[NAFEX] Takin' Off the Footies (TM)
chandos49 at hotmail.com
Sat Aug 28 16:46:47 EDT 2010
Hi Ted and NAFEXers:
I just removed the Kaolin-dosed Footies from my apples (28 Aug.) and wish to report:
This was my first season looking for fruit on Ashmead's Kernel, Liberty and Queen Cox. The Ashmead began bloom two days before Liberty, and they both arrived at 90% petal drop the same day. I thinned and applied Footies to all three trees at once, 16 days after AK and Lib. bloom and 12 days after the QC bloom, which was May 28. Two spurs were not ready for wrapping on the QC until a few days later.
By the street and about 20 feet from the Liberty stands a crabapple with thousands of tiny yellow fruit, which blooms roughly the same span as the QC. The crab has never been tended except for some pruning since I moved here, some 20 years after the crab had been planted. This, I think, accounts for the much heavier infestation of Codling larvae and subsequent drop from the Liberty, about 1/3 the total. Nearly every fruit that has dropped from that tree, beginning in June, had a worm gnawing its guts. I will strip the crabapple (no small task!) and clean under it obsessively, soon.
Removing the Footies took more care than I had anticipated. Two fruits came away from the tree due to poor form on my part. I've learned to push against the apex of the apple as I gently clawed the Footie back off. On each tree I found one apple that no longer had a codling caterpillar in it or was emerging from the apple (this last on the QC).
Two of the Liberty fruits show early damage from birds attempting a sample (dreaded Starlings). Most of the apples on Liberty and QC show a fair amount of color, despite being covered. The Ashmeads are obviously a long way from ripe, and exhibit minimal russeting.
It appears I must clean up the crab carefully (can't cut it down, city ordinances claim any tree growing curbside belongs to the city and a hefty fine may ensue) to lessen invasion from that quarter. Also, applying the covers within a week of end of bloom on each tree seems warranted.
Overall, dressing up the little fruits proved worthwhile. I cherish the hope for even better results next year.
Dave Liezen (rhymes w/season) Spokane z6
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