NOW IS THE TIME
By Eunice Messner


CLEAN-UP TIME

You probably should keep a daily watch for the cotton cushiony scale that the ants develop on your cherimoya fruit. I find just a spray of Safers Insecticidal Soap gets rid of the problem.

I also have to keep a diligent watch for black scale on my Nettie' white sapote. I hand pick off any leaves with the scale and also just rub off any scale at the beginning stage. If you should have a bad infestation, then remember John Burkšs trick of wrapping the trunk(s) with the porous building material used for insulation. Spray this with "Diazinon" or any other ant
spray (This works much better than 'Tanglefoot'). In either case, make sure not one leaf is touching another tree, a blade of grass or a fence or the ants will find a way.

It is also time to spray your citrus with lime sulfur and a light weight oil if the skin of your citrus is discolored due to rust mites. This same problem is called Silver mite on lemons.

If you can, hold off on pruning your deciduous trees until January. Instructions on selecting scion wood will appear in the January newsletter. Also, plastic bags and labels will be distributed then. You probably still have leaves on your tree anyway so it is best to prune later and then dormant-spray your trees after you have pruned. And, donšt throw away all those protein enriched twigs. Snip them into smaller pieces and leave them on the ground to decompose.

GUMMOSIS

At the last meeting there was a question about gummosis (also called bacterial canker, twig-blight, dieback, spur blight and blossom blast).

This is a very complicated subject with varying symptoms and causes. One needs to be a scientist to understand the lingo on this subject just to read the book "Compendium of Stone Fruit Diseases". But toward the end of this subject I will quote them regarding control.

A brief synopsis I found on the Internet says: "Gummosis is the oozing of sap from wounds or cankers on stone fruit trees. Gummosis can result from environmental stress, mechanical injury, or disease and insect infestation.. If there are pieces of bark mixed in the sap, it indicates insect or mechanical damage. Another form of canker infects new shoots or leaves which turn yellow and wilt. Sunken lesions may develop on the bark. These lesions enlarge and gummy, amber colored sap oozes from the bark. This disease kills the wood underneath the cankers, often causing whole branches to die. Infected wood and the defoliation that may occur weakens the tree, but if the disease infects the trunk, the whole tree may die."

CONTROL: "New orchards established under marginal climatic and soil conditions are at risk. Trees are particularly susceptible in sandy soils, in waterlogged soils that drain poorly and during prolonged periods of drought. Also, cultivar and species should be selected to ensure that the dormancy requirement is properly met in regions that experience mild winters. Precautions should be taken during pruning to limit spread of the pathogens. Pruning in early summer, rather than autumn and winter lessens the chance that trees will become infected".