close up of pear fruit on tree in a garden in edmonton

3 Common Pests That Affect Fruit-Bearing Trees in Alberta

Alberta summers are perfect for growing apple, pear and other fruit-bearing trees. However, there are a number of insects and other critters that can prevent you from growing healthy, mature fruit.

Here are three common pests you may encounter and what you can do about them.


Apple curculios

This small, brown weevil has a distinctive curved snout that it uses to feed on immature apples, pears and cherries as well as various berry shrubs. Early in the season, damaged fruit will be marked by raised rough patches. By the end of the summer, apples may have funnel-shaped scars with small holes or dark spots in the middle.

To minimize the risk of apple curculios harming your fruit trees, remove any alternative food source for the insect, such as Saskatoon berry and other shrubs. While there isn’t currently a chemical pesticide registered to manage this insect, many people have found success in sweeping their trees with a net at the beginning of the season to remove the tiny weevils.


Apple maggots

Apple maggot larvae tunnel into the flesh of the fruit and sometimes lead to infection. Apples and other fruit with minor damage may remain on the tree until harvest, but heavily damaged fruit will drop prematurely. The larvae will then move into the soil and begin their transformation into a legless fly slightly smaller than a housefly.

You can control the apple maggot population in your trees by cleaning up fallen fruit quickly and disposing of it in a plastic garbage bag. Fruit infested with apple maggots shouldn’t be composted, as this creates ideal conditions for pupation.

Apple maggot traps may be used to capture adult flies, thereby preventing them from laying eggs in the fruit.


Spider mites

These tiny mites love all sorts of fruit trees and will feed on the leaves by sucking out the contents of the plant cell. The first sign of damage is white speckling on the upper surface of the foliage. Eventually, the leaves turn brown, white or yellow and a web-like pattern appears. These pests can stunt the growth of both the tree and its fruit.

Spider mites are naturally controlled by heavy precipitation. Hosing down your trees at least once a week during dry spells can help avoid mite population explosions. If an infestation gets out of control, insecticide sprays may be used.


Tree Care Services in Edmonton – Every Season of the Year!

If you’re struggling with pests or disease in your fruit trees, the professional arborists at All Season Tree Service can help. We offer a variety of tree care services, including disease assessment and tree removal in the event your tree can’t be saved. Contact us today for a free quote.