PC in peaches

Is there any way to control pc in peaches without spraying?

none that I know of. And if there is I’d be extremely dubious of it’s effectiveness.

You are growing a cultivar of plant way outside its native environment, without certain minerals from that environment it requires for disease resistance, and with a pathogen not present in that environment. You appear to be squeemish about spraying the tree. This makes no sense to me.

I’m pretty sure I know a lot less about PC than a lot of others on this forum, but I’ll throw out a few ideas anyways.

Is it true that peach fuzz is a deterrent to PC and the fuzzier varieties are relatively less susceptible?

Could it work to have a trap crop of a fruit that was highly desirable to PC that one completely destroyed before the PC could complete its life cycle?

I think I’ve heard it said here that PC pressure often isn’t as bad in new orchards but builds up over time. Could one re-set to those low levels every 3-5 years by taking a year or two off somehow (and I can imagine more than one way to do this, perhaps in combination with years of late spring freezes) forfeiting a couple years of fruit production in that location in order to keep PC populations down?

Has anyone ever tried “bagging” a whole tree with something like row cover material? What would that do for brown rot pressure and other moisture related problems? Perhaps there are materials or combinations of materials that could both exclude insect pests and exclude dew and rain (thereby reducing fungal disease pressure.) That wouldn’t be my style, but perhaps it’s a conceivable alternative that would interest some.

Please see the discussion here:

You can bag to protect peaches from PC, just like with apples. But its a lot of work. You can even “bag” the whole tree, people have done it, but even more work. You can go out on warm nights and put down a sheet and smack the trunks and collect the PCs that fall. Work work work. So, yes it can be done but its a lot less work to spray. You don’t even need to spray poisons, just use Surround.

Peaches are indeed not the favorite fruit for curculio, they will spend most of their time on plums or apples instead. So a trap tree would reduce the damage. But, if you are not spraying I expect the populations would get high enough that after a few years the trap tree approach would not help much.

Scott, that’s the opposite of what I would have guessed. I’m not inclined to bag anything, but I’m curious why it’s more work to “bag” a whole tree than individual fruits. If there is an appropriate fabric/material that can be used to “bag” a whole tree, it would seem pretty easy to throw it over an open vase shaped peach tree, pull it together at the base, and tie it off. I imagine it would take something like a 40’x40’ piece of fabric to cover an average size peach tree, though.

I have never bagged whole trees but I have netted them. Its a lot of work to get the material over the tree and to tie it down. The new branches also start growing all funny due to the weight if you did not put a supporting frame around the net. Then every time you need access to the tree you have to untie the net to get under it, and re-tie when done. With bags you just put them on and then forget about it.

I’m not certain it would be more work in the end, but its more painful work :slight_smile:

Thanks for the tips Scott. I followed a thread here that discussed bagging fruit but it sounded like peaches may rot when bagged. May be worth a try though. I know most people spray and that is just part of having fruit trees. I just have a bit of a chemical phobia( not that it is rational) and would just about as soon eat a peach with a PC grub in it than one that was sprayed. ( the trick is to bite in from the opposite side as the PC entry point and take small bites. Ha ha😜)

Peaches may not do well in plastic bags, but I think any bag with a bit of air circulation will work OK. I have used cotton parts bags with success. Except some I put on too late and they had curcs in them already.

Surround is not a chemical, its just a clay and is perfectly edible. I have eaten a lot of it over the years. I also don’t like to spray poisons due to having my orchard in an area filled with kids, I avoid bug killers other than targeted viruses.

Actually Derby, the real key is to close your eyes and just eat it without looking. The worms have no taste. Also, you wind up having to share less because fewer people try to beg wormy fruit from you. :smile:

You’re not alone. The only “chemical” I let into my backyard is copper spray.

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a couple of years ago my peaches were ripe and ready to pick . I had some PC in them. My daughter and son in law came over and I asked if they wanted to go try a peach fresh from the tree. They were dead ripe, so juicy that it would run down your hand and drip off your elbow. I picked three, handed them each one and said kind of be careful when u bite into them , some have worms. They wouldn’t even try them. Ha ha. More for me.:yum:

That’s why I like to cut my fruit up. Even when there is a worm, I can cut around. Of course, the damage is sometimes so bad that there isn’t much left…

I had assumed that about plastic bags too, but my father had good success with them last year, so I’ll give them a try. I found the cotton bags a pain, as they were heavy enough to knock the fruit off if you aren’t very careful in how you apply it.

I didn’t have a very heavy fruit set on my tree this year so I think I may try to bag some per the sugestions here. I may try a few different methods and see what works the best here. I would speculate that wet humid weather we have here in the spring may be hard on bagged peaches.

Like others, I’ve never bagged peaches with plastic zip lock bags for fear of rot. I bagged mine with nylon footsies. I use the one soaked with Surround (kaolin clay that you can use to spray like Scott mentioned). Some had PC damages but I did not know if I put footsies on too late or the buggers went through the nylon footsies.

Last year, I read that someone use plastic bags successfully with plum so I did, too. It worked beautifully. I think I will try put some plastic bags on peaches this year to see how it works.

If you don’t have many fruit, bagging is not an issue. Once they get into hundreds and thousands, it’s labor intensive. Spraying is my go-to method. Surround and Spinosad are my organic choices of spray lately.

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Hi, I agree with Mamuang. My plums and peaches are way past the ‘twenty fruit’ per tree stage. I have netted whole trees that are 12’ tall (peaches, plums and cherry), but still spray though the netting. Works like a charm! I will still put baggies on my apples if the tree is young and after removing excess buds. My Italian plum is loaded with fruiting spurs this year which is great news, only I might not be here to pick them. Ugh. Might be away on a deserved vacation. Mrs. G

Thanks for the tips mesg. Always so many helpful people here. I know what u mean. Three years ago I had a vacation planed and my peaches were ready early due to an early spring so I had my parents come and get them all while we were gone. But they really enjoyed them :smiley:

I have some of those nylon “footsies” and was wondering if (like mamuang said) bugs do go through the nylon? I can see where there is enough room between the fibers for a sucking insect to push through. Has anyone had damage through these things for sure? The ones I have are those boxed nylon things they have in shoe stores. They kinda resemble womens pantyhose.
Also, I was curious about how an apple for example would color up while inside of these things. Does fruit still get acceptable color inside of them?
One last thing, Do they hold up well in the sunlight and does insecticide or fungicide sprays have any deteriorating effect on them? I kinda like the idea because it seems it would pool or soak up sprays making them perhaps more effective and long lasting. It seems too they should allow enough air infiltration and movement to prevent mold / fungus etc.

Wanted to point out for this thread. In stone fruits (not pomes) PC will generally (though not always) cause fruit drop. The larva is able to mimic ethylene in the fruit, to make the fruit drop. The larva then crawl into the soil to pupate.

With PC, many times it’s not an issue of non-wormy fruit or wormy fruit, it’s an issue of fruit or no fruit. Iv’e seen just about every fruit drop from an untreated tree (and heard the same on fruit forums).

Oriental fruit moth larva also infect fruit and are most commonly recognized by oozing “sap” from the peaches. They cause less frequent fruit drop and are more prone to infect throughout the season, whereas PC is more of an early season pest in most climates (although in warmer climates they are capable of two generations).

The tale-tell sign of PC vs. Oriental fruit moth larva is whether or not the grub has legs. Legless grubs = PC. Grubs with little legs are Oriental fruit moth larva.