Common Fruit Tree Pests and Location

A general question…when looking up common pests and diseases for any given fruit tree type many may be listed. These pests and diseases need to be already present (unless the tree comes already infected) in the surrounding landscape for them to be able to find the tree.

I live in a place where the only fruit I have really seen in folks yards is a pear tree (excluding citrus here and there). Bradford pears, of which there are still a few around and some bearing pears. I have one such unknown pear 2 doors down and it has a measure of fire blight so I know that is something any pear trees I grow can be exposed to. (this winter I will volunteer to remove that mentioned tree for my neighbor).

Knowing my neighborhood well, there are 0 stone fruit trees anywhere within at least a 1000 feet of my property.

Aphids yes… I do see them and they are easy to treat and don’t do much damage to the trees…

Would I still expect the presence of these insects and thus the need to spay for other pests? Do those other pests, specifically the ones that attack the fruit itself, have other food sources beyond the fruit to survive and be in my area?

Hope what I’m asking makes sense. To put it more simply something like plum curculio. Would I need to worry about this pest if there are no fruit trees anywhere around me except my own?

Spraying according to a schedule should only occur if there is past experience with the target pest(s) at your property or in the region. Further, the arrival of some pests (esp. for Citrus) does not run on a schedule. They are brought by wind, birds, and ants. Regular inspection is the best prevention.

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Last year was the first year my trees set fruit, all of which were stone fruits, and I thought the same thing you did. I live in the middle of a field, surrounding by farm fields and cow pastures with no exposure to any other fruit trees, no previous years of fruit on my property and I figured I wouldn’t see any pest pressure because of it

Plum Curculio wiped out every piece of fruit I would have gotten. I have no idea where they came from or what they are living on, but I sprayed for them this year and have clean fruit.

You could give it a shot and see what happens if you don’t spray, but if you want the fruit I would assume the pests will come and be ready


Nature finds a way I suppose. It’s all quite fascinating isn’t it.

I mean if I plant a eucalyptus tree I’m not suddenly going to get a bunch of koalas pop out of nowhere to eat the leaves.

I’m being a bit silly but…

Yeah I guess insects have other resources for them to be present in the area…or at least ones that want to take our fruit from us.

Figs though… If I somehow got a hold of an old world fig tree, it wouldn’t produce since we won’t have the specific fig wasp needed that has evolved for each individual fig species. Luckily they 'fig’ured out how to breed figs that don’t require a fig wasp like the LSU Gold that I am just beginning to pick from.

For stone fruit, since we do have some indigenous varieties (plum at least), I guess we already have many insects that will feed on them

Insect pests are often generalists that can survive on a wide variety of plants and fruits.
Example: PC: hawthorn and crabapple. Any untended. Any prunus: flowering plums sometimes produce fruit. There are likely many host plants within 1000 feet of your property.

Many pest insects introduced from a foreign country end up spreading to adjacent US states within a few years, by flight alone.


Yes, with exception of flight across the deserts of the southwest.

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Certainly could be the case, though there are no visible such plants in my neighborhood. The fruit bearing trees are easy to spot in spring as the flowers give them away.

It will be interesting in the coming years to see what shows up for dinner.

I’m more concerned about heat and humidity related disease and birds, but I remain curious about insects as while I look around the WWW on how to grow my fruit trees I see the kind of issues fruit trees have.

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If Nutrien Ag has an office in your region, then get in touch with one of the fruit tree crop advisors there and ask what pests and diseases in the area you should be prepared for.

With the exception of satsumas which are grown commercially about 70 miles to my south and across a 24 mile wide lake, I have no commercial stone or pomme fruit orchards withing many, many hundreds of miles of here. There are no experts or database to consult.

As I encounter any problem insects I will post here.

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In my 30+ years at this location, 3 introduced pest insects (BMSB, SWD, and a moth [Noctua sp.]) have shown up right on schedule, per published introduction dates.


I have had some small problems with pests over the years. At times the Japanese beetles are a problem.The last few years not very much. Four years ago they were horrible.
Plum curculio is always lurking around. It does not appear to be anything you can say “bad winter shouldn’t be as many pests this summer” or " easy winter, the bugs will be horrible". It never does equate that way, for the most part.
I had a horrible time with pests this year on my fruit trees. All, and I mean all, of the fruit on my apple trees is damaged - even with being sprayed. Every piece of fruit I have is bitten.