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What attacked my peach tree?

What attacked my peach tree?



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Help me please! I have to get rid of these!


These are definitely some sort of aphid (small sap-sucking true bugs in the superfamily Aphidoidea).

Based on the coloration and shape of the pest and the host plant, my best guess is that you're looking at Hyalopterus pruni (or the Mealy Plum Aphid).

  • Note: the scientific name of this species has changed at least 21 times!

Photo by Jack Kelly Clark

  • Looks like this person also found this species of aphids on a black cherry tree if you want to see more picture.

Description:

Wingless adult aphids are pale green with three dark green longitudinal stripes on their backs. Their bodies are covered with a white, mealy wax. [source].

Host Plants:

Typically trees in the Prunus genus: cherries, plums, almonds, apricots, nectarines, and -- you guessed it -- peaches. [source].

Damage:

Plant can become stunted from high numbers of aphids, but the primary concern is the development of mold that grows on the aphid's honeydew. [source].

Management:

See this University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources site for management suggestions.

Suggestions:

  • Biological: lady beetles, lacewings, or soldier flies

  • Organic: biological control + sprays of neem oil

  • Pesticides (typically not needed): Phosmet, Diazinon, and others in the fall; neem oil, flonicamid and others in the spring.

Final Notes:

Just because an aphid shares a name with an individual plant (e.g., the green peach aphid mentioned in the comments) doesn't mean that the species is limited to just that plant or that any aphid found on said host is that species. Many aphids feed on a wide range of host plants, so limiting your host to an individual species doesn't necessarily rule out a wide range of pests. However, it is not uncommon for an aphid species to stick to a single genus, narrow set of genera, or narrow set of families of host plants.


Lesser Peachtree Borer

The lesser peachtree borer, similar to the peachtree borer, is a native North American pest that causes serious damage to peach, cherry, plum, nectarine, and apricot trees. Borers underneath the bark can be some of the more difficult insect problems to manage in stone fruits. While the peachtree borer and lesser peachtree borer are similar in biology and management, there are some significant differences. The peachtree borer primarily attacks young non-bearing or unmanaged trees at or below the soil line. The lesser peachtree borer attacks older trees and does not confine its activity to the lower trunk but can be found in the scaffold limbs, branches, and the trunk above ground.

Larvae of the lesser peachtree borer are usually found under the bark of wounds. Infestation by the lesser peachtree borer is often identified by oozing of gum on the outer bark where the borer started its attack. The gum is usually mixed with reddish-brown frass. Bark eventually peels off of damaged areas, predisposing the tree to attack by other pests and diseases. Frequently empty brown pupal cases can be found partially exposed at the head of the larval gallery. Branches can be girdled by these borers and die.

Adult male and female lesser peachtree borers are similar in appearance and look more like wasps than moths. Unlike most moths, these fly during the day and are most active from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lesser peachtree borer moths are slender, dark blue with some pale yellow markings, and both pairs of wings are clear, except for the edges and veins that have blue black scales. The antennae of the male are finely tufted. Lesser peachtree borers resemble the male peachtree borer. The second and fourth abdominal segments of the lesser peachtree borer have narrow yellow bands, while the male peachtree borer has 3 to 4 narrow yellow bands on the abdomen.

Larvae of the lesser peachtree borer are similar to other clear-wing borer larvae. They are about 1 inch long when mature. The head is light brown and the body is creamy white, but may be pinkish in some individuals.

Biology

Lesser peachtree borer overwinters as larvae underneath the bark. Larvae of all stages except the first may be found during the winter. The larvae feed for a period in the spring before burrowing just below the surface of the bark to pupate. Borers remain in the pupal stage from 18 to 30 days before emerging as adults. Female moths deposit eggs in small clusters in cracks and crevices near wounds between ground level and eight feet high. Females lay an average of 400 small oval, reddish brown eggs. Larvae begin to hatch in 8 to 10 days and burrow into the bark, often entering through cracks caused by other factors such as winter injury, pruning scars or machinery wounds. Moths emerge from early May until late September in Kentucky, USA. There are two generations per year with adult emergence in May and June, then again in August and September.

Prevention is the Key to Control

Control of lesser peach tree borers in commercial orchards relies on preventing larval establishment underneath the bark. Once under the bark, chemical control is usually ineffective. Insecticides should be timed just before or to coincide with egg hatch. To aid in the timing of sprays, pheromone traps are used to alert producers to the presence and activity of moths. Because egg hatch begins about 8 to 10 days after moth emergence, insecticidal sprays should be applied 7 to 14 days after the first moths are captured in the traps. With trees that show little or no lesser peachtree borer activity, a single insecticide application can be used to coincide with the peak of the second generation flight (usually early September). Trees that have had problems with lesser peachtree borer may require two applications, one 10 days after initial moth flight (mid May) and the other at peak of the second generation flight (early September).

In commercial orchards, insecticides applied with an air-blast sprayer will do little for lesser peachtree borer control. Directed sprays should be applied uniformly to drench the trunk and scaffold limbs to about eight feet above ground. Thorough coverage of the trunk and limbs is necessary.

Monitoring

To determine the most effective time to apply an insecticide, pheromone traps should be used to monitor moth activity. These lures are synthetic copies of the chemicals female moths use to attract their mates.

A trap consists of plastic top and bottom held together by a wire hanger with the lure placed inside.

Figure 1. Lesser peachtree borer stuck on pheromone trap.

The inner surface of the bottom is coated with a sticky material to hold the insects once they land in the trap. Traps are hung in the tree 4 to 5 feet off the ground, usually one for each ten acres of trees (minimum of two traps per orchard) in commercial orchards.

It is important to note when moth flight begins and when emergence reaches its peak. Moth activity can occur anytime between mid May and late September. In order to detect the first activity, traps should be hung in the trees well in advance of the anticipated flight. Trapping should begin in late April. Trap lures need to be replaced once a month. Trap bottoms should be replaced when the sticky surface becomes clogged with other debris.

Proper identification of the moths captured in the trap is essential. There are other moths which may wander into the trap, even other clear wing moths. Captured moths should be examined carefully to be sure that they are the correct species.

Worming Trees

Before the development of chemicals for controlling lesser peachtree borer, producers relied on digging the borers out of the bark by hand. This is still an alternative for backyard gardeners. In the spring, about the time of bud break, insert a knife or wire into the galleries to locate and remove or smash the larvae. Care should be taken not to cut the sound bark more than necessary, and cutting should be done vertically. Carelessness may result in more damage to the tree than the damage that would have been caused by the borers!

CAUTION! Pesticide recommendations in this publication are registered for use in Kentucky, USA ONLY! The use of some products may not be legal in your state or country. Please check with your local county agent or regulatory official before using any pesticide mentioned in this publication.

Of course, ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS FOR SAFE USE OF ANY PESTICIDE!


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Growing Small Farms is the program of Debbie Roos, Agriculture Agent for the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

From Bear Creek to Bynum, Silk Hope to Moncure, the Chatham County landscape is dotted with small farms. Farmers throughout the county are known for growing a great diversity of agricultural products, including vegetables, fruits, cut flowers, herbs, poultry, beef, pork, dairy products, and other goods. As one of the few counties in the state to actually experience an increase in the number of farms in the past decade, Chatham is also “growing small farms.”

Many of Chatham’s newer farms are owned by first-generation farmers attracted to the challenges and rewards of making a living from the land. Chatham has a large concentration of farms practicing organic and sustainable agriculture that strive to be environmentally responsible, economically viable, and socially just. In a time when the trend in conventional agriculture is towards fewer and larger farms and many of North Carolina’s “conventional” farmers are struggling, the sustainable and diverse agriculture practiced by Chatham’s small farms provides the best hope for keeping agriculture a viable part of the community.

Chatham’s proximity to upscale Triangle-area markets ensures a steady demand for the organic and sustainably-grown crops produced by area farmers. Four farmers’ markets in the county provide residents with ample opportunities to shop and interact with local growers throughout the long growing season. Many area farms offer opportunities for on-farm visits where visitors get the chance to make the connection between food and agriculture.

Small farms also provide many indirect benefits. They help maintain open space valued by people and wildlife. Visitors flock to Chatham for the beauty of its rural landscape. The challenge is to preserve this rural landscape in the face of development pressures from Raleigh and Chapel Hill. One way to preserve the rural landscape is to help keep farms in the county.

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension has long recognized the value and importance of the sustainable agriculture practiced by small farms in the area. In 1994, the Chatham County Center created a new county agent position to support the unique needs of these small farmers. Today, this position is fully funded by the Chatham County government, which recognizes the value of sustainable agriculture to the county. Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos works with farmers to promote increased awareness, understanding, and practice of sustainable agriculture through monthly educational workshops, a website, on-farm visits, and other consultation.

Roos developed the Growing Small Farms website in 2002 after a survey revealed that approximately 95% of local farmers regularly used the Internet. The site has since grown to over 500 pages and receives over 25,000 visitors each month. Growing Small Farms is also on Twitter and Facebook.

Farms don’t exist without consumers, so please take the time to get to know the farmers in your community and support their efforts to keep Chatham County green! Visit our farmers’ markets to purchase the freshest vegetables, fruits, meats, baked goods, and other products, all grown or made locally by the person selling it to you. The Buy Local Guide lists community supported agriculture farms, on-farm stands, pick-your-own farms, wineries, and more. Check out the local farm profiles and farm photos on this website for a glimpse of the diversity that allows Chatham’s farms to prosper.


Peach (Prunus persica)-Leaf Curl

Sometimes western Oregon can have weather for peach leaf curl well after bud break. Sometimes called late curl or secondary curl. Note that the oldest and newest leaves do not have curl symptoms. Damage is not considered as severe as curl that occurs at bud break.

Tree treated for peach leaf curl on the right, non-treated on the left.

Without fungicide protection, susceptible trees defoliate in the spring and may die after the next winter.

Note the reddish swellings or galls on these peach leaves.

OSU Extension Plant Pathology Slide Collection, 1976.

Cause Taphrina deformans , a fungus. Spores of this fungus overwinter on bark, twigs, and old infected leaves. Infection occurs through bud scales in mid- to late winter just as buds begin to swell. Slow growing shoots and leaves can be infected during cool and wet growing seasons. Maximum susceptibility is between bud break and petal fall. In wet seasons, the fungus continues to cause slight summer infection, particularly west of the Cascade Range. East of the Cascade Range, after the initial spring infection and the shedding of diseased leaves, no further evidence of the disease is visible. Photosynthetic function of infected leaves is reduced, the leaf imports sugars, and the contents of non-structural carbohydrates and enzymes involved in their metabolism are similar to sink leaves. Defoliation from severe infections weakens trees to the point that, if not controlled, they may die in 2 to 3 years.

Wetness from rain (or other factors) for over 12.5 hours is needed for leaf infection but only when the temperature is below 61°F during the wet period. Maximum infection occurs when trees are wet for 2 days or more, a frequent occurrence west of the Cascade Range. Although infected, symptoms may not appear if temperatures rise and remain above 69°F. Fruit are susceptible after petal fall until air temperature remains above 61°F. Rainfall of 0.5 inch and wetness of 24 hours is needed for fruit infection.

Symptoms The first visibly infected leaves are yellow to reddish and somewhat thickened and crisp in texture. As leaves expand they become deformed, puckered, and thicker than normal. The puckered areas are brightly colored with reds and/or purples and may continue to develop a dusty white coating of spores. Infected twigs occasionally are distorted, and a few fruit may show a reddish growth on the surface. Some infected leaves drop others remain throughout the growing season, gradually becoming dark brown and heavily coated with spores. Ultimately, many infected leaves are shed. Trees die in 2 to 3 years from repeated defoliation.

Cultural control Resistant cultivars offer the best option for backyard growers and can be useful for commercial growers. Cultivars available today are selections from formal and informal breeding programs, chance discoveries by various growers, or propagated from trees planted by pioneers which have survived for decades. Many of these will do better if sprayed with fungicide the first year or two after planting. Trees may still die due to other problems such as shothole and/or bacterial canker. A report from North Carolina in 1981 found Redhaven and trees derived from Redhaven as tolerant but these trees are very susceptible in the PNW. The following peach or nectarine cultivars are offered by a variety of west coast nurseries as curl resistant: Autumn Rose, August Etter, Avalon, Avalon Pride, Charlotte, Early Charlotte, Early Crawford, Frost, Indian Free, Kreibich, Muir, Nanaimo, Oregon Curl Free, and Q-1-8.

Chemical control Two fungicide applications are recommended for western Oregon: at 50% leaf fall (late October), and again at delayed dormant (usually in late February, before floral buds open). A third application may be needed during the dormant season for shothole control depending on materials selected. In Washington, apply three (3) times 3 weeks apart starting in early January. East of the Cascade Range and in low rainfall areas, a delayed dormant application alone should be effective.

  • Bordeaux mixture 12-12-100. Group M1 fungicide. O
  • Bravo Weather Stik at 3 to 4.1 pints/A. Group M5 fungicide. 12-hr reentry.
  • Copper-based fungicides. Fair to good control rating. Wettable powder formulations have worked better than liquid formulations. Group M1 fungicide. O
    • Champ WG at 8 to 16 lb/A. 48-hr reentry.
    • C-O-C-S WDG at 12 to 15.6 lb/A. 48-hr reentry.
    • Copper-Count-N at 8 to 12 quarts/A. 48-hr reentry.
    • Cuprofix Ultra 40 Disperss at 5 to 10 lb/A. 48-hr reentry.
    • Kocide 3000 at 3.5 to 7 lb/A. Use the highest rate in western regions. 48-hr reentry.
    • Monterey Liqui-Cop at 3 to 4 Tbsp/gal water. Ineffective in western Oregon. H
    • Nordox 75 WG at 5 to 13 lb/A. 12-hr reentry.
    • Nu-Cop 50 DF at 8 to 16 lb/A with 1 pint superior-type oil/100 gal water. 48-hr reentry.
    • Previsto at 2 to 4 quarts/A. M1 fungicide. 48-hr reentry. O

    References Moscatello, S., Proietti, S., Buonaurio, R., Famiani, F., Raggi, V., Walker, R.P., and Battistelli, A. 2017. Peach leaf curl disease shifts sugar metabolism in severely infected leaves from source to sink. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 112:9-18.

    Rossi, V., Bolognesi, M., and Giosuè, S. 2007. Influence of weather conditions on infection of peach fruit by Taphrina deformans. Phytopathology 97:1625-1633.


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    When to Prune Peach Trees

    Unlike many other fruiting plants, peach trees should not be pruned while they are dormant. Pruning them when the weather is still cold makes them susceptible to dieback and causes them to be less cold-hardy overall.  

    Ideally, you should prune peach trees annually just as the buds swell enough for you to start to see pink. It's better to prune a little late than early. However, you can remove shoots developing in the center of the tree at any time. They will block sun and air from getting to the fruits. Plus, taking them out during the summer usually means less to remove the next spring.


    Bark Beetle Facts: Bark Beetle Identification, Damage and Treatment

    Because the temperatures are historically higher, bark beetles are surviving winters. Plus, the heat coupled with the lack of rain have severely stressed trees.

    In short, more beetles are surviving and going after stressed trees!

    What trees do bark beetles attack?

    Because there are SO many different types of bark beetles, it seems there’s a bark beetle out there for nearly every tree type.

    But, primarily, bark beetles attack cedar, fir, pine and spruce trees. There are some beetles out there that go after arborvitae, cypress, elm, fruit, larch and redwood trees.

    What do bark beetles eat?

    Once bark beetles have tunneled under the tree’s bark, they begin chewing on the growing part of the trunk, called the cambium layer. It’s this layer that produces new cells that allow the trunk, branches and roots to increase in diameter each year.

    What kind of damage do bark beetles do?

    Because bark beetles generally go after weak trees, the trees don’t have much energy to fight off an infestation. Once there, bark beetles cut of the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients.

    As a result, the trees’ needles or leaves will slowly change color. You may also see small holes, sawdust or brick-colored tubes on the trees’ trunk or branches.

    Are bark beetles worse in California in 2018? What about in 2017 or 2016?

    Bark beetles have affected more forests and trees along the West Coast. Specifically, California, Colorado and even Wyoming have been hit the hardest.

    Since 2010, an estimated 129 million trees have died just in California’s national forests because of the drought or bark beetles. That means 30 trees have been dying, on average, every minute!

    To break that down further, in 2017, 27 million trees died. That was down from 62 million trees in 2016. Click here to see how many trees bark beetles are estimated to kill in California in 2018.

    Bark beetles are not stopping there. The insects have traveled east and are causing troubles in the Northeast and Southeast now, too.

    Can you help me with the identification of the bark beetle I have?

    Each type of bark beetle typically only goes after a few tree species. So, the easiest way to see what kind of bark beetle is attacking your tree is to figure out what type of tree you have.

    How can I get rid of bark beetles? Is there treatment for bark beetles?

    Start by keeping your tree healthy. That means watering when it’s dry, properly fertilizing, and booking regular tree inspections.

    Then, if warranted, you may want to treat for bark beetles proactively to prevent beetle attacks.

    “We apply bark beetle treatments annually. You have to decide if you want to fight these pests over and over again. Or if you want to get rid of the tree and start over,” says District manager of Davey’s East Bay, California office.

    “In regular conditions, healthy trees can withstand some beetle damage. But because of the drought, they just can’t fight it off. If you start seeing the tree brown, it’s most likely a goner,” manager adds.

    As mentioned above, once you spot symptoms of bark beetles, it’s usually too late to save the tree.
    By that point, you likely need to remove your tree to avoid it falling on its own and doing damage. Or if you’re lucky, you may be able to remove the dead branches and improve your tree’s health.


    Gummosis

    Aptly named, gummosis causes oozing, gummy sores or balls to form on the bark of the trees. You might also notice small blisters on the bark or sunken cankers. Over time, the disease, which is caused by the fungus, Botryosphaeria dothidea, weakens the tree and may eventually kill it. The problem is most prevalent on young, drought-stressed trees. There are no chemical controls for this disease. Keep the trees healthy and prune out any infected areas. Sterilize your pruning tools between cuts by dipping them in a solution of one part chlorine bleach to 10 parts water.


    When will the cicadas go away?

    First thing’s first, let’s talk about how long cicadas will be around for. There are two types of cicadas: annual cicadas (also called dog day cicadas) and periodical cicadas (also known as 13 or 17-year cicadas).

    Periodical cicadas live underground for either 13 or 17 years and emerge in either May or June. Then, they’re around for 4 to 6 weeks before burrowing underground again.

    Annual cicadas come out later in the year (July and August) and stick around for about 2 to 4 weeks.

    What trees do cicadas eat? Fruit trees? Oak trees?

    Cicadas actually don’t eat tree leaves or branches. Instead, they create slits in tree branches to lay their eggs. Those splits weaken the tree over time, and later, you could see those branches breaking, withering or dying.

    Once the cicada eggs hatch, the critters attach themselves to the roots of the tree. Where literally hundreds or thousands of cicadas feed on tree and grass roots for either 2 or 3 years–or up to 17.

    Cicadas prefer to lay eggs on branches that are 0.25” to 0.5” round. So, that means they prefer:

    • Oak trees
    • Maple trees
    • Fruit trees (especially cherry and pear)
    • Hawthorn trees
    • Redbud trees
    • Young trees since these branches are the perfect diameter

    How can I keep cicadas off trees?

    Cicadas favor young trees, so if you've recently planted a new tree or have one of the trees mentioned above, you can protect it from cicada damage by wrapping susceptible branches with mesh netting.

    Cicadas have already damaged my trees. Anything I can do?

    Generally, mature trees can sustain the minor damage from cicadas. But, young trees can be hit harder.

    If you first saw a lot of cicadas, followed by slits in your tree’s branches, act fast–especially if your tree is younger. You’ll want to prune those branches off within 6 to 10 weeks. That way, you’ll remove the eggs before they hatch and move underground to feed on the tree’s roots.