Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

How to Prevent Peach Borers

On a warm January day, Jon, Paul, and I took a walk around the property and discovered a pool of  jelly-like substance around the base of the peach trees.  I did a bit of research and there seems to be a lot of reasons for the sap leakage.  Some say borers are the main culprit whereas others suggest a bacterial or fungal infection.  One peach grower on a forum says this can happen to young trees when sap pressures are high in early spring and there is a weak graft that has not closed completely,  
After clearing away the sap and a little investigating, we did see holes that would indicate borers. These borers feed on the cambium layer of the tree between the bark and sapwood.  They typically attack the tree between 3 inches below ground to 10 inches above ground. 

This is our first time raising peach trees and we garden using only organic methods.  Besides sticking the end of a paperclip into the borer hole to kill the feeding larvae, organic growers suggest using Tanglefoot, a sticky paste made from natural gum resins, vegetable oil, and wax.  You first wrap the first 12 inches of the tree trunk and a few inches below the soil with strips of stretchy material (e.g. t-shirt) and then apply Tanglefoot directly to the t-shirt.  Tanglefoot traps insects because it is so sticky, thereby preventing the moths from laying eggs on the trunks of the tree.  This is more of a preventative approach and a fine example of why you need to do your research and be proactive rather than reactive.  After three years of watering, weeding, and pruning, the trees may be too weak to survive.  Now that the borers have established themselves, it will be nearly impossible to keep them under control because the borers laid their eggs under the bark last summer/fall.


About this blog

A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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