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Motor City Homestead » Blog Archive » Trouble in the orchard

Trouble in the orchard

Our peach tree showed great promise this year - by late spring there were two-dozen tiny peaches forming.  Considering that the “tree” is little more than a 6 foot twig sticking up out of the ground, we were pretty excited.  Enter this bugger.

Apple Maggot Fruit Fly

Amy and I both saw him (or something very similar) on the tree last week, along with lots of damage to the marble sized peaches.  They all had oozing puncture wounds.  I was hoping they would just recover - but now most of them are turning brown and mushy.  There seems to be a couple that may survive, but our dreams of peaches in 2008 are rapidly fading.  If anyone knows what we can do (this year, or in the future) advice would be greatly appreciated.

 I’m not a huge fan of pesticides, and I wouldn’t really know when to spray either.  This article makes it sound like timing is important.  So organic options are even better.  Still, I’m imagining that the reality of growing fruit in Michigan includes some sort of chemical intervention.  Let me know if you have any ideas.

 FOLLOW UP:  Upon further research, the apple maggot fruit fly does not seem a likely candidate for our infestation.  They don’t usually show up until July.  And even with the unseasonably warm week or two we’ve had, it doesn’t seem probable.  So - two part question.  Does anybody know what is eating our peaches (oozing puncture wound, followed by brown and mushy flesh at the site of the puncture) and what can I do about them? 

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