Thursday, June 24, 2010

Time to treat for Crown Borer aka Peach Tree Borer

The first male peach tree borer of the season was in our trap near our office on Orchard Mesa on Wednesday morning, June 23. Now that we know the males are out, the females will soon follow. The photo to the left is of the female peach tree borer moth.
Mating occurs as soon as the females emerge; egg laying starts the same day. The eggs typically hatch within 10 days of being laid. An insecticide needs to be applied prior to egg hatch to kill the emerging larvae before they can bore into tree. Once under the bark this insect is very difficult to control.

The larvae feed in the cambium and inner bark of the lower trunk and roots and will kill the infested tree or shrub if treatment is neglected. The typical symptom of an infestation of crown borers is the sudden collapse and death of the tree or shrub. This may appear to happen almost overnight.
Do not procrastinate about applying a treatment to the base of your trees. Drench the trunk up to 8 inches above the ground and soak the soil with an insecticide containing permethrin, carbaryl or other insecticide approved for use on fruit trees. Read the label to ensure the product can be used in that manner. This is a clear-wing moth thus insecticides consisting of imidacloprid will not work.
All trees and shrubs in the genus Prunus to include peach, nectarine, cherry, plum, almond and apricot, whether of the fruit-bearing type or not are susceptible to this insect and should be treated. Even Cistena plum and sand cherries are susceptible. Treatments need to begin the year the tree or shrub is planted and continue throughout its life.
For more information on this pest check out the information at

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