Please help. I have had my apple tree about 30 years and always had a good yield, but this year although the apples were a better crop, nearly every one had something eating into the middle.
Is there anything I can do? I’ve already tied a band around the tree and sprayed. Thank you.
Grease bands around apple trees are a method of stopping winter moth damage – these caterpillars eat the leaves and fruitlets.
However, your tree may be under attack from the codling moth whose caterpillars burrow into the centre of the apple and destroy the fruit.
In spring you can treat the trunk with plant-based horticultural oil which will help remove larvae and eggs.
In May, hang pheromone traps on the tree which will capture the male moths, thereby reducing the amount of eggs hatched.
There are also biological controls available to apply to the trunk in September. These are worms which destroy the caterpillars.
If you want to spray, do so in late June and not when the tree is in flower so as to protect beneficial pollinating insects.
Better still, choose an organic plant-based insecticide which will be less harmful to the environment.