[NAFEX] Re: Ants on Apples

Deirdre Birmingham deirdreb at mindspring.com
Mon Apr 25 08:20:28 EDT 2005

please note that some apples are bitter because of their tannin levels,
which is hopefully what you meant to say rather than toxins. 

southern WI

> [Original Message]
> From: <list at ginda.us>
> To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Date: 4/22/2005 4:34:45 PM
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Re: Ants on Apples
> That's certainly a possibility.  I notice that last year I had troubles 
> with tiny caterpillars a little later in the season on the same 
> branches.  On the other hand, it seems plausible that ants would 
> selectively attack the flowering buds of the domestic apple parts.  I'm 
> sure the domestic apple tastes better than the crab - my local deer 
> show a clear and strong preference.  :)  I assume that either the 
> domestic apple is sweeter (more carbohydrate) or less bitter (fewer 
> toxins), which might lead the ants to prefer it, too.  And the 
> squirrels and rabbits have taught me that fruiting buds taste better 
> than vegetative buds (at least to mammals.)
> If it is a disease, does anyone have any ideas what it might be, or how 
> to combat it?  Whatever the problem is, it affects five different 
> cultivars of domestic apple on this tree.  (Ashmead's Kernal, Karmijn, 
> Cox's Orange Pippin, Ribston, and Tydeman's late orange, from two 
> different sources)
> Ginda
> On Apr 22, 2005, at 1:40 PM, Doc Lisenby wrote:
> > Ginda, it could be that the ants are merely opportunists.  As you 
> > probably know, from you medical background, some human disease 
> > organisms only feast on damaged tissue.  I removed two old failed 
> > grafts this morning  which were still covered with grafting tape and 
> > both of them had ants under the tape.  These ants were of two types, 
> > one type was brown and the other was black.  Of course some ants 
> > select mainly protein foods and others select carbohydrates.  Fire 
> > ants are not attracted to carbohydrates but prefer proteins.  These 
> > may be a seasonal preferences.  I don't know.  Maybe our entomologist 
> > member has a better explanation.
> > Doc
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