Nova Scotia Apples - Taking Care of Apple Trees
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Taking Care of Apple Trees

Apple trees need tender loving care to produce healthy apples in the fall. There are many different things that can damage apple trees throughout the year. Some of the things that give apple growers headaches are: insects, animals, diseases, fungi, frost and wind. Apple growers and scientists are constantly trying to find new and better ways to keep their apples in tip-top shape.

Most apple growers use what is called Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, in their orchards. IPM is designed to use the least amount of chemicals possible, while still protecting the fragile apple trees. Since not all insects are harmful to apple orchards, they do not all need to be eliminated. In fact, some insects are orchard helpers because they eat harmful insect enemies. When growers spray their orchards, they use sprays specially made to get rid of only certain pests or diseases, leaving behind the helpful insects. Scientists have also designed new disease and insect-resistant varieties of apples to reduce the need for chemicals.

Mice like to nibble on apple tree bark, so apple growers do not want them in their orchards. To protect their trees, many growers wrap mouse guards around the trunks of their trees. Growers also collect fallen apples from the ground and mow the grass under the trees to discourage mice from making their homes there. Since foxes, cats, owls, and hawks prey on mice, they are welcome in apple orchards to help control mouse damage.

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