[NAFEX] Lee's scarred fruit comment

Lee Reich garden at leereich.com
Thu Jun 5 11:31:01 EDT 2008

It evidently depends on the amount of the damage. Quoting from one of  
Cornell's publications:

The plum curculio (PC) is a serious pest of plums, prunes, cherries  
and apple in New York. It also
attacks apricot, nectarine, pear and quince as well as wild plum,  
hawthorn and native crabapples.  This insect is
most abundant in orchards adjoining hedgerows and woodlands that  
offer shelter or overwintering adults. Both
feeding and egg laying scars result in russeted areas on the surface  
of the fruits. The crescent-shaped scar from
oviposition is useful in diagnosing damage from this pest. Severely  
injured fruits become misshapen. Infested
fruits often drop early and with smaller fruits, such as cherry, the  
entire fruit may be ingested by the larva.

In my experience, severely damaged fruits usually drop when quite  
small so the only damaged fruit that I see have only one or two  
scars. The most important point is: plum curculio is bad, and must be  
controlled if you want to eat apples.

Lee Reich, PhD

Books by Lee Reich:
The Pruning Book
Weedless Gardening
Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden
A Northeast Gardener's Year

On Jun 5, 2008, at 10:15 AM, Alan Haigh wrote:

> Lee wrote, "Actually, scarred apples that stay on the tree are  
> pretty much fine for eating. The scar is only a surface blemish. I  
> don't think the scar should really affect storage either."
> If only that were actually true- there might be a thriving organic  
> apple industry out east and my business would be so much easier.   
> Lee, where you are you may actually harvest a lot of usable,  
> slightly scarred apples but that is not the norm in my experience.   
> I remember sharing  that comment with Jim Cummins when you made it  
> to me in the same conversation I mentioned earlier- he was  
> baffled.  We are both used to seeing deformed and useless fruit as  
> a result of PC.
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