Surrounded with Knowledge

Surround on Seckel

Surround on Chestnut Crab

I’m still learning how to best employ surround to stifle PC activity. This time around I put down Monterey Garden Spray, Insecticidal Soap (aphid/scale issues), Immunox, and Nufilm the day before spraying my Surround. The Surround I did in layers. The base included foliar feed which I have concerns about so hopefully that was not a wrong move. After that dried I went back with a heavier Surround only layer. The result…ghost trees and hopefully disgruntled curculio.

My PC pressure is very high so I am all for using the product but deciding how heavily is a grey area. How is everyone else using it? Are you going for ghosts each time or am I running things to heavily? I’d also like to continue foliar feeding due to my nutritionally deficient soil but I’m concerned that adding food to what is in essence mud may give fungal or bacterial issues a stronger foothold than they would get otherwise.

Bonus pc question: Does anyone know if milky spore might affect PC in addition to other grubs?


I have put several rounds of surround on this year and have seen no major diseases. My first spray was mixed at three cups per gallon along with an insecticide and antifungal. Subsequent sprays at two cups per gallon. I’m particularly pleased that there is practically no scab damage other than two trees. Despite their sprays Newtown Pippin and Virginia Gold have a pretty good case of scab. The other trees are thankfully clear.

A few significant rains along with at least four six-hour overhead freeze mistings have left the majority of surround intact. A few PC bites are visible but nothing like in the past. I was vigilant in getting those sprays on as soon as the majority of blooms had dropped, a first for me. This was a challenging task due to prolonged rains and strong winds for weeks at a time. I was lucky that my good friend @PomGranny shared her surround or I might have been tempted to skimp on my use.

I know @scottfsmith is a big fan of surround use and I’m one too. The only downside i see is that it’s difficult to see pc bites when thinning fruit. I might not be as lucky on that as I think I am.

Clever name for the topic. :grinning:

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Your coat is very thick, I only go like that on a tree I know they are targeting heavily. My spring satin plum for example they just loved to death so I hit it like that.

This year it seems my apricots are by far their favorites up to now… lots of damage there. The plums are pretty much untouched so far. Most apples have minimal damage but a few they really gave the love to. Swayzie got it the worst and it always does, not sure why but the curculio seems to prefer perfectly round fruit when they are smaller. Fortunately it vastly oversets so I should still have a good crop. I have not thinned yet, let the curculio put multiple bites in the already bitten fruits… thinning early with high curculio pressure is not a good idea.

Milky spore won’t help with PC I don’t think. There are some nematodes that are supposed to help but I spent a bunch of money on them and didn’t notice much difference. Make sure to get all the thinned and dropped fruit out of the orchard, that will reduce the numbers next year.


Sorry to hear about the Newtown scab issue. That is one of the varieties that I was…probably still will try to graft in down the line. I have reservations given that what I read about it says that it isn’t the most robust variety where disease resistance is concerned.

The curcs really seem to like my Chestnut Crab over Granny Smith or Honey Crisp. Since I have yet to get one beyond mid summer I went heavy on the surround second layer.
There are already a few bites but I have had luck with laying the surround on them heavily in the past. Unfortunately after making it through the curc part of the endeavor I lost that crop to quince rust. That may hit me again since I was late to the game on my antifungal spray but I’m going to press forward until proven otherwise.

Thankfully since I only have a few (currently three) trees with viable fruit on them I don’t go through to much. I think this makes three years using the same bag but this will likely be the last. I’m still thrilled with the product so I’ll be picking up another for the future. Plus it prompts the question “Why did you paint your trees?” which is always fun.

@scottfsmith They certainly do prefer some over others. My Arctic Glo Nectarine is a favorite at my place. It doesn’t help that the fruit texture doesn’t hold onto the clay as well as the apple fruitlets. Same could be said for the Seckel. The clay slides off of the waxier texture but I’m confident with what I did get to stick. I may need to be a bit more diligent about reapplying on them to maintain that protection though.

Its a shame that they have a taste for Swayzie. You’ve spoken fairly highly of that one. Hopefully you are correct about what you will end up with. I am pretty good about picking up any drops. They all go to the chickens after a bit of a wash. I’d like to think that I’m cutting their numbers as I do but the PC Shangri-La is right next door with a bunch of ornamental crabs and Bradford pears within easy flight distance. I’ll be putting up a bat colony house in hopes of bringing in some free labor to bring their numbers low in addition to other flying pests.

I’ve seen the nematodes advertised but didn’t want to incur the cost. I’ll be putting down milky spore to combat June bugs anyhow so I had hopes that it may have some off label effect. I pull up a good number of grubs whenever I dig a decent hole so the action seems warranted. Bats are still probably my best option for biological control. If not, my daughter enjoys collecting the beetles with me anyhow.

Do either of you foliar feed with the surround on your trees?