POP TIPS: Black Knot on Cherry and Plum Trees

Black Knot identification, symptoms, and life cycle Sometimes, in the springtime, cherry and plum trees may develop subtle, velvety olive-green swellings on their branches or twigs. If left unattended, these swellings turn into large, brittle, unsightly black galls that can kill the whole limb or even stunt the growth of the entire tree. These galls … Continue reading POP TIPS: Black Knot on Cherry and Plum Trees

Aphids and Fruit Trees

Aphids are a common pest an a wide variety of fruit trees, shrubs, vines, vegetables, and more! Leaves curled end to end are the most common sign of aphid damage.  Ants in your tree are another sure sign of aphid infestation, as their only interest in climbing trees is to harvest honeydew (sweet aphid droppings).  … Continue reading Aphids and Fruit Trees

Early Spring Orchard Care Tips

Happy Spring, Fellow Orchardists! With the past few weeks of balmy rain and bud and flower break, we wanted to remind you of some early spring tips for tending to your orchard’s health and managing potential disease and pest woes. For a recap of orchard care through all the seasons, check out our recent POP blog article. Unwrap Your Figs … Continue reading Early Spring Orchard Care Tips

POP CORE Recap & Orchard Care Through the Seasons

POP kicked off its newest training program last Wednesday, March 8th at Bartram’s Garden called POPCORE: Community Orchardist Resilience Education. An endeavor to realize the potential and beauty of fully productive, well cared-for eco-orchards in every neighborhood, POPCORE seeks to encourage the self-sufficiency of our partners and connections between partners in close geographical proximity through … Continue reading POP CORE Recap & Orchard Care Through the Seasons

Organic Sulfur Spray and Early Spring Management

By 2015 POP Intern, Steve Palder, and Program Director, Robyn Mello Spring seems to have arrived a couple of weeks early this year, and the first scab spores have been detected in Pennsylvania! If buds on your fruit trees have begun to break (green tips or flowers emerging), this morning’s good spring rains provide a great … Continue reading Organic Sulfur Spray and Early Spring Management

Pyrethrin Orchard Sprays

Pyrethrin sprays are organic pesticides that have been used as insect control for more than 160 years, and they contain chemicals taken from chrysanthemum flowers. Pyrethrins are a natural insect-killer that can be very effective on certain orchard pests. Most insects are highly susceptible to pyrethrins, even at low concentrations, and these sprays can cause … Continue reading Pyrethrin Orchard Sprays

Bacillus thuringiensis/BT Orchard Sprays

Bacillus thuringiensis is a bacterium that dwells in the soil, as well as in the gut of some caterpillars (moths and butterflies), on leaves, animal feces, areas with lots of insects, aquatic environments, and flour or grain storage facilities. This naturally occurring bacteria is the main active ingredient in BT, which is best known today … Continue reading Bacillus thuringiensis/BT Orchard Sprays

Neem Oil Sprays

Neem Oil is a vegetable oil derived from the neem tree (Azadirachta indica), native to India. The traditional uses of the neem tree are countless, from medicines to body care, fertilizer, ropes, and lubricants. Today neem oil is used all over the world as a biopesticiide in organic farming, including orchards. Neem oil applied to … Continue reading Neem Oil Sprays

Peach Leaf Curl

Check your peach trees! We’re getting a lot of reports and questions again this spring about peach leaf curl on trees around the city. This is a fungal disease that causes leaves on peaches and nectarines to pucker and curl, turning from reddish to yellow to gray and then falling off. It can sometimes also … Continue reading Peach Leaf Curl

Kaolin Clay Sprays for Fruit Trees

Kaolin clay sprays are an important organic orchard strategy used after petal fall to repel many types of pest insects and protect trees from sunburn and high temperatures.  Kaolin clay repels pests by making the fruit tree an unsuitable environment for certain insects to land, feed and lay eggs. The tiny clay particles serve to … Continue reading Kaolin Clay Sprays for Fruit Trees