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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Nectarine Fruit and Dried Droplets of Sap

Q. I have an Independence nectarine tree which I have been nurturing for two years. This is the first year I have had fruit! On the fruits I kept I am seeing something that looks like dried droplets of sap coming out of the skin. It is not sticky to the touch. Are you able to determine if I have some sort of blight with the fruit? Will I just need to take this plant out?

A. Your nectarine fruit has damage caused by Western Flower Thrips. This is a very common problem with nectarine fruit here in the valley and elsewhere. Once you see your fruit damaged by this insect, you will see it in future years as well. Be prepared to spray.
            Damage to the fruit starts before they are the size of a pea. The only control is to apply sprays to the fruit and leaves to protect the fruit from thrips damage. The most effective sprays are insecticides for organic production contain Spinosad in the list of ingredients. Follow the label precisely.
Readers nectarine fruit with dried sap due to thrips damage
            If you don't mind applying an effective conventional insecticide, then look for one containing synthetic pyrethrins, sometimes called pyrethroids. The label must say it is approved for tree fruits. Again, it is very important to read and follow the label for best results.
            These sprays must be applied to the fruit and leaves starting very early in the season when the fruit are still very, very small. Sprays must be repeated through the season for total protection. Chances are, you will still see some scarring of the fruit but it will be greatly improved.


  1. I have had that for two years on my prune plums and now on one of my nectarines. Could not figure out what it is until I read your article! Our UC IPM site does not mention this problem. Thanks for your blog, I love it and have learned a lot from it!
    Gabriele ONeill (UC Master Gardener Program of Lake County, CA)

  2. I have encountered this problem for two years now on my prune plum and this year for the first time on one of my nectarines. Could not figure out what it was, as our UC IPM site did not mention anything about it. Luckily I read your blog and voila: instant recognition! Thanks for your helpful articles - I have learned a lot from them already!