Quick Tip: Remove Mummified Fruit from Trees


fruit tree with decayed fruit

By Jennifer Poindexter

If you raise fruit trees, chances are you’ve experienced issues with pests and diseases. I have a few peach trees which were impacted by brown rot when I purchased our property.

It has been quite the battle getting this disease under control. Any time life happens, and you miss an opportunity to provide optimal care to the trees, it seems few spores quickly turn into many. 

One thing I’ve found which helps control the spread of disease is removing any mummified fruits from the tree over winter. 

Here’s a quick tip on removing mummified fruits from your trees for better health the next growing season: 

Quick Tip: Remove Mummified Fruit from Your Fruit Trees

Mummified fruits are a way for pests and diseases to neatly wrap themselves in a shell of fruit and survive the winter.

These fruits are a sign that your tree is being impacted by some type of disease, typically fungal based. In turn, this diseased fruit draws pests

I’ve raised fruit trees for close to a decade, but I hadn’t dealt with sick fruit trees until a few years ago. It’s a whole different ball game, but I’m determined to save these inherited trees.

The first year, I applied fungicides and removed sickly fruit throughout the growing season but didn’t understand the importance of removing mummified fruit.

Now, I understand that mummified fruits are a sign my tree is still struggling with disease. Though I may have gotten a firm grip on the disease during the growing season, these fruits allow it to come back with a vengeance the next year. 

My new routine consists of waiting until after the tree is done producing, the pruning is complete, and the leaves are gone.

It’s easier to see the mummified fruit this way. The next step involves the interesting task of holding ladders and reaching these fruits to remove them from the tree.

If any fruits fall during this process, it’s vital that they’re collected. Don’t leave them on the orchard floor as the disease and pests spread again when the fruits decompose.

Once you’ve collected all the mummified fruits in buckets, carry them to a location far away from your fruit trees for disposal. 

As you can see, removing the mummified fruits from your fruit trees is an important task to improve plant health and protect future harvests. 

Take this point into consideration as you decide how to handle your mummified fruits over the winter months.

More About Mummified Fruits

https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=29528

https://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/nelsons/glossary/Mummy.htm

https://extension.umaine.edu/fruit/growing-fruit-trees-in-maine/diseases/

fruit tree with old fruit with text overlay gardening quick tips remove mummified fruit from trees

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