Should I do something about this Peachtree?

Hello all

It’s the second year in the ground for my very vigorous high producing Peachtree. Had a lot of pests on it last year, but it just seemed to outgrow everything. I put bags on the peaches, and everything worked out great in the end, totally organic hands off tree.

This year it’s even worse, and the huge aphid or whatever it is infestation on the north part Is over the entire tree now. Early in the season the entire tree was shinny and sticky. Almost every leaf underside is literally jammed with aphids or something. What’s concerned me more this year is all the new growth is looking sickly and showing some new weird red spots I didn’t see before.

Is it possible to let this ride it out? Or am I looking at losing the crop if I do nothing?

As with last year, there’s also borers and OFM etc. I made a short video giving a good overview of the tree and a lot more background information if anyone is interested.

Invest in ladybugs!

It’s a bad aphid infestation. Spray thoroughly with soapy water (cover both sides of leaves). If you have access to neem oil, dissolve it with some dish soap in warm water and spray. If no neem oil, use just dish soap and spray several times. Don’t wait, do it right away.

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I guess you need to rinse it well afterwards? No city water up there, just a weak bilge pump in the ditch, It’ll take a while. Lots of ladybugs on it already, I think they can’t keep up.

The trouble with the soap/neem is that it will be lethal to the ladybugs

You will need just one, maybe two gallons of water to completely spray one peach tree. You don’t need to rinse afterwards.

Are you sure about that? I’ve seen ladybugs on plants recently sprayed with neem oil and they seemed alive and well. The infestation on the photo is too bad for ladybugs to clear it on their own. An alternative is to just squash the aphids by hand.

I think that if the nymphs, the soft-bodied immature ladybugs that do most of the aphid-killing, are directly sprayed with neem, it will be toxic to them

And soap much more so, even to the mature beetles

I remember spraying some other planets a couple years ago with a mixture of liquid dish soap and water, and not rinsing afterwards, and the leaves kind of half died Afterwards in the sun.
It’s going to be difficult to do this without getting soapy water inside of the peach bags. Does soapy water damage young peaches?

Your infestation is way beyond the lady bug stage. You need a virtual
strong power washing with just plain water, and you may need to do it
more than once.

My wife has a bottle of Sorbitan monostearate ( if I translated the label correctly) based pesticide she used for aphids on her flowers. It’s supposed to be safe to use on fruits the day before harvest. You’re supposed to hit the bugs directly with it, and it coats them or something. I’m going to unload the whole bottle tonight on the tree and see what happens.

I didn’t notice any difference, so I tried dish soap.
Gave it a shot tonight. Mixed about a 5% + solution of cheap dish soap in a gallon pressurized spray. The aphids didn’t seem to move or care. I’m not sure if they’re stuck on there dead or if this is totally useless?

You might need to get a real insecticide like Malathion or Sevin.

I agree with that, you have to treat it.[quote=“TheNiceGuy, post:9, topic:11227”]
a couple years ago with a mixture of liquid dish soap and water, and not rinsing afterwards, and the leaves kind of half died Afterwards in the sun.

Well yes, they contain moisturizers and scents, use horticultural soap. I myself would never use household products. Some do, but not me. If you don’t make it right even without the additives the soap will kill or hurt the plant if the wrong dilution is used.So what you say is exactly why i don’t use household products.


Are any of these insecticides safe if there’s blow back in your face?

Are your aphids still alive? They don’t turn black for awhile after using soap. Those are green plum aphids, I have killed many thousands of them with nothing but soap. I use horticultural soap.

I now know what trees they first show up in and keep an eye on the uppermost shoots in those trees for a “first bloom” of aphids. Then I just squish by hand since there are only a few. If I get the early blooms the ladybugs eventually show up and take care of them. So far I have not needed to spray them this summer.

I have good success using this formula:

1 liter water
1-2 drops dish soap
2 tablespoon rapeseed oil

That mixture smothers aphids reliably for me. Never used it on green plum aphids though.

I’ll go check now to see if they’re still there. What do you look for to tell if they’re dead?
I left the spray on the tree maybe half an hour before rinsing it off. I couldn’t hang around much longer and had to get going.

I never rinse the soap off. The leaves often look a bit dicey after, but its more due to the aphids that were chewing on them. At least for me anyway.

The aphids if dead will look black. If they are not dead I would spray again and not rinse the soap off.

Thanks Scott. Just got back, most of the tree looks like this, I think it worked. Still some on there, so I’ll see how it goes, and may repeat if necessary.

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