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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Precautions When Planting Peach After Borers

Q. You recently identified that my peach trees had borers in them. I found the oval larval holes under the loose bark. Can I plant a new peach tree where I removed the afflicted tree? If so, are there any preventive measures I should take?

A. There is no problem planting in the same hole. This insect burrows into the tree, not the soil.
However, make sure you whitewash the next tree with either tree whitewash made from lime or dilute white latex paint, or nearly white latex paint, not an oil-based paint, with about the same amount of water and apply it to the trunk and main scaffold limbs.

Prune the tree so the canopy shades as much of the trunk and scaffold limbs as possible. Make sure the tree receives adequate water and if you can apply 3 to 4 inches of a woodchip surface mulch the tree will perform better and have less stress.
Peach tree with whitewash and mulch
Make sure you keep surface mulches a safe distance from the trunk so it does not cause it to rot from excess moisture. That has a known history of good performance in our desert. You can go to my blog, extremehorticulture of the desert, and search for recommended fruit tree varieties if you don't have one in mind.

This borer can fly and comes in from other infested trees including many landscape trees and shrubs in the area. Sunburn or sunscald is the main culprit so providing shade on the trunk and lower limbs and giving it protection from whitewash helps reduce sunburn. Good luck.

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