[NAFEX] fruit bagging

Dave Griffin griffingardens at earthlink.net
Tue Sep 20 16:19:14 EDT 2005

Here in Frostbite Falls we thank our lucky stars that it was Rocky who was the bright one - Bullwinkle would be seriously dangerous if he had a big brain. Even as it is, his tendency to walk through rather than around the strongest fence makes him a formidable fruit "pest". This year it has been the Yogis and Boo Boos who have been the big problem even as far south as I am in the St. Cloud area of Central MN. Several friends in the area have had their beehives torn up and orchards taken apart. Imagine the damage done by a 400 # bear climbing into a young tree to get the fruit or, as one friend did, waking up to your seven young 8' tall Honeycrisps broken off, apparnetly so as to check for apples - there weren't any. The only protection is an electric fence with wires set 5" apart. If they don't get zapped directly on the snout they go right on through and I doubt the bags would deter them then.

Zone 4a

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Stephen Sadler 
To: jbarbowski at gmail.com;North American Fruit Explorers
Sent: 9/20/05 1:46:24 PM 
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] fruit bagging

Yes, the squirrels here are uncannily bright.  
I refer you to the 1960s documentary series, “Rocky and Bullwinkle”…
Stephen Sadler, Ph.D.
USDA 9, AHS heat zone 8, 
Sacramento CA - Mediterranean climate

From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of John Barbowski
Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2005 8:43 AM
To: fuwafuwausagi at muchomail.com; North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] fruit bagging
The wildlife in the States must be awfully intelligent. I used to get squirrel damage before bagging. For a two week period, the squirrels would come and sample an apple; one chunk and spit it out - no different than yesterday! With bagging, the deterrent appears overwhelming. I am tempted to try it on my peaches next year, as long as the winter doesn't kill all my flower buds. Bird pecks and wasp damage are also at a minimum - much much less than totally bare. 
As for the zip lock, yes, there is an opening by the stem that I am sure contributes to some contamination. For me, the damage is minimal. I have removed bags that have half of the zip open and part of the apple is bare to the elements - the apple was perfect! It seems that the most critical period for the bags is when the apple is young and developing. The apple is covered and I suspect cannot exude enough of its aromatic 'nectar' to entice the little crawlies.  
When applying the zip lok, I have lost the odd apple because I slightly twisted the apple. But the lock is never so tight that it "bites into the stem". As for the "sail" effect. I would suggest that this enhances the stability of the stem. The fruit stem is made of similar material as woody stems. A stationary stem of an apple tree is definitely not as sturdy as one that waves in the wind. 
Can Zone 6b - just N of Toronto
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