Stella Otto: The Backyard Fruit Gardener

Today's Tip: Mow vegetation short around the base of fruit trees and bushes to reduce winter habitat for rodents.

Category Archives: Pests of tree fruit & berries

What Makes Spotted Wing Drosophila Such a Problem?

Bait traps for spotted wing drosophila are an easy, cheap DIY project.

Spot­ted wing drosophila (SWD) (Drosophila suzukii) made its first appear­ance in orchards and fruit plant­i­ngs in the con­ti­nen­tal United States in 2008. Observed early-on in Cal­i­for­nia, it was  soon also noted as a prob­lem in the Car­oli­nas, Florida, Michi­gan, Utah, Wis­con­sin, and Ver­mont; and con­tin­ues to spread. Most fruit flies that infest soft fruit do so […]

Rose Chafers Retexted

Rose Chafer on raspberries

I thought I’d share last night’s text between my hus­band, also a hor­ti­cul­tur­ist and orchard man­ager, and a close friend of ours Nikki Roth­well, North­west Michi­gan Hor­ti­cul­tural Research Sta­tion coor­di­na­tor and Dis­trict IPM edu­ca­tor: H: Crushed the first rose chafer tonight in our rasp­ber­ries. D: Killed my first ones last night in my Rosa rugosa. D: […]

Imported Currant Worm on the Rampage

Imported Currant Worm

We had hap­pily inspected the heavy crop devel­op­ing on our cur­rant bushes. Barely days later, my morn­ing cup of cof­fee was inter­rupted by an emphatic “If you want to get a pic­ture of this, you bet­ter do it NOW,” from my nor­mally mild-mannered hus­band. Sud­denly those same bushes were fac­ing an army of rav­en­ous Imported […]

Rodents — Pests of the Winter Fruit Garden

Vole - winter nemisis of fruit tree trunks and roots

Worms, wee­vils, rots, and molds are typ­i­cally the first “evils” that come to mind when talk­ing about pest prob­lems in the fruit gar­den. Many gar­den­ers, how­ever, real­ize that wildlife pests can be just as  prob­lem­atic. Voles, mice, rab­bits and deer keep fruit gar­den­ers on their toes dur­ing the win­ter sea­son. You can out­wit them though. […]