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greasing fruit tree

Racheal

By Racheal

London, United Kingdom Gb

I have a dwarf apple tree. I read somewhere I should put a grease band on it this time of year to prevent winter moths. But what is this exactly. My local garden centre is B&Q and they don't know what I am talking about. Can anyone help. Thanks




Answers

 

Hi Racheal. You can apply greasebands to apple, pear, plum and cherry trees to prevent wingless female winter moths and March moths crawling up the tree and hibernating or laying their eggs in cracks and crevice of the branches . Fix the bands about 30cm (1ft) above ground level, completely encircling the tree. Cut any long grass or weeds that may reach above the band, you don't want to provide another route for their upward migration. Also, don't forget to grease any stakes too as they are often an alternative route into the tree for the pests.

Personally I don't bother and I certainly wouldn't bother with a single dwarf tree. This method of pest control is used mainly by larger growers using organic methods. If you are not organic then just spray the tree once in January and once in February with Bordeaux Mixture available at a good garden centre. I doubt if B & Q sell it. They are more of a plant retailer than a proper garden centre. If you can't find it don't worry too much, you'll almost certainly get away with it.

I am pretty well known, even on GoY (which I joined only a couple of weeks ago) for being an optimist but I often believe that if it isn't broke you shouldn't fix it. If you DO still want tree grease or glue (grease won't let them climb, glue will stick them) then a proper GC or nursery should have it but I suspect that with your one tree you will have to buy about 200 years supply. LoL.

John.

31 Oct, 2008

 

Hi Sarraceniac, I have a Cytisus battandieri (pineapple tree) which snails love, unfortunately. Is there something like a grease band that can be used to stop them covering it? Thanks, Dawn

31 Oct, 2008

 

I just had to have a quick google on this plant Dawn. Looks lovely. Why is it that whenever I meet a new plant I immediately want it?

Afraid the snail/slug problem will not be fully answered in my lifetime (maybe my youngest grandson's?) All you can do is put out the usual defences, slug bait if there is no danger to other animals, soot, egg shells, pea gravel, beer traps, a torch and bucket on wet nights, frogs and toads, ducks and geese. I'm sure you've heard them all. If you find anything keep it to yourself, develop it and market it. You will then be very very rich - LoL.

John.

1 Nov, 2008

 

Ha ha, you make me laugh John. Hmmm, I dont like using slug pellets because we have hedgehogs. We have loads of frogs and toads but they don't help in this case, I'll have to have a word with them, lol. Could try your other "friendly" suggestions though, thanks. It is a lovely shrub but it can have 20 snails on it at one time. The flower spikes are gorgeous and guess what, bet you know though, they smell of pineapple!

1 Nov, 2008

 

Sarraceniac
Thanks for your reply. Will try thinking positive. It is only one dwarf apple so I could probably pick off by hand anything that looks doggy. Racheal

1 Nov, 2008

 

Boltac is the name of the Greaseband suppliers. Or you can make your own with a srip of plastic, some string and the grease. The grease is nasty stuff to apply, yuck.
By the way a ring of vaseline (petroleum jelly) would stop slugs going up the Cystus. Cover it with plastic to stop it drying out too quickly.
Never tried it but I have some copper impregnated grease, wonder if that would work without harming the tree?

1 Nov, 2008

 

Well Boggy, Bordeaux Mixture contains copper sulphate. Any idea what form yours is in?

John.

1 Nov, 2008

 

Hi Boggy, We tried the home-made grease band technique and it didnt work but probably the grease did dry out. You say cover the vaseline with plastic ..... do you mean partly cover it from above, so the snail still touches the vaseline? Thanks, Dawn

1 Nov, 2008

 

I make like a ballet skirt of plastic above the Vaseline so that the rain cannot get on to it or the sun. Snails do not like crossing Vaseline.
The grease is specialist stuff for use in bearings, thick gooey stuff, don't know where it came from. It is not Bordeaux mixture which is liquid.
We have made our own Grease bands for the lat 13 years without any trouble, other than the horrible nature of the grease. You really do need to keep the grease protected from the sun (What sun?)or it does dry out. We still get some insect attack on the apples but with 14 trees producing about a ton of apples we are not that bothered if we lose a few. The hens get to eat the apples as well as the grubs!

1 Nov, 2008

 

I wasn't suggesting that your copper containing grease was Bordeaux mixture, which you will know is water based Boggy. What I meant was that it contains CuSO4 and that that doesn't hurt the trees so if yours is a similar salt there should be no problem. I was interested in your post because I love it when people involved in anything do their own thing and then share the technique around, rather than just going to a large store or on eBay to find a commercial answer.

John.

2 Nov, 2008

 

Sorry John, the word 'like' went missing from between 'not' and Bordeaux. It should have read "It is not like Bordeaux mixture". I was trying to describe the consistency of the grease. I have not tried it because I was not sure of the composition of the grease itself.
We do have one tree which is described as 'sulphur shy' so it does not like Bordeaux mixture with its sulphur content.
I do spray in Feb with an organic horticultural soap which is sold now as a replacement for Winter Tar Oil Wash. Not sure what it is called, but I have seen it in B&Q.

2 Nov, 2008

 

Hi Guys, Oweboggy: Thanks for describing how to make the ballet skirt to stop the grease drying out. My husband tells me that besides the thick grease we used last time he also had some of the grease with copper (copper slip: copper based assembly paste) so we will use the copper slip this time along with its sun protector and see what happens. We have various fruit trees so we'll try on these too, will let you know next year how things go.

2 Nov, 2008

How do I say thanks?

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