Apples getting on my trees

edited 25 August 2015 at 10:13AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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moneyistooshorttomentionmoneyistooshorttomention
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edited 25 August 2015 at 10:13AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
As above - and I am finding quite large chunks of some of my apples are getting eaten.

I have the usual slug/snail problems here but, in this case, I think its earwigs that are the culprits. There are loads of the darn things in this garden and I've caught them out before now eating my strawberries. One of the part-eaten apples has earwig bodies inside it.

So - I'm looking to see what I can do to prevent them climbing up the stems of my apple trees in the first place - eg some sort of band or something I can wrap round the trunks that they cant climb past.

Come to think of it and a noticeable number of my apples have a few little dark rings on them and guess this is something else "getting at" my apples and am wondering what that is and how to stop it.

Any ideas please (of the organic variety)?
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  • DaftyDuckDaftyDuck Forumite
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    Large chunks of apples is usually bird damage to start with, although wasps are tough enough to make a tiny bit of damage into a feast. Organic solution with the former.... a gun? Maybe netting... You might find strips of aluminum foil tied in the tree will deter most birds.

    Wasps are... well... more difficult. But, they're attracted by the damaged apple, so keeping the ground clear of them, and removing any (even slightly rotting) fruit will help there. You can buy wasp traps. Don't. Cruel, totally ineffective.

    Wiggies are less likely to start any damage, but they'll happily finish the job started by a bird. Earwigs can certainly climb. You can try banding a tree with a strip of greaseproof paper, then greasing the paper. Prevents many crawly things. Earwigs are crepuscular, and like squeezing into small spaces. A pair of earthenware flowerpots set on in the other works as a perfect home, and can then be emptied, say over a neighbour's wall. Keeps the population down.

    Your dark rings are probably a fungal disease. Rife in this wet year. You could spra... oh, nope. Anyway, that's pretty ineffective as well. Best sorted long-term with a good pruning regime, keeping the tree open, and not bearing too much fruit.

    You are unlikely to get much problem from slugs up there. Not impossible, just not that likely. Mind you, this is a wet year, so this year more than most...

    Best organic solution is to "share" your crop with nature. I don't tend to spray anything on my apples, and let the birdies have their feast as well. All part of the joy of nature. :A
  • edited 25 August 2015 at 12:19PM
    moneyistooshorttomentionmoneyistooshorttomention
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    edited 25 August 2015 at 12:19PM
    I have wondered whether birds might be the culprit - but thought they only went for cherries and berries so to say.

    Didn't know they were partial to apples too:( (Slap head smilie - as I remember a budgie I had as a childhood pet that was partial to a chunk of apple - so I should have thought of that).They certainly like my garden. I rarely seem to spot birds in other nearby gardens. Mine, on the other hand = hordes of them. I've frequently got a positive gang of blackbirds or pigeons out there wandering around quite confident and have seen them before now hopping round the garden only a foot or so ahead of me and ignoring all instructions to "Leave my worms alone you little tykes...". The cats round here obviously have me sussed out and they steer very clear of my garden whilst I'm around - but I strongly suspect the birds have also got me sussed and have put out the word on the Bird Grapevine that its "Party Time at Money's gaff":cool::(

    Will try your suggestions out for size. The trees are still very young yet - so not really any scope for pruning them yet. They are still pretty "open" and I'm guessing I should give them their first haircut autumn next year?
  • Hmmm...now taking a guess that the local birds have got a sweet tooth. My apple trees are all eating apples (not cookers) and I've just had my first few mouthfuls of what the darn birds have left me - and its lovely and sweet (a nice variety of). Maybe they are also not partial to uncooked "cookers"....

    Thinks - maybe shoulda gone for cookers - but I can manage to forage/get given them...:cool:
  • londonTigerlondonTiger
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    neighbours apple tree overhangs our garden and their apples falls iunto ours. almost all of them have been eaten by birds at some point.,
  • DaftyDuckDaftyDuck Forumite
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    Blackbirds like apples. No, they LOVE apple. Pigeons, no, they'll really be after seed, although a wood pigeon can strip the leaves off a small tree in minutes, plum being a favourite.

    Cookers are not safe either. they'll have those too...

    Tree pruning is a skill. Learn slowly. Normal pruning time for small trees is winter, when they are dormant. Read up on how to do it, and take it slowly. It's easy, as a beginner, to wildly chop, which is not good. Once you have the hang, you can go mad.
  • edited 25 August 2015 at 1:33PM
    moneyistooshorttomentionmoneyistooshorttomention
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    edited 25 August 2015 at 1:33PM
    Right...got that. Its those pesky blackbirds that are the probable culprits then:(

    Will investigate "bright shiny things" that will (hopefully) put them off heading to mine for lunch...

    I know there are (sonic) cat deterrents for gardens. Is there any sort of equivalent for blackbirds? They are here (in hordes) literally every single day from what I can make out - and I think my garden has been selected as the place for their Mediterranean-style evening Promenade (or, in their case, daytime Promenade).

    Now wondering why they seem to like my garden so much - as I can see that other apple trees near me don't seem to get touched by them at all - but mine are such a different matter. Don't know if its down to there are varieties they prefer to others and they will take cookers - but have a preference system on order of priority and mine are "top of their pops"??
  • DaftyDuckDaftyDuck Forumite
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    The cats round here obviously have me sussed out and they steer very clear of my garden whilst I'm around
    .... and
    the birds have also got me sussed and have put out the word on the Bird Grapevine that its "Party Time at Money's gaff

    You know, these two might just be connected.... get a moggie

    go on, go on, go on AH GO ON!!!!! :D
  • londonTigerlondonTiger
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    DaftyDuck wrote: »
    Normal pruning time for small trees is winter, when they are dormant.

    You sure about that? I read that you need to prune early on in the spring when they're growing again. In the winter they're dormant so they wont be able to produce sap to patch up the cuts to stop disease from setting.
  • DaftyDuckDaftyDuck Forumite
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    Apple tree pruning, which we are talking about here, prune in winter when dormant. I seem to remember you had something like apricot, cherry or plum - those you do when they are actively growing. which Otherwise they are liable to infection, mainly from silverleaf.

    Simple rule with apples (and it is simplifying a great deal) is:
    Prune in winter to enhance future growth.
    Prune in summer to retard future growth.
  • I may quite like cats - but not near my garden.

    Visions of early morning alarm calls - said moggie deciding to pounce on me and announce "Time for breakfast mum", followed by said moggie deciding to sharpen claws on my furniture:eek:, then a stroll around the garden and decision on which bit of my garden to use as personal loo that day. Mustnt forget any little "presents" leftover from a spot of hunting practice....

    Errrm....cant think why ....but think I'll pass on that one thanks..
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