my apple tree has a lot of bloom every year but no apples. it gets pollinated and apples start but then all get destroyed by bugs. I would like to spray an organic and non toxic bug killer but i am not familiar with the topic. is there anything you could recommend?
Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners about your apple tree.
In general terms, the best way to manage insects and diseases in all varieties of fruit trees is good cultural and sanitary practices.
- In spring just before new leaves emerge, spray trees with horticultural oil (relatively non-toxic) to smother dormant insects and their eggs.
- Monitor your tree regularly for pests and diseases, and take action as soon as any are detected.
- Remove infested or infected leaves, fruit and pruned branches and dispose of them in the garbage, not in your compost.
- Eliminate pest hiding places. Remove and destroy fallen fruit. Once winter is over, remove any plastic trunk guard.
- Prune the tree carefully and regularly so that the tree branches are not crowded: this improves air circulation and reduces wetness which promotes the development of disease.
- Provide the tree with adequate sun, water and fertilizer.
- Apply a layer of mulch around the tree to conserve moisture and reduce weeds. Ensure there is space between the mulch and the tree trunk.
- If you are replacing a fruit tree or planting a new one, search out disease-resistant varieties.
This Ontario government website lists insects that can affect apple trees. As you can see, there are several possible pests eating your apples.
Proper identification of the insect causing your problem is necessary to determine the best control option. Please do contact us again with further information (type of apple tree, photo of diseased apple and insects, date of photo, etc.) and we will try to provide a more targeted response.