Good Sanitation Practices Keep Backyard Fruit Trees Healthy

Nov 6, 2015

Fall is the best time to protect your backyard fruit and nut trees from winter and spring pests. By implementing good sanitation practices now, you can help eliminate future disease, vertebrate, and insect pests.

Did you know that fruits and nuts left on the ground and hanging in trees (called “mummies”) are an open invitation to pests? As the weather begins to turn cold, pests look for a safe place to overwinter and/or to lay eggs, and mummies are an ideal shelter for them. Fungi and bacteria present in mummies also remain in dormant and active states.

Keep your fruit trees healthy by removing and disposing of all mummies in and around trees, shrubs and vines.

Other practices to reduce pest problems include removing diseased wood from trees and disposing of prunings immediately to prevent new infections. You'll also want to remove stumps, brush piles and debris around your garden, as these are places where both insect and vertebrate pests like to hide.

Find more information about pests of fruit trees, nuts, berries, and grapevines on the UC IPM website and general sanitation tips that can help prevent pest problems around the home and landscape.

By Anne Schellman
Author - UC Master Gardener Coordinator