Stone fruit trees like apricot, cherry, nectarine, peach, plum, and prune are a staple of many backyard gardens and landscapes. Unfortunately, there are a variety of pests that can weaken trees and spoil fruit. Caring for trees correctly and monitoring for pests can help ensure a harvest of healthy, delicious fruit. Watch out for some of these pests and diseases:
Apricot trees need to be pruned in summer instead of fall to avoid a disease called Eutypa dieback. It causes limbs and twigs to wilt suddenly and die.
As cherries begin to ripen on backyard fruit trees, you'll want to monitor the fruit for pests, especially an invasive species called the spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii).
The spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is a new pest to California (since 2008). It's a small fly that attacks ripening cherries, and may also attack ripening raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, and strawberry crops, especially in coastal areas. When conditions are right, the fly can also attack soft-fleshed fruit such as plums, plumcots, nectarines, and figs.
If your cherry tree has SWD, you might notice that fruit flesh has one or more small punctures or “stings” on the surface. These symptoms are evidence of the eggs laid...