The Q&A Archives: Pests are eating my apple trees.

Question: Hello, I have young apple trees in my backyard. When I bought them they had leaves and even apples but we have noticed that the leaves have disappeared and we have no apples this year. We have seen some pests ( I think they are some sort of catepillar and moths) Can you reccomend a pesticide (preferably environmentaly friendly) to help us.

Answer: There's no point in treating your tree now - the leaves are gone and it isn't likely the trees will have enough time to replace the lost leaves. However, if you find caterpillars munching on the leaves next year, you can use the botanical Bt (bacillus thuringensis), sold as Dipel. It acts as a stomach poison and is effective against caterpillars but does not harm beneficial insects. Be sure to check your tree on a daily basis so you can stop the pests in their tracks the minute they begin to attack your trees. It might also help to use a dormant oil spray on your tree this winter. Horticultural oils can suffocate any insect eggs hiding on the trunk and branches.

Best wishes with your apple tree.

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