Pest and Disease Guide

You have purchased one of our amazing Fruit Salad Trees, now It is important to protect your precious tree from nasty pests and diseases. Correct care and maintenance of your Fruit Salad Tree will ensure your tree stays healthy and balanced, and will give you years of delicious fruit from your special tree! 

 

Choose your Tree Type below to view our pest and disease guide for your tree.

Winter Spraying

Winter dormancy is a fantastic opportunity to spray Stone fruit trees for leaf curl and other fungal diseases which in fact, cannot be treated at any other time of year! Lime or Copper spays should be applied to your tree either at leaf fall (Autumn) and/or at bud swell (this can be as early as June - depending on the varieties on your tree). If your tree has shown signs of leaf curl in previous seasons, it is a good idea to spray in Autumn AND at bud swell to ensure through treatment and good coverage. Sprays should be repeated about 1 week apart, and can be applied using a hand sprayer following the product label.  Sprays for leaf curl are available from most plant nurseries and hardware stores.

Florda Prince (the yellow peach variety we use on our trees) is the first of the stone fruits to ‘wake up’ from dormancy. This ‘waking up’ can be seen as a swelling of the blossom buds, long before any leaves emerge. Development stages for stone fruit are shown on right. (Source: Orchard plant protection guide for deciduous fruits in NSW 2017 – 18 NSW Department of Primary Industries).

Stone Fruit Aphids

Possum proofing your trees

Possums love fruit trees as much as we do.

The best way to protect young plants and seedlings from possum attack is to create a barrier to physically stop them from getting to your tree. You can add shade cloth or white bird netting at night time. 

Other methods work on taste and smell:

Sprinkle blood and bone fertiliser around the base of your tree. Possums hate the smell and will be less inclined to eat if they can't stand the smell!

Spray garlic: try two tablespoons of crushed garlic in one litre of hot water, leave to stand overnight, strain and then spray directly onto your foliage. This also works with chillies or Tabasco sauce.

Spray tea: boil two litres of water; add four heaped teaspoons of Lapsang Souchong tea and leave to cool. Strain liquid and apply from a plastic spray bottle directly onto affected plants. Reapply every two weeks and always after rain. Make a fresh brew every time. 

A spray made from Quassia chips: add 100g chips to two litres of water and heat for one hour before straining. Add one tablespoon detergent. Dilute one part of the solution to four parts water and apply as a spray. Quassia chips are available at many nurseries, and are pretty effective, forming the base ingredient of many commercially available possum repellents.

Commercially available possum deterrents such as Poss-Off or Scat, work by emitting an unpleasant odour, so, when used according to the instructions on the products, claim to deter the little blighters!

Just remember if you use any of these options that you will need to wash your produce before eating!

It should be remembered that no one solution is guaranteed, and re-application of sprays should be a regular and on-going activity. It is recommended that most sprays be re-applied every two to three weeks, and after rain. Persistence is the key!

Possums are creatures of habit, and habits are not easy change, so keep up the spraying, and over time the possum will move away and seek food elsewhere.

Fruit Fly

Stone Fruit Mites

Caterpillars

Gummosis / Anti fungal Treatment

Shot-hole / Rust

Citrus Aphids

Citrus Fruit Salad Trees grow up to six different fruit on the same tree. Mandarin, Orange, Lemonade, Lemon, Pomelo and Tangelo. They are great growers, producing fruit quickly if they are balanced well, enjoy lots of sunshine and are free from pests.

Have you noticed ants on your fruit tree? Ants can be an indicator of aphids in your plants and trees. Read on for a detailed guide to identifying and treating the Citrus Aphid so that your Fruit Salad Tree can keep producing different and delectable fruit!

Description: Aphids are small (2mm) long, soft-bodied insects. 

There are several species of aphids that are found on citrus trees, including brown citrus aphid, black citrus aphid, melon aphid, spiraea aphids. 

Damage and Symptoms: Aphids produce a sticky substance (honeydew) as they feed on the plants (similar to scale insects). This honeydew attracts ants and can also encourage sooty mould. In 'payment' for the honeydew, ants protect the aphids from parasitic wasps. Any of these symptoms... honeydew, mould, ants or the aphids themselves indicate an infestation. Aphids can be a threat to young citrus trees by suck sap and decreasing vigour.

Season: Spring - Check young shoots in early September - late October and February to April for Summer-Autumn Flush.

Solution: You can efficiently get rid of small aphid colonies by simply crushing the insects by hand or pruning the affected area of the plant. Organic sprays can also be applied to the trees (use horticultural/pure soap or garlic/chilli based sprays mixed with water). Be sure to rinse the undersides of leaves because aphids hide there. For severe infestation, use a spray with horticultural oil (don't apply when the weather is over 32*C as plant leaves can burn) or insecticidal soap like Pyrethrum dust or spray. Be mindful of applying products that will destroy beneficial insects that are natural enemies of the aphid such as lady beetles, lacewings and parasitic wasps as they will devour aphids. 

Reference: Department of Primary Industries NSW

Citrus Gall Wasp

You've planted your fruit tree, you've watered it, balanced it, cared for it and now you should be able to sit back and watch it flourish right? Well, in some areas, the pesky Gall Wasp can have other ideas! It loves lemon and grapefruit especially in Queensland and northern New South Wales.

Here's a full guide to identifying and treating your Fruit Salad Tree for Gall Wasps.

Citrus Gall Wasp Control

Citrus Gall Wasp (Bruchophagus fellis) is native to Queensland and northern NSW, with the Australian Finger Lime as its natural host. Unfortunately for citrus trees, particularly lemons and grapefruits are now part of its diet. This pest has spread south (and west) in recent years where it can survive the cold and has no natural predators. Drat!

Damage

Living up to its name, Citrus Gall Wasps trigger a reaction in the host causing it to produce large lumps or ‘galls’. Heavily galled trees lose vigour, which can result in reduced fruit size and yield. Sometimes the gall causes new growth at right angles.

12 Month Life Cycle of the Gall Wasp in Fruit Trees

Understanding the Citrus Gall Wasp life-cycle is very helpful for control. Adult gall wasps begin to emerge from their galls in Spring (from late August – October depending on area & season) to coincide with Spring growth, and can continue until mid-December. Most wasps emerge around the same time – within 20 days or so. After emerging, females take 5 – 7 days to mate. Then they begin laying eggs just under the bark, preferring soft, lush Spring growth. Larvae hatch in 2 – 4 weeks and feed within the stem for 9 – 10 months. The resulting woody gall becomes visible from December and expands until the cycle repeats in Spring.

The wasps themselves are tiny (2-3mm long) so they can’t fly far. Upon exiting they leave tell-tale exit holes. Galls with such holes do not require removal.

Control Methods for your Fruit Tree

Currently there is no chemical control registered for home gardener use to control Citrus Gall Wasp. Effective control therefore relies on strategic timing of both pruning and fertilising, augmented by traps. Correct disposal of gall prunings is essential to stop the spread .

Timing - When to Prune and Fertilize your Fruit Tree for Gall Wasp Control

Traditionally the recommendation for gall wasp control is pruning in August before the wasps emerge. This is suitable in the short term, if your infestation is small and on the end of branches, or if you have only noticed the galls in Winter. On the down side, August pruning can trigger the tree to put on a flush of Spring growth – which will then be targeted by any Gall Wasps present, perpetuating the cycle. Expected Spring growth can be protected to some degree by traps.

For longer term control and tree heath, gardeners with significant infestations should aim to reduce susceptible Spring growth flush by:

pruning galls from trees in Summer as they become visible (from about December). General maintenance pruning should be done at this time also; andfertilising in Summer and Autumn. Heavy ferrtilising in Winter and Spring will only encourage “tasty” Spring growth.

 To maintain vigour, only remove 30% or less of your citrus tree at any one time.

Monitoring your Fruit Tree

Regular monitoring of galling throughout the year will assist in pruning and avoid nasty surprises. Cutting galls open in late Winter to see keep an eye on wasp development may be helpful... after a few years you will get the idea.

Insect Traps for your Fruit Salad Tree

Used on their own, these traps are unlikely to be effective. When their use is in conjunction with pruning; timed to wasp emergence (August – October); for protection of young trees, or some unavoidable Spring growth, then 2 – 4 traps per tree will contribute to control. The attractant used is not specific to Gall Wasp so removal in October, after wasp emergence is a good idea – you don’t want to trap beneficial insects or small birds as well.

Slicing open the Gall

Some gardeners have had success by slicing open the gall and exposing enclosed larvae to the elements – thereby killing it. This is worth a try, particularly if you have dwarf citrus or the gall is located on vital part of the tree’s branchwork. The trick here is again in the timing and depth of cut. Don’t wait until galls are big and surrounding tissue is brittle and there is no need to cut too deeply as the stem needs to continue supporting its own weight.

Stop the Spread to other Fruit Trees

Gall Wasps cannot fly far and are mainly transported by wind or sadly, by prunings. It is vital to dispose of any removed galls in a manner that will not allow the wasp to emerge. Methods suggested include burning (I’ve heard of gardeners roasting them in the oven!), burying (1m), cutting up into tiny pieces (mulching), or soaking in water for 2 weeks. They definantly cannot be disposed of via council green waste or garbage collection services – this is known to spread the problem.

Help is on the Way!

NSW Department of Agriculture has conducted some trials using Kaolin clay (Surround®). This product is registered for sunburn and unfortunately cannot be used for Gall Wasp control yet. Results however look promising for the future.

Useful Links

Vasali’s garden Video on slicing galls https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/11650627731/vasilis-garden-how-to-citrus-gall-wasp#!

Melbourne article on pruning galls http://www.leafrootfruit.com.au/citrus-growing-guide/treating-citrus-gall-wasp-melbourne/ Sustainable Gardening Australia http://www.sgaonline.org.au/citrus-gall-wasp/     

NSW Department of Primary Industries http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/340609/citrus-gall-wasp-in-southern-australia.pdf    

Green Harvest Insect Trap http://greenharvest.com.au/PestControlOrganic/Information/CitrusGallWaspControl.htmlDeep Green Permaculture – includes description of cutting galls/exposing larvae to elements http://deepgreenpermaculture.com/2017/04/10/controlling-citrus-gall-wasp/ 

WA Department of Primary Industries link http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/sites/gateway/files/Citrus%20gall%20wasp%20infosheet.pdf

Possum proofing your trees

Possums love fruit trees as much as we do.

The best way to protect young plants and seedlings from possum attack is to create a barrier to physically stop them from getting to your tree. You can add shade cloth or white bird netting at night time. 

Other methods work on taste and smell:

Sprinkle blood and bone fertiliser around the base of your tree. Possums hate the smell and will be less inclined to eat if they can't stand the smell!

Spray garlic: try two tablespoons of crushed garlic in one litre of hot water, leave to stand overnight, strain and then spray directly onto your foliage. This also works with chillies or Tabasco sauce.

Spray tea: boil two litres of water; add four heaped teaspoons of Lapsang Souchong tea and leave to cool. Strain liquid and apply from a plastic spray bottle directly onto affected plants. Reapply every two weeks and always after rain. Make a fresh brew every time. 

A spray made from Quassia chips: add 100g chips to two litres of water and heat for one hour before straining. Add one tablespoon detergent. Dilute one part of the solution to four parts water and apply as a spray. Quassia chips are available at many nurseries, and are pretty effective, forming the base ingredient of many commercially available possum repellents.

Commercially available possum deterrents such as Poss-Off or Scat, work by emitting an unpleasant odour, so, when used according to the instructions on the products, claim to deter the little blighters!

Just remember if you use any of these options that you will need to wash your produce before eating!

It should be remembered that no one solution is guaranteed, and re-application of sprays should be a regular and on-going activity. It is recommended that most sprays be re-applied every two to three weeks, and after rain. Persistence is the key!

Possums are creatures of habit, and habits are not easy change, so keep up the spraying, and over time the possum will move away and seek food elsewhere.

Leaf Minor

Mites

Caterpillars

Citrus Anti fungal / Copper

Powdery Mildew

Powdery Mildew is a white spotted fungus, which can attack Apple Fruit Salad Trees. Treating Powdery Mildew is a simple process and your multi Apple tree can get back to producing different and delectable fruit in no time! Here's a complete guide to treating Powdery Mildew on your Apple Fruit Salad Tree.

WHAT IS POWDERY MILDEW?

Powdery mildew is a prevalent fungal disease which forms a white powdery cover on the apple tree. It flourishes in humid mild conditions (with no rain), especially in shady spots with little air circulation and damp conditions.

SYMPTOMS OF POWDERY MILDEW

Check if your Apple Fruit Salad Tree has white powdery coverings on buds, shoots, leaves and fruit. If the buds are affected the leaves may develop abnormally, appear brittle and curled. They may also drop prematurely. On red skinned Apples, symptoms are easy to identify as they develop a pattern of fine, yellowish criss-cross lines.

PREVENTING POWDERY MILDEW FROM ATTACKING YOUR APPLE FRUIT SALAD TREE

When planting your Apple Fruit Salad Tree, allow for plenty of space around the tree to help create adequate air circulation. Having a good watering routine will help reduce the risk of this disease.

Ensure water is delivered to the roots and does not get on the leaves. Using a seaweed based plant tonic once a fortnight can also be helpful. Read more about watering your Fruit Salad Tree here.

CONTROLLING THE POWDERY MILDEW ON YOUR APPLE FRUIT SALAD TREE

To control the spread of Powdery Mildew, remove the affected leaves from your tree to stop it spreading. Dispose of any leaves you remove (and any prematurely fallen leaves) in the bin. Do not place into your compost bin.

Apply a spray with wettable sulphur (we suggest Manutec, and to follow the directions on the packaging). Or, you can make up your own simple organic spray with 1 part full cream milk to 10 parts water.

Apply the organic sprays in the early morning, not in the hot sun. We recommend applying sprays that won’t kill off the good insects like black and yellow ladybirds.

Possums Proofing your trees

Possums love fruit trees as much as we do.

The best way to protect young plants and seedlings from possum attack is to create a barrier to physically stop them from getting to your tree. You can add shade cloth or white bird netting at night time. 

Other methods work on taste and smell:

Sprinkle blood and bone fertiliser around the base of your tree. Possums hate the smell and will be less inclined to eat if they can't stand the smell!

Spray garlic: try two tablespoons of crushed garlic in one litre of hot water, leave to stand overnight, strain and then spray directly onto your foliage. This also works with chillies or Tabasco sauce.

Spray tea: boil two litres of water; add four heaped teaspoons of Lapsang Souchong tea and leave to cool. Strain liquid and apply from a plastic spray bottle directly onto affected plants. Reapply every two weeks and always after rain. Make a fresh brew every time. 

A spray made from Quassia chips: add 100g chips to two litres of water and heat for one hour before straining. Add one tablespoon detergent. Dilute one part of the solution to four parts water and apply as a spray. Quassia chips are available at many nurseries, and are pretty effective, forming the base ingredient of many commercially available possum repellents.

Commercially available possum deterrents such as Poss-Off or Scat, work by emitting an unpleasant odour, so, when used according to the instructions on the products, claim to deter the little blighters!

Just remember if you use any of these options that you will need to wash your produce before eating!

It should be remembered that no one solution is guaranteed, and re-application of sprays should be a regular and on-going activity. It is recommended that most sprays be re-applied every two to three weeks, and after rain. Persistence is the key!

Possums are creatures of habit, and habits are not easy change, so keep up the spraying, and over time the possum will move away and seek food elsewhere.

Caterpillars

Codling Moth

Wooly Aphid

Sign up for 10% off!

Sign up for 10% off your first order and regular care reminders and specials. You can unsubscribe at any time.