How to Protect Fruit Trees From Beetles

Written by keith dooley
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How to Protect Fruit Trees From Beetles
Beetles attack fruit trees, just like children. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Whether you have an entire orchard of fruit trees or just a few in the backyard, you have to deal with the many pests that try to ruin or take the fruit before you can pick it. Certain beetles eat away at the leaves of your trees, while others bore into the bark. To protect your fruit trees, maintain them diligently and keep a constant eye out for signs of infestation.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tree trimmers
  • Insecticide
  • Garden Sprayer
  • Tree wax and tree wrap

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  1. 1

    Allow moles to live in the area, if you have any. Moles eat grubs, which are the larvae stage of the beetles. This does not eliminate the problem, but greatly reduces it. Moles don't eat your plants, so they are beneficial as long as you don't mind the tunnels.

  2. 2

    Water less in the middle of the summer. If you have irrigation set up for your trees, and they aren't under stress from a recent drought, stop watering in late June and through several weeks in July. Grubs need water to fully develop. Without it they will dry up, and not turn into the beetles that attack your trees.

  3. 3

    Spray an insecticide that kills beetles on the tree. Apply it with a garden sprayer so that you can get it up in the tree and on the vegetation. Follow the package's instruction label for application and use the correct quantities. Also check the label to insure that it can be sprayed on fruit trees without affecting the edible fruit. For a safe alternative to insecticides, try natural products, which provide compounds that include things like canola. The more natural mixes only help for about half a week, and will then need to be reapplied.

  4. 4

    Seal up tree wounds or nicks with a tree wax and a tree wrap to help heal and prevent boring beetles from entering. Spread the wax in the damaged area with a putty knife, then wrap the material around the tree and wound area several times to protect it. Secure the wrap by slipping it under one of the wrap layers.

  5. 5

    Cut out infested tree limbs to get rid of boring beetles. Use a tree trimmer to saw the limb off about an inch from the main trunk of the tree. This way you don't accidentally damage the trunk with the trimmer. Saw from the bottom of the limb to a depth of half the branch, and then saw from the top of the branch down to remove it.

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