[NAFEX] covering cherries, fruit bags questions

Karen Tillou arboretum at homeorchardsociety.org
Thu May 8 14:47:25 EDT 2008

i have found white paper sandwich bags do the same work as ziplocks,  
no clipping corners, no interior condensation; a good barrier against  
scab, codling moth and apple maggot.  you just need a stapler to close  
the open end of the bag around the stem of the apple.  footies don't  
do much against scab.
if you don't remove the bag 2 weeks prior to harvest, the fruit won't  
color up, but you still get a good, storable, sweet apple.  my bagged  
melroses lasted until late march in unheated/uninsulated shed storage.

oregon city, OR - zone 8a and wet

On May 7, 2008, at 1:29 PM, Mark Dorogi wrote:

> Maybe I should try those Maggot Barriers this year.  They cost 6  
> times as much as ziplock bags, but still they are only about $.07  
> per footie.  The advantage of the footies would be that they  
> “breathe” but I wonder if fungal infections like scab can find their  
> way through the nylon and still get to the apples.  Scab is heavy  
> around here, although I try to keep the trees sprayed well until  
> bagging time.
> I had the same issue with bird netting a few years back.  Some  
> branches got bent, particularly on the Montmorency sour cherry,  
> which seems to have weak branches.  You are right, a PVC support  
> structure should be relatively cheap and effective.
> If you securely tie the netting right to the trunk, will that keep  
> raccoons out?  Or do they just rip it apart and proceed with their  
> feasting?  Apart from eating the fruit, they wreck the trees by  
> climbing out to the end of branches and breaking them.  They just  
> about destroyed that sour cherry one year.  I didn’t realize why the  
> tree was falling apart I caught a raccoon in the act.
> Mark
> From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org 
> ] On Behalf Of Judi Stewart
> Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 2:37 PM
> To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] covering cherries, fruit bags questions
> I’m loaded with cherry blossoms this year. Been taking a tube of  
> orchard mason bees from the refrigerator every day now for the past  
> three weeks. Plenty of wild pollinators are working the blossoms  
> with the mason bees, but few bumble or honey bees are out. Has  
> anyone used the product “bee scent” or purchased bags of pollen?
> We bought bird netting for the cherries in a 30’ wide roll and cut  
> lengths to fit each tree.  Nice stretchy material - has ¾” holes.  
> Two of us worked together to cover each tree.  We wrapped two ends  
> of the netting to 10’ long PVC pipes, stood far apart from each  
> other, raised the pipes up and walked the netting over the trees.   
> Then we tied the netting around the tree trunk.  This worked great  
> to save the crop from the birds, though one bird did get caught.
> To remove the netting, we simply tied the netting to the poles again  
> and raised it over and off the trees.  The problem I had was that  
> the netting resting directly on the tree, bent some of the limbs,  
> especially those up high. This disfigured the limb placement.  I  
> imagine row cover, especially when wet, might have the same effect.
> This year we’re planning on putting together PVC frames for the  
> netting in order to hold it off the tree. If we get carried away,  
> we’ll paint the PVC green, which should also make it last longer.  
> Instead of tying netting around the trunk, it’ll drape on the  
> ground. A few 2 x 4’s around the perimeter will hold it down, also  
> making it easier to get under the netting to pick the fruit.  Long- 
> time fruit club member Buddy Brock gets credit for this one.
> I bought the netting from American Nettings. Ask them about the  
> other sizes they carry.  Here’s their site:
> http://americannettings.com/packaged_products/bird_netting/bird_netting.htm
> As for bagging, we’re using our club’s Maggot Barriers on apples and  
> pears. Doesn’t look like we’ll have many peaches to bag here because  
> of the frosts.
> Judi Stewart
> zone 8
> North Olympic Peninsula
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