The Q&A Archives: When to spray apple tree for insects?

Question: I have two apple trees in my yard. One is mature, moderate sized and healthy after an early spring pruning. The other is a dwarf ornamental, planted in late April and doing nicely. I assume I should be doing some kind of spraying for insects, but have never had these types of trees. The larger trees produced a nice crop of nice but somewhat wormy apples (I had just moved in.) When should I spray and what type of product should I use? Can I use the same product on both trees?

Thank you, J. Linderman

Answer: Apples can become affected by apple maggots, which tunnel throughout the flesh of the apple. These worms are the larvae of a sawfly, which is pretty hard to hit with an insecticide because they are so mobile. A good way of dealing with these pests is to hang sticky traps in your trees. You can put your trees on a spray program, but there's no guarantee you'll stop the damage because the applications need very specific timing; insects are active when temperatures suit them. For a complete spray schedule, contact your local Cooperative Extension office. Their publications will recommend products licensed for you local area. Best wishes with your apple trees!

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