwinter to hatch when the weather is favorable. Eggs hatch into larvae, which are black, hairy caterpillars.
  • Symptoms: Defoliation through feeding – in extreme cases, severe enough defoliation to stress and weaken apple trees.
    • Control Manual: Keep site clear of dead limbs, branches, and other debris that female gypsy moths can use to lay eggs
    • Control Spray: Bonide® All Seasons® Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil or Bonide® Thuricide® BT

Japanese Beetles

  • Adult is a metallic-green beetle, which skeletonizes leaves. Larvae are cream-colored grubs that feed on turf roots prior to maturity. Turf pest-control may help reduce grub populations; check turf product labels for timing and control of grubs. Traps are an option for luring adult beetles.
  • Symptoms:Adults are often seen in groups – large infestations can cause stunted growth and stress by skeletonizing a majority of the leaves.
    • Control Manual: If infestation is minimal, knock Japanese beetles into a jar of soapy water solution (they will become immobile when frightened as a defense mechanism)
    • Control Spray: Bonide® Fruit Tree Spray

Leafroller

  • Pale yellow or green worms.
  • Symptoms: Leaves are rolled and webbed together where grubs feed. Foliage eventually becomes skeletonized with prolonged exposure to feeding.
    • Control Spray: GardenTech® Sevin® Concentrate Bug Killer or Bonide® Fruit Tree Spray
    • Control Natural Spray: Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray, Bonide® Neem Oil, or Monterey Horticultural Oil

Mites

  • Pale yellow or green worms.
  • Symptoms: Leaves are rolled and webbed together where grubs feed. Foliage eventually becomes skeletonized with prolonged exposure to feeding.
    • Control: Spray: Bonide® Fruit Tree Spray
    • Control: Natural Spray: Bonide® Neem Oil, Monterey Fruit Tree Spray Plus or Monterey Horticultural Oil

Pear Psylla

  • Adult is transparent, yellow-brown 1/8” jumping winged insect. Immature has no wings. Usually on underside of leaves and leaf stem. Sap feeding weakens the tree. Sticky residues become growth media for Sooty Mold.
  • Natural Control: Bonide® All Seasons® Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil, Bonide® Insecticidal Soap, or Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray
  • Chemical Control: Bonide® Borer-Miner Killer or Bonide® Total Pest Control

Red Bug

  • Pale yellow or green worms.
  • Symptoms: Leaves are rolled and webbed together where grubs feed. Foliage eventually becomes skeletonized with prolonged exposure to feeding.
    • Control Spray: Bonide® Fruit Tree Spray
    • Control: Natural Spray: Bonide® Neem Oil, Monterey Fruit Tree Spray Plus or Monterey Horticultural Oil

Scale

  • Usually on bark of young twigs and branches, encrusted with small (1/16-inch) hard, circular, scaly raised bumps with yellow centers. May also be on fruit.
  • Symptoms: Sap feeding weakens the tree.
    • Control Spray: Bonide® Fruit Tree Spray
    • Control: Natural Spray
    • Bonide® All Seasons® Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil, Bonide® Insecticidal Soap or Bonide® Neem Oil

Tarnished Plant Bug

  • Yellowish-brown, winged insect that may have black spots or red stripes.
  • Symptoms: Damage is caused by injecting toxins into buds and shoots, causing stunted vegetative growth and sunken areas (or “cat facing”) on fruit.
    • Control: Natural Spray: Bonide® Insecticidal Soap or Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray

Tent Caterpillar

  • Yellowish-brown, winged insect that may have black spots or red stripes.
  • Symptoms: Damage is caused by injecting toxins into buds and shoots, causing stunted vegetative growth and sunken areas (or “cat facing”) on fruit.
    • Control: Natural Spray: Bonide® Insecticidal Soap or Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray

Thrips

  • Tiny, slender, fringed-wing insects ranging from 1/25-inch to 1/8-inch long. Nymphs are pale yellow and highly active. Adults are usually black or yellow-brown, but may have red, black, or white markings.
  • Symptoms: Feeding occurs on vegetation by puncturing and sucking up the contents causing appearance to be deformed or discolored (similar to damage by mites and lace bugs).
  • Control: Natural Spray: Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray, Bonide® Insecticidal Soap, Monterey Fruit Tree Spray Plus or Monterey Horticultural Oil

 

Common Pests for Stone Fruits (Cherry, Nectarine, Peach, Plum)

*in addition to some of the pests for apple and pear trees like thrips, leafhopper, Japanese Beetles, Borers, Mites, & Scale*

 

Cherry Fruit Fly

  • This fly is very similar to Apple Maggot. Adult similar to housefly but smaller, larvae are yellowish-white worms. Eggs lay under fruit skins, larvae tunnel making railroad pattern. Small pinpoint sting marks visible on fruit.
    • Natural Control: Bonide® Captain Jack’s™ Deadbug Brew

Rose Chafer

  • Beetle has ½“ long, tan wings with reddish-brown edges. Long, thin hairy legs. Skeletonizes leaves and flowers. Present in large quantities in June & July. Worst on sandy sites near grassy areas.
    • Chemical Control: Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer

Oriental Fruit Moth

  • Gray moth, 1/2” long. Larvae are white with a brown head, 1/2” long. Larvae burrow into twigs and fruits.
    • Chemical Control: Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer

Plum Curculio

  • Adult is brownish-gray 1/5” long, hard-shelled beetle with long snout and 4 humps on back. Cuts a crescent shaped hole under the fruit skins and lays eggs. Worms hatch and tunnel into fruit. Premature dropping of fruit can occur.
    • Natural Control: Post harvest clean up.
    • Chemical Control: Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer

 

Common Diseases for Apple & Pear Trees

Bitter Rot

  • Caused by Glomerella cingulata – a fungus that is spread by splashing rain or irrigation. Favors warm, wet weather.
  • Symptoms: Small, brown sunken spots on fruit. Spots rapidly enlarge and deepen, and may appear as target-like concentric rings. If allowed to persist, spots worsen and spores are transmitted to nearby fruit. Spots rot fruit to the core and affected fruit will eventually mummify. Disease overwinters in mummified fruit, diseased limbs, and narrow protected areas.
    • Control: Site Cleanup: Remove affected fruit and mummies as soon as they are detected
    • Control: Manual: Prune for air circulation and light. Remove dead, damaged, and diseased limbs whenever they appear
    • Control Spray: Bonide® Fruit Tree Spray
    • Control Natural Spray: Bonide® Copper Fungicide Spray or Dust

Black Rot and Frog-Eye Leaf Spot

  • Caused by Botryosphaeria obtusa – a fungus that is spread by splashing rain or irrigation. Favors warm, wet weather.
  • Symptoms: On Fruit – Fruit infection can begin as soon as fruit begins to develop and will appear on young fruit as red flecks that develop into purple pimples. These spots do not grow much until fruit begins to mature. Spots on mature fruit are irregular – black with a red halo appearance. As the spots enlarge, a series of concentric rings form, which alternate from black to brown. Lesions stay firm and are not sunken. Fruit mummifies and remains attached to the tree. Rotting occurs in seed cavity or around core, caused by early infections, but these fruits tend to fall within a month after petal fall with no surface symptoms. On Foliage – Leaf symptoms begin 1-3 weeks after petal fall as small purple flecks. These enlarge into lesions with purple margins and tan- to brown-centers, resembling ‘frog eyes’. When heavily infected, defoliation may occur. On Limbs – May be reddish-brown sunken cankers on limbs. Winter injured trees, or dead, damaged, diseased limbs are highly susceptible to contracting these fungal issues.
    • Control Site Cleanup: Remove affected fruit and mummies as soon as they are detected
    • Control Manual: Prune for air circulation and light. Remove dead, damaged, and diseased limbs whenever they appear
    • Control Spray: Bonide® Captan Fruit & Ornamental (wettable powder)or Bonide® Fruit Tree Spray
    • Control Natural Spray: Bonide® Copper Fungicide

Cedar Apple Rust

  • Caused by Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae – a fungus that is spread from cedars/junipers to apple trees by splashing rain or irrigation in spring. During dry weather, spores are transferred to cedars/junipers. Spores overwinter in cedar/juniper galls to start the cycle again the following year. Requires the presence of both apple trees and Eastern red cedar trees (most common) or other plants/trees in the Juniperus genus.
  • Symptoms: Small, pale yellow spots are present on upper leaf surfaces. Spots will enlarge and become orange with black specks in center. A mass of fungal spikes appear on undersides of leaves. Orange gelatinous galls appear in Eastern red cedar trees or plants/trees in the Juniperus genus in spring.
    • Control: Spray: Bonide® Fruit Tree Spray
    • Control: Natural Spray, Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray, Bonide® Neem Oil
    • Control: Manual: Both hosts need to be present for the disease cycle to persist. Remove neighboring cedar trees and junipers if possible/feasible.
    • Plant rust-resistant apple varieties in areas prone to cedar apple rust. Spraying helps control rust symptoms, but will not completely control the disease.

Crown Gall

  • Caused by Agrobacterium tumefaciens– a bacterium that inhabits the soil and causes rapid, abnormal growth (developing into galls). Can spread through injury to roots in the soil as well as through gardening tools carrying the bacterium.
  • Symptoms:Trees appear stunted and slow growing; leaves may be reduced in size. In mature, fruit-bearing aged trees, may see little or no fruit. Woody, tumor-like growths called galls appear, especially at the crown (ground level) and below. Growths can restrict water and nutrient flow, but often the damage isn’t extensive enough to cause immediate or total death. If tree has died, inspect roots for hard, woody ‘tumors’ to identify Crown Gall as the cause. Note: Crown Gall is not the only thing that can cause stunted trees.
    • Control Spray: Ferti-Lome® Fire Blight Spray

Fireblight

  • Caused by Erwinia amylovora – a highly contagious bacterium that is spread to different areas (blossoms, twigs, etc.) with tender growth by wind, splashing rain or irrigation, birds, insects, and so on – especially through points of weakness like insect injury, hail damage, wind-whipping, and more. Favors cool to warm wet weather.
  • Symptoms: On Flowers – Blossoms and fruit spurs will look brown and withered and also look as if scorched by fire. On Foliage – Dark brown or blackened leaves appear as disease spreads. Do not confuse symptoms of fireblight for symptoms of drought, salt injury, or nutrient deficiency which may also present as browned leaves. Tips of branches curl, leaving a “Shepherd’s Hook” appearance. Twigs and branches die back. On Bark – Cankers may form, housing orange bacterial ooze; the site of overwintering.
  • Control Manual: Avoid applying nitrogen fertilizers during high-risk seasons (cool, wet springs) as tender new growth is more susceptible to infection
  • Cut back affected branches at least 6- to 8-inches below visible signs of infection. Disinfect shears between cuts with alcohol wipes or a solution of one-part bleach and ten-parts water.
  • Control Site Cleanup: Destroy or dispose of pruning debris. Fall clean up is essential; including all mummified fruits and leaves hanging on the tree.
  • Control Spray: Ferti-Lome® Fire Blight Spray
  • Control Natural Spray: Bonide® Copper Fungicide

Powdery Mildew

  • Caused by Podosphaera leucotricha – a fungus that overwinters in buds and emerges during humid, warm weather progressively throughout the growing season.
  • Symptoms: Whitish-gray powdery mold or felt-like patches on buds, young leaves, and twigs. Leaves may crinkle and curl upward. New shoots are stunted.
  • Control: Natural Spray: Bonide® Copper Fungicide Spray or Dust, Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray, Monterey Fruit Tree Spray Plus or Monterey Horticultural Oil

Scab

  • Caused by Venturia inaequalis– a fungus that overwinters in fallen leaves and pruning debris. Favors cool, wet weather (typically in spring).
  • Symptoms:Spots on young leaves are velvety and olive green turns black; leaves wither, curl and drop. Fruit also has spots, is deformed, knotty, cracked and drops.
  • Control Manual: Plant scab-resistant apple trees if possible, especially in areas where apple scab is a known issue
  • Control Site Cleanup: Remove and dispose of pruning debris. Fall clean up is essential to control overwintering fungus.
  • Control Spray: Bonide® Fruit Tree Spray, Bonide® Captan Fruit & Ornamental
  • Control Natural Spray: Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray

Sooty Blotch & Flyspeck

  • Caused by a complex of Peltaster fructicola, Geastrumia polystigmatis, Leptodontidium elatius, and Phyllachora pomigena as well as Schizathyrium pomi – fungal pathogens. Often develops together, since both diseases thrive under similar conditions. Each favors cool, wet weather (typically emerging in summer and early fall, but also seen in early spring).
  • Symptoms: Issues usually appear together. Olive-green smudges and tiny black dots on skin of apple. These fungal diseases survive on infected twigs and are spread by rains in spring and early summer. Symptoms appear as early as 2- to 3-weeks after petal fall. Damage is primarily superficial – little damage is done to the fruit’s flesh. Smudges or dots can often be rubbed or washed off with as little as water and some effort.
    • Control Manual: Prune for improved air circulation and light to naturally prevent fungal issues from forming
    • Control Site Cleanup: Collect and remove fallen leaves and fruit
    • Control Spray: Bonide® Fruit Tree Spray, Bonide® Captan Fruit & Ornamental (wettable powder)
    • Control: Natural Spray: Bonide® Copper Fungicide

 

Common Diseases for Stone Fruit Trees (Cherry, Nectarine, Peach & Plum)

Anthracnose

  • Also “bitter rot” of peaches – Anthracnose is an infection that affects many species of fruit trees, including peach. Most of the damage is cosmetic, but still needs to be controlled. Rain and irrigation systems can spread the disease, which tends to occur in warm, wet weather.
  • Symptoms: Anthracnose of peach trees usually occurs on ripe or nearly ripe fruit. Small brown or tan lesions, which enlarge and darken, gradually become circular and slightly indented. In early stages, these lesions may be confused with those of brown, black or white rot, but anthracnose spots are firmer and bigger, and are often accompanied by rings of pink spore masses. Leaves and twigs remain unaffected. Anthracnose will not kill the tree, but will damage the fruit/yield.
    • Control Spray: Bonide® Captan Fruit & Ornamental (wettable powder)
    • Control Natural Spray: Bonide® Copper Fungicide, Bonide® Neem Oil, or Monterey Fruit Tree Spray Plus

Bacterial Canker

  • Appears on branches and trunk as gummy cankers and water-soaked areas. Fruit develops dark, deeply sunken areas, causing them to be more likely to get ‘Brown Rot’. Cool, wet weather after blooming favors development.
  • Natural Control: Site Cleanup
    • Prune limbs back to healthy tissue (below canker). Disinfect shears between cuts with alcohol wipes or a solution of one-part bleach and ten-parts water.
    • Remove and destroy pruning debris (do not mulch)
    • Carefully cut away all cankered areas
    • Consider painting the pruning site with a tree-wound dressing to protect against re-infection

Bacterial Leaf Spot

  • Appears on the undersides of leaves as black or brown spots. Often the center falls out leaving a hole with a red halo. The leaves may turn yellow and fall. Fruits also get spots, sunken areas & cracks.
  • Control: Site Cleanup
    • Plant resistant varieties if possible and keep a clean, well-maintained growing site
    • Remove infected fruit and pruning debris from planting site

Black Knot

  • Appears as hard black knobby growths on twigs and branches. Will eventually girdle and kill branches.
    • Natural Control: Prune out and burn.

Blotch

  • Fungus disease that is spread by rain in spring and early summer and can appear as early as 2-3 weeks after petal fall. Patches of dark green to black, circular or irregular in shape, may merge together to cover a large area of the fruit surface. Sometimes it can be rubbed or washed off, but may leave a brown discoloration on fruit. Little damage is done to the flesh.
    • Natural Control: Prune for air and light, clean up fallen leaves and fruit.

Brown Rot

  • Fruit turns brownish with lighter spots. Quickly becomes soft, rotten and unusable.
    • Natural Control: Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray & Fall clean up of all fruit and debris.
    • Chemical Control: Bonide® Fung-onil™ Fungicide or Bonide® Captan Fruit & Ornamental

Coryneum Blight

  • Small reddish-purple spots appear on young leaves then enlarge and eventually dropping out of the leaf blade leaving a “shot hole.” It appears on fruit, usually in clustered as light brown spots or lesions with dark purple margins.
    • Natural Control: Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray
    • Chemical Control: Bonide® Fung-onil™ Fungicide

Crown Gall

  • Trees appear stunted and slow growing; leaves may be reduced in size, little or no fruit. If tree is dead, inspect roots for hard, woody ‘tumors’.
  • Control: Manual
    • Remove all roots from trees that were removed and affected with crown gall in that location, or choose to plant clean plant material in a different location entirely

Leaf Curl

  • When leaves become thickened, puckered and twisted with a reddish-purple color along puckered areas. Turn yellow and drop, may completely defoliate and causes weakening of tree. Any remaining dead leaves should be removed in the fall and all debris removed from the area.
    • Chemical Control: Bonide® Fung-onil™ Fungicide

Powdery Mildew

  • Whitish-gray powdery mold or felt like patches on buds, young leaves and twigs. Leaves may crinkle and curl upward. New shoots are stunted. Over winters in fallen leaves.
    • Natural Control: Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray

Scab

  • Spots on young leaves are velvety and olive green turns black; leaves wither, curl and drop. Fruit also has spots, is deformed, knotty, cracked and drops.
    • Chemical Control: Bonide® Fung-onil™ Fungicide

 

If you suspect your fruit tree is suffering from a pest or disease, please feel free to reach out to our customer support team and we will help identify the issue and suggest a treatment.

 

Other Fruit Tree Issues

No Blossoms or Fruit

Fruit trees can take years after planting (Years to Bear) before they bloom or bear fruit. If enough time has been allowed to pass, and your fruit tree is otherwise healthy, there are a few things to do to help it become fruitful.

  • Make sure a pollinator variety is present. Some fruit trees require another different variety nearby to be fruitful.
  • Make sure your fruit tree variety is recommended for your zone. Low winter temperatures can injure sensitive fruit buds, hindering the potential for fruit production.
  • Space trees far enough apartto help avoid nutrient or light competition. Adequate space encourages a healthy and productive tree. Spacing can be estimated by the mature spread of the tree.
  • Prune to help keep the fruiting wood and vegetative wood in balanceso that there isn’t too much leaf development in lieu of blossom development in mature trees – or too much fruit-bud development and not enough leaves to “feed” the fruit.
  • Know your soil. Soil conditions, and the presence of necessary nutrients, help keep an apple tree’s roots supplying nutrients through its vascular system. If the soil is poor, or poorly drained, this affects the health and viability of the tree as a whole. If the tree is being over-fertilized, especially with a fertilizer high in nitrogen, it may develop lush, vegetative growth (leaves and branches) instead of developing fruit buds or blooming.

Additional Resources:

  • Article: Solving Fruit Tree Blooming & Bearing Problems

 

Sunscald and Sunburn (Scorching)

During the hot, dry growing season – especially when the humidity is low, you may notice brown, crispy edges appear on the leaves of your trees. This is called sunscald or scorching. It is important to keep trees watered during the hot days of summer. Water new trees every 7- to 10-days during the growing season (if no rain within the week) or as needed (as the soil becomes dry to the touch).

In addition, during cooler months, winter injury or “southwest injury” can occur. This type of sunscald commonly affects the south-west side of tree trunks during winter. Warm, clear days cause bark to expand and nights that are several degrees cooler will cause the bark to contract, damaging cells and causing splits and cracks in the trunk.

To prevent winter injury to your fruit trees, protect the trunks prior to winter with tree guards or a diluted solution of water and white latex paint.

 

Water Stress

Water stress can relate to overwatering or underwatering.

Overwatering commonly presents as pale green to yellow leaves and leaf drop. This can weaken a tree, lead to issues with root rot, and ultimately kill the tree. If your tree is planted in a location where the soil does not adequately drain water after heavy rains (leading to standing water), relocate the tree as soon as possible.

Underwatering often presents as discolored – often yellowed – dry leaves. The tree may appear to wilt overall and a prolonged lack of water can kill the tree. If drought-like conditions persist, consider slow-trickle drip irrigation to allow water to reach the roots rather than wash over the soil surface.

 

Wind Injury

Wind injury can involve leaning trees, uprooted trees, breaks, tears, or wind-burned foliage. Depending on the severity of the injury, a fruit tree can either bounce back from minor damage or succumb to the wind-caused harm. This is determined on an individual basis and the health of the tree before the damage occurred.

To help prevent wind injury from occurring in the first place, take this extra step when planting your tree; Adequately tamp soil around the tree’s roots (and thoroughly water) to remove air pockets and ensure good contact with the soil. Air pockets and loose soil around the roots can cause the tree to rock easily in its planting hole, leaving it vulnerable to leaning or becoming uprooted.

Use tree stakes for new trees, dwarf trees, and trees planted in high-wind areas to help support upright growth and avoid leaning, uprooting, and breaking.

In addition, selectively thin fruit that may be weighing down limbs to reduce stress from the weight and avoid tears or breaks during gusty weather. Be aware: pests and disease may also take advantage of resulting broken or torn areas if damage occurs.

If tender new foliage is blown or whipped around by the wind, it may appear discolored (dark – like a burn or bruise). This damaged growth can be removed to encourage healthy, new growth to take its place.

 

 

*Note: This is part 4 of 4 articles*

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