Taking Care of Apple
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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