Spring is in full force here with bright green leaves and blooming flowers. That also means insects have started snacking on those fresh, green leaves. My little orchard with three plum trees, three peaches, three pears and five apples has sprouted back to life. Well, except for one apple tree that refuses to leaf out. It does not feel brittle and dead, so I'm hoping he's just a late bloomer. I planted all the fruit trees last year, except for three of the apples. Most of the orchard has arrived at its second growing season, so I'm not expecting an abundant crop. The three oldest apple trees are starting their fourth growing season, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that maybe we will harvest our first apple this year. These three apple trees have begun to flower.
|Black Twig Apple Tree Flower Buds|
As the flowers bud and emerge, so do the insects that love to snack on the apple leaves and blossoms. Little green caterpillars that I always called inch worms do much of the damage. They are also called cankerworms here. I sprayed the fruit trees with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), a bacteria that kills caterpillars. I need to try banding my fruit trees in the fall with a sticky barrier that prevents the female moths from laying eggs in the trees. Hopefully these caterpillars won't do enough damage to prevent me from getting a few apples this year.
|Black Twig Apple Tree Blossoms|
The caterpillars also eat the plum tree leaves, which have leafed out. They did not produce any flowers this year.
|A tiny Julyprince peach|
|Front Flower Bed|
|Cherokee Brave Dogwood|
|Beneficial Bug Flower Bed|
|Overwintering carrots and spring radishes|