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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 62

Spraying Fruit-Trees, Etc

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Spraying Fruit-Trees, Etc.

coat of arms

George Didsbury, Government Printer. Wellington

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Spraying Fruit-Trees.

If fruit-culture in New Zealand is to attain the important position amongst colonial industries that our genial climate and fertile soil entitle it to, then the growers must be prepared to vigorously fight the many insect and fungus pests which, unfortunately, in most instances have been imported with the various fruits, and which in several instances, at least, while doing but little injury in more rigorous climes, have here increased with such wonderful rapidity as to become most serious factors in the success or otherwise of fruit-culture.

For years past the more progressive orchardists, especially those who have made their living from the produce of their orchards, have fought the pests with more or less success; but, unfortunately, the great bulk of the orchard-owners have done nothing, or, at best, made but fitful attempts, very often at the wrong time, with unsuitable appliances, materials in wrong proportions, and without persistence.

It has been found that a pamphlet giving in a concise form a list of remedies, how and when to apply them, for the numerous insect and fungus pests attacking fruit and fruit-trees, would be of much assistance to the fruit-growers of the colony.

In combating the many fungus diseases and insect pests of fruit-culture, numerous chemicals and chemical compounds have been from time to time tried, and not a few proprietary remedies are widely advertised for this or that or every distemper that fruit is heir to.

For some of these so-called diseases there is no remedy at present known but the knife, or complete destruction of the infested plant. It is important to understand cases of this character, Dot only that we may avoid wasting time and money in vain efforts to treat them otherwise, but in order that prompt action may be taken, and sources of infection be quickly destroyed, for all fungus diseases may be regarded as infectious. A large class of these diseases, many occasioning heavy annual losses, may be mitigated or entirely overcome by the application of certain remedial or preventive agents in the form of a spray.

And so also in regard to the insect pests. While it is admitted the best of all remedies is the natural enemy—as, for instance, the Vedalia cardinalis as a sure for the Icerya purchasi, or white page 4 cottony-cushion scale, better known in some parts as mimosa blight—yet it would be suicidal policy on the part of fruit-growers to await the appearance or introduction of those enemies, and not in the meantime use such remedies or preventatives as have apparently yielded positive results.

What to spray with.

Nowadays one of the most important implements—in fact, it may be said, an indispensable part of the stock-in-trade of every fruit-grower—is a good spraying apparatus. How many of the orchard-owners of New Zealand possess a really good spraying apparatus? Astonishingly few. In visiting many orchards throughout the colony—orchards of five, ten, or twenty acres, and upwards—the writer has been surprised, on asking to see the spraying apparatus, to find that only a common garden syringe was used. In almost all these cases the owner complained of the disagreeable work, the time it took, the quantity of material, and the poor results obtained from this costly and inefficient method of dressing fruit-trees. This is not spraying, it is drenching the trees, at a cost of three times the material, twice the time, and the result is probably about one-third of what might reasonably be expected from proper spraying. A sprayer, to be effective, requires, first of all, a good strong force-pump with metal valves—in fact, the entire interior should be brass-lined. Next in importance is a nozzle that will throw a mist-like spray, and a coarser nozzle that will not clog when thick fluids are used. There are many, especially American, firms who make a speciality of spraying apparatus. These machines may be divided into three classes—first, horse-power automatic machines; second, machines drawn by horse-power, but operated by hand; third, hand-machines. All belonging to the first group may be dismissed with the statement that they are unnecessarily expensive and complicated, and will not, even in the most careful hands, do the work as-thoroughly and effectually as the machines belonging to the second and third groups.

In the second group there are many reliable forms in the market, such as the Tarringdon, Field, Gould, Nixon, and other makes. In all of them may be found cheap efficient machines in the form of strong but light double-acting, double-discharge force-pumps, usually fixed to a barrel, which may either be mounted direct on a carriage of its own, or simply placed on a stand in the orchard-wagon, and so drawn to the trees. It may be said of these that, while they cannot do the work as rapidly as the machines of the first class, they are more effective, much cheaper, and far less wasteful of the wash used.

Coming to the third class, the knapsack sprayers are the only ones necessary to notice. For small orchards and general vineyard use the knapsack form of sprayer, having the reservoir and pump combined, to be carried on the back of the operator like a knapsack, fills every requirement. In no other machine is the work at all times so absolutely under control, it being possible to place nearly every page 5 drop of liquid exactly where it is wanted. A knapsack sprayer is a most useful adjunct in every orchard, no matter how large, as it often occurs that only a few trees require spraying, or perhaps a plot of vines; also, in places where the larger apparatus, owing to the nature of the land, cannot be utilised.

Efficient nozzles are supplied with most of the machines. They are usually Cyclone, or modifications of that form. Nixon's Climax is also an excellent form for clear liquids.

The Remedies, and how to apply Them.

In talking to orchardists, one is told again and again that they have tried everything for the blights that so much beset them, and all without avail. Upon inquiring closely into these statements it is found in almost every case that there were several reasons why the trial of so many cures had given such poor results. The materials used were improper ones, or, at least, in improper quantities, at the wrong time, in unsuitable weather, not properly sprayed, the application not persisted in, and, in fact, from one cause or other, good reasons could be found in almost every case why the work had proved useless, or, in some cases, had actually done much damage to the trees. For instance, there is an orchardist whose name is well known as a grower of some very fine fruit. I mentioned to him kerosene emulsion as a most useful wash. He said, None of it for him; he had had quite enough of that stuff. Asking him for an explanation, he pointed out the remnants of a row of apple-trees which he told me he had treated with it for the mussel-scale. Certainly the trees in question were ruined. On being asked how he had applied the emulsion, he said he had filled a tin kettle with kerosene, and poured it slowly down the branches and trunks of the trees until they were soaked. The result of such treatment (pure kerosene, followed by a hot sun) was only what might have been expected. It is hoped the readers of this pamphlet may not fall into such disastrous mistakes.

In applying the remedies to the trees we must consider the period and manner of the attack made by the disease, whether of insect or fungus origin, and also the manner of action of the substance applied. Fungi living within the tissues of the host must be prevented from gaining an entrance to those tissues; fungi which live upon the surface of plants, or having their bodies soon exposed through the breaking-up of the epidermis, like the apple-scab, and black-spot on grapes, may be treated by curative methods: but those of obscure bacterial origin in the juices of the plant, such as the silver-blight of the plum in the South, and the collar-rot of the lemon in the North; and those that work beneath the surface, like the root-fungus, are not susceptible of prevention or cure by any spray-treatment we at present know. In these cases, as before mentioned, the knife is our only remedy.

In spraying for insect pests two great classes of spray are used—those which kill by contact, used for all sucking insects, such as scale or aphides; and those which kill by poisoning, used against all mas- page 6 ticating insects, such as the larvæ of moths and beetles, especially the codlin-moth.

Many fruit-growers complain of the burning of foliage and fruit resulting from the application of well-tried remedies. It is true that damage may result from the use of the most carefully-prepared wash at times. Explicit directions cannot be given for these cases. Much has yet to be learned by experiment, and each one must exercise judgment, and govern the applications by surrounding circumstances of time, weather, and so on.

During the growing season the strength of the solutions used is controlled by the power of the green tissues to resist their action. In the early part of the season, while the shoots and leaves are yet tender, weaker solutions than those which may be safely applied later in the season must be used.

There is great diversity of susceptibility to the caustic action of the remedies between different species of fruits. For instance, the peach is very tender, and will only withstand very weak solutions : there is even much difference in this respect between different varieties of the same species, those who have sprayed with Paris green have no doubt noticed how some varieties of apples suffer, while others do not. The condition of the weather at time of application is of considerable importance in this connection: if possible, spraying should only be done on calm, cloudy days, or, at least, towards evening. Spraying during very hot bright weather is dangerous : even sulphur alone has been known to cause a burning of the foliage under a hot sun.

Avoid making the applications excessive. Do not drench the trees, as then the liquid collects into drops, which under a bright sun act as so many burning-glasses, besides in great measure destroying the efficacy by collecting in small thick patches (and leaving the greater portion exposed) the material we desired to spread as a thin protective covering all over the surface of the leaves, fruit, or wood, as the case may be. With a suitable spraying apparatus, producing the finest mist-like spray, generally speaking, the plant-surfaces should be merely damped, as with dew. Perhaps the best method of producing a thin effective layer of the protecting material is to go over the trees twice each time of spraying. That is to say, the orchardist should give the tree he starts on a very light spraying, and pass on. By the time he has got through, the first trees will probably be dry, and are then gone over again. By this means all dripping and loss of material is avoided, while the best possible application of the remedy is made.

Is spraying Fruit dangerous to Health?

The only insecticide sprays which are at all dangerous to use are the arsenic compounds, and even here the danger is greatly exaggerated by those not conversant with the facts. A case of fatal poisoning from their use as such has never been substantiated. The only danger lies in having the poison about a farm or orchard in bulk.

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The question as to whether arsenic may be absorbed by the growing plant in any degree has long ago been settled in the negative. The only way in which fruit can convey the poison to the consumer will be through the very minute quantity of arsenic left upon the edible part of the plant. Against the possibility of such an effect the following facts may be urged: A mathematical computation will quickly show that where the poison is used in the proportion of lib. to 150 gals, of water the arsenic will be so distributed through the water that it will be impossible for a sufficient quantity to collect upon any given apple to have the slightest injurious effect upon the consumer. In fact, such a computation will indicate beyond all doubt that it would be necessary for an individual to consume some twenty cases of apples at a single meal in order to absorb a fatal dose, even should such an enormous meal be eaten soon after spraying, and the consumer eat the entire fruit.

As a matter of fact, careful microscopic examinations have been made of the fruit and foliage of sprayed trees at various intervals after spraying, which indicate that the poison soon entirely disappears, either being blown off by the wind or washed off by rains, so that after fifteen days hardly the minutest trace can be discovered.

The whole subject was well summed up by Professor Riley in a recent lecture in Boston, United States, in the following words: "The latest sensational report of this kind was the rumour emanating from London within the last week that American apples were being rejected for fear that their use was unsafe. If we consider for a moment how minute is the quantity of arsenic that can, under the most favourable circumstances, remain in the calyx of an apple, we shall see at once how absurd this fear is; for, even if the poison which originally killed the worm remained intact, one would have to eat many barrels of apples at a meal to get a sufficient quantity to poison a human being. Moreover, much of the poison is washed off by rain, and some of it is thrown off by natural growth of the apple, so that there is, as a rule, nothing left of the poison in the garnered fruit. Add to this the further fact that few people eat apples raw without casting away the calyx and stem ends, the only parts where any poison could, under the most favourable circumstances, remain, and that these parts are always cut away in cooking, and We see how utterly groundless are any fears of injury, and how useless any prohibitive measures against American [or New Zealand] apples on this score."

Does it pay to Spray?

Probably in no other country in the world is spraying of fruits practised to the same extent as in the United States. Five years ago spraying for fungous diseases was practically unknown even there. Now, as a fair estimate, probably no less than fifty thousand fruit-growers are engaged in this work of spraying their vines for mildew, black-spot, &c., and their apples, peaches, apricots, and other fruits for numerous fungoid diseases, in accordance with suggestions originating in their Department of Agriculture.

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To give a more direct answer to the question, however, it may be stated that last season two hundred and fifty grape-growers in different parts of that country made a series of observations with a view of obtaining some definite information as to the value in hard cash of the recommendations made in the treatment of grape-diseases. The facts reported by these men show conclusively that the actual profit to them over all expenses resulting from the treatment of black-rot and downy-mildew was in round numbers £7,500. This is a tolerably conclusive answer to the question, Does it pay to spray?

The Remedies used.

A great many chemicals and chemical compounds have been tried in combating the numerous pests. Gradually the most effective ones have been determined, and the large and confusing number of washes reduced, so that now only nine need be mentioned—kerosene emulsion, resin washes, arsenite washes, hellebore, sulphide of soda, sulphur lime and salt, Bordeaux mixture, ammonio-carbonate of copper, and sulphate-of-iron solution.

Kerosene Emulsion.

This is a most useful wash. It acts by contact, and destroys sucking insects, such as aphides and scale. The ingredients are as follows:—
Kerosene 2gals.
Common soap ½lb.
Boiling water 1gal.

Melt the soap in the water, which should, by preference, be rainwater. Hard water is unsuitable : if only such is to be had, make it soft by adding some soda. When the soap has dissolved, pour the solution into the kerosene and thoroughly churn up with a syringe or in an old churn for ten to fifteen minutes. The emulsion then should, if perfect, form a cream which thickens on cooling without any appearance of free kerosene.

Another good formula where skim-milk is plentiful is as follows :—
Kerosene 2gals.
Milk (sweet or sour) lgal.

Churn together ten to fifteen minutes, as above.

One part of the emulsion to fourteen parts of warm water is used as a summer wash against all varieties of aphides or plant-lice, thrips, mussel-scale of the apple when on the move, black-scale, brown-scale of the orange, &c., and mealy-bug.

A stronger solution—one part to nine parts hot water—is used as a winter wash against all scale-insects.

Resin Washes.

These are also very excellent sprays, and are used against the same class of insects as the preceding. They act by contact, and page 9 also, in the case of scale, by forming an impervious coating, which effectually smothers the insects treated.

The following formula is for a strong winter wash, which must not he applied during the growing season, or it will cause loss of foliage and fruit:—
Resin 15lb.
Caustic soda (98 per cent.) 3lb.
Fish-oil of anv sort 1qt.
Water to make 50gals.

Put the resin, soda, and oil into a boiler; cover with 4in. to 6in. of water, and boil briskly for an hour or more, until the compound will blend perfectly with water : it is then cooked enough. Add water slowly, stirring well, until the compound amounts to 25 gals. It may then be put away, and used at any time by adding the remaining quantity of hot water. Most excellent for all scale-insects and woolly aphis of the apple, called in various parts of the country American blight, cottony blight, flossy blight, and white-mould.

Another resin wash for summer use is made as follows:—
Resin 6lb.
Caustic soda (98 per cent.) 1lb.
Water 36gals.

First melt the caustic soda in 1 gal. water in a boiler—or an empty kerosene-tin will serve the purpose. Let the boiling in all cases be done outside, for there is danger of the mixture boiling over and taking fire. When dissolved place half of the solution on one side, and add the resin to the remainder, and boil briskly. As it comes boiling up, from time to time add a little of the portion put aside. When that is done a little water may in the same way be added; but do not put in so much as to put the mixture off the boil, as that would delay the cooking. After half an hour try it from time to time: when cooked it will blend perfectly with water, and then, if in a kerosene-tin fill up gradually with water, if in a boiler make up to 4 gals. The compound is now prepared, and may be kept until wanted for use, or used at once by adding one part to eight parts hot water. This wash is especially useful against the apple-scale when on the move, and woolly aphis and thrips. It should be well strained ere putting into the spraying apparatus. In the application of these washes a coarse direct spray that can be thrown against the tree with considerable force should be used, as the object is not simply to damp the tree, but to thoroughly coat it over with the compound.

Paris Green and London Purple.

These arsenites are the best remedy against the codlin-moth, and, indeed, all leaf-eating insects, such as the pear-and plum-tree slug or leech, grasshoppers, various caterpillars, and bronze and other leaf-and fruit-eating beetles. Proportions as follows:—
Paris green or London purple 1lb.
Fresh quicklime 6lb. or 8lb.
Water 150gals.
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Slack the lime in two or three gallons of water, strain into the spraying apparatus. The Paris green or London purple should first be mixed with a small quantity of water, making a batter, then thin down and mix thoroughly with the lime-water, making the mixture up to the proportions as above. Care must be taken while spraying to keep the mixture thoroughly well stirred up, as the Paris green very soon settles down to the bottom.

In spraying apples for the codlin-moth, at least two or three applications are necessary; indeed, if surrounded by careless neighbours who do nothing to their trees, it will be necessary to spray from five to seven times. The first spraying should be made as soon as the blossom has fallen, the following sprayings generally at intervals of a fortnight. Any precise rule for this cannot be stated; the orchardist must exercise his own judgment. If the weather is calm and fine longer intervals between the sprayings should rule, and, on the contrary, if wet and boisterous the poison is soon washed or blown off, and must be applied at shorter intervals; indeed, if heavy rain should come on within twenty-four hours of spraying the spray should be applied again at the earliest moment.

In the case of bronze-beetle, and other leaf-and fruit-eating insects, spray at the earliest indication of their presence. It might also be noted that Paris green has been found to be an efficient preventative of scab on apples.

White-Hellebore Powder.

This is well known as a most efficient remedy for the cherry, pear, and plum slug or leech. Proportion :—
Hellebore 1oz.
Water 2gals.

It is best mixed some time before use, so as to extract all the strength. A good plan is to put 1oz. of the hellebore into each of any desired number of tin canisters, pickle-bottles, or any other handy receptacles, then fill up with boiling water. When prepared to spray, the contents of one of these should be strained into the apparatus for every two gallons of water.

The trees should be sprayed so soon as the little slugs get numerous on the leaves, and again in three weeks' time. Usually two sprayings in a season suffice, but if the pest is very bad another spraying may be necessary. In isolated orchards not surrounded by whitethorn hedges, after a year or two of careful spraying, once in the season will often be sufficient.

Sulphide-of-Soda Wash.

This is the most effective wash we at present have for the red spicier, which is such a destructive pest in southern orchards. Growers should be careful to apply this wash before the pest has made much headway; for when a colony of red spider gets thoroughly established under the web it spins on the back of the leaf, it becomes exceedingly difficult to reach the insect with any spray which will not injure the tree. When spray- page 11 ing against red spider, the object aimed at must be to thoroughly damp the under side of the leaves; a Cyclone nozzle is always best for that purpose. The first application should be made when the young red spiders are getting numerous—generally about the 1st of December; another spraying should be given a month later. It may be noted that this wash is also an excellent spray for scale when on the move, and for scab on the apple. Ingredients:—
Soft-soap 30lb.
Sulphur 8lb.
American concentrated lye 31b.
Water 150gals.

Boil the 30lb. soft-soap in 50 gals, water; then boil the 3lb. concentrated lye and 8lb. sulphur in about 2 gals, water. When thoroughly dissolved it is a dark-brown colour; now mix all together with about 100 gals, of water, and it is ready to apply. It should be put on warm; it is more effectual then, and goes further.

Lime, Sulphur, and Salt.—Winter Wash.

This is a wash that cannot be too largely used by our fruitgrowers throughout the colony—indeed, it may be said that if every deciduous fruit-tree throughout the land received a thorough dressing with this wash every winter, fully one-half of our insect and fungus pests would he reduced to such a minimum as to cause the fruit-grower practically no loss. It clears the tree from growth of moss and lichens, destroys scale, and larva) and eggs of many insects, also the spores of many fungi. Ingredients :—
Quicklime 40lb.
Sulphur 20lb.
Salt 15lb.
Water 60gals.

First boil 20lb. lime and 20lb. sulphur in 20 gals, water until both lime and sulphur are dissolved. This will require about an hour's boiling. When sufficiently done the mixture will be of an amber colour. The remainder of the lime should then be slacked in a barrel with hot water; add the salt, and stir up briskly. Mix the two lots together with enough water to make up 60 gals., which will then be a thin white wash. Strain, and apply hot, if possible, with coarse spray nozzle.


A large number of preparations have been recommended and used for fighting fungus pests. However, the three previously mentioned—Bordeaux mixture, ammonio-carbonate of copper, and sulphate-of-iron solution—will suit all practical purposes.

Bordeaux Mixture.

This now-celebrated fungicide has proved of immense value to vine-growers all over the world. It is impossible to estimate the saving it has effected. It stands in its modified form the cheapest page 12 as well as the best remedy for all fungus enemies of fruit-trees or vines which can be reached by spraying.

It is generally used in conjunction with the following fungicide : ammonio-carbonate of copper. The former is used early in the season, and the latter for the sprayings as the fruit approaches maturity, as the Bordeaux mixture has a tendency to stain it at that time. The following are the common names of the diseases for which the above-mentioned washes are of greatest value: Mildew, scab, and bitter-rot of the apple; scab, cracking, and leaf-blight of the pear; shot-hole fungus of apricot and peach; curl and rust (miscalled yellows) of the peach; rust and shot-hole fungus of the plum; oïdium or mildew and black-spot of the grape.

The Bordeaux mixture has been greatly modified of late, as recent experiments have proved that a much weaker solution than what was formerly in use gave practically as good results as the old formula. Ingredients:—
Sulphate of copper (bluestone) 2lb.
Quicklime 2lb.
Water 30gals.

It must be noted that these washes having copper as a base must not come in contact with iron, as then the copper would be deposited on the iron, and the wash spoiled. Dissolve the 2lb. sulphate of copper in 4 gals, hot water in a wooden vessel. Slack the lime in a gallon of water; pour this slowly through a strainer into the copper-sulphate solution; finally add the remaining 25 gals, water, stir thoroughly, and the mixture is ready for use.

Ammonio-carbonate of Copper.

As carbonate of copper is not kept in stock by the chemists it has to be made, which can easily be done, as follows: In a wooden tub dissolve 3lb. sulphate of copper in 4 gals, hot water. In another vessel dissolve 3½lb. common washing-soda in 1 gal. hot water. When cool pour the second solution slowly into the first; then, as soon as all action has ceased, add water enough to bring the whole up to 8 or 10 gals., and stir thoroughly. In twenty-four hours pour off the clear liquid, taking care not to disturb the sediment; add fresh water, and stir again. In another twenty-four hours pour off the clear liquid as before. The sediment remaining is carbonate of copper—impure, certainly, but suitable for our purpose. This paste may be immediately dissolved in aqua ammonia, strength 26° Baume—2 gals., or perhaps a little more, may be necessary. This concentrated fluid must be kept in well-corked jars, and it is ready for use at any time by diluting at the rate of 1 pint to 12 gals, water. Or the paste itself may be used, mixed in the proportions of 5oz. in 25 gals, water. In this case the mixture must be kept constantly stirred up, or the carbonate of copper will quickly settle to the bottom.

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Treatment of Apple-scab or Mildew.

For these diseases at least four sprayings are necessary, and in case of a wet season two additional sprayings are advisable. The early sprayings—say, the first three—may be the Bordeaux mixture, and as the fruit grows large the latter sprayings had better be the ammonio-carbonate solution. The first treatment should take place just before the flowers open, the second when the blossom falls, the third and following sprayings at intervals of a fortnight; in case of fine calm weather longer intervals may elapse. The finest possible spray, just sufficient to dampen the leaves and fruit, is the proper treatment.

Treatment of Pear-scab, Cracking, and Leaf-blight.

These diseases, caused by two different species of fungi, are combated by a similar line of treatment as the apple-scab.

Shot-hole Fungus of Apricot and Peach; also Peach-curl.

The Bordeaux mixture is likewise most valuable in treatment of these diseases. The first treatment should be just when the buds show signs of swelling, again just before the blossom opens, another when the leaves are an inch long, and again a fortnight later. The rust, which makes its appearance in the beginning of autumn, giving the upper side of the leaves a yellow-spotted appearance, and the under side dotted over with small rusty-looking specks, in some districts seriously damages both peach-and plum-trees by destroying the foliage before the wood is ripe. Where this disease is prevalent the trees should receive a spraying, directed particularly to the under side of the leaves, on the first appearance of the fungus, and again a fortnight later. These sprayings are not only of service against the rust, but they also do good in destroying any of the other fungi which may have escaped the early sprayings, and which will now be forming resting-spores or seeds for the crop of next season.

Treatment of Oïdium, Mildew, and Black-spot of the Grape.

All over the country one may hear that in the early days of the colony grape-vines flourished and bore good crops; but now how seldom does one come across healthy grape-vines in the open! There are a few exceptions, but, as a rule, from the north to the south the vine has been swept away by the two fungus diseases mentioned above. These diseases can now be successfully combated. The grape, the most valuable of fruits, can, with these remedies at hand, be grown profitably in many parts of the country, and there is no good reason why in days to come a flourishing wine industry should not be developed. In' addition to the before-mentioned fungicides there is another very valuable one used in treatment of the vine—viz.,—

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Sulphate-of-Iron Solution.

This is only used as a winter dressing, and the ingredients are—
Sulphate of iron 5lb.
Sulphuric acid ½lb.
Boiling water 1gal.

Place the sulphate of iron in a wooden vessel, and pour the acid over it with care; then add the water very slowly; when dissolved stir up, and it is ready for use. About 2 gals, required for one acre of vines. After pruning gather up and burn all the prunings. Then paint the vines thoroughly with the mixture while warm. If heavy rains wash the mixture off a day or two after application another dressing must be made to insure success.

Spring and Summer Treatments.

Soon as the buds push out an inch, spray with Bordeaux mixture, and again just before the blossom opens, again when the grapes are well set, and a fourth time a fortnight later. If the weather be dry and no appearance of disease to be seen, further treatment may be unnecessary, but should the weather be unfavourable and any signs of mildew or spot make their appearance, fortnightly sprayings of the ammonio-carbonate-of-copper solution must be resorted to until the weather sets in warm and dry. With careful attention, as here detailed, for a season or two, these diseases will be well-nigh eradicated, and then a winter dressing and one or two sprayings in the spring will suffice.

Every fruit-grower should make himself thoroughly acquainted with all pests. He should study their life-history as far as he is able, in order that he may deal with them intelligently, and in the case of any new pests making their appearance he may be able to eradicate them before they firmly establish themselves. When there is any doubt as to the identity of any pest, specimens should be sent to the Department of Agriculture for determination, and advice as to treatment.

An endeavour has been made to write this pamphlet in simple language, free from technical or scientific terms; and the publication in this brief and practical form brings before the fruit-growers the best remedies for fruit-pests known up to date, as established by a vast number of experiments; and it is believed the simple facts therein arrayed will serve a useful purpose.

Lionel Hanlon.

Prices of the chief ingredients in the foregoing washes :—

Paris green, 1s. 3d. per pound; London purple, 1s. 3d. per pound; sulphate of copper, 5d. per pound, 35s. per hundredweight; sulphate of iron, 3d. per pound, 20s. per hundredweight; caustic soda, 8s. per 101b. drum; resin, 3d. per pound, 8s. to 9s. per 100lb.; hellebore, 1s. 6d. per pound, 1s. 3d. per pound by 14lb. tins; American concentrated lye, 10d. per pound in 10lb. tins; aqua ammonia, 4s. per gallon.

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The small bronze-beetle (Encolaspis bnunea) is proving a very serious pest in many orchards in the North, destroying the fruit of the apple, and also eating the leaves from the young shoots of the plum and the pear. Many inquiries have been made as to the best way of fighting this pest. As it is somewhat difficult to poison with Paris green, owing to its habit of feeding on the young growing points of the shoots and round the stalks of apples clustered together, the writer has found it best to take advantage of the habit the beetle has of falling from the tree when disturbed, to catch and destroy it. To do this, obtain sufficient lining-boards and fasten together in a square large enough to cover the ground beneath the branches of your largest trees. The square should be in two pieces, with a notch cut out of each where the trunk of the tree will come. Give the boards a good thick coat of gas-tar, and the apparatus is ready. Go to work by gently placing the tarred square beneath an infected tree, then give each main branch a good smart shake. A forked stick will greatly assist in reaching the upper ones. Down will fall the beetles, and stick in the tar. Proceed in a similar manner with the rest of the trees. In two or three days go over the orchard again, and a third time a little later. This will usually suffice to clear out the pest for the season.

Small trees may be cleared by shaking the beetles into an inverted umbrella, and then emptying them into an old milk-pan in which has been placed a small quantity of kerosene and water.

Orchards which are kept well cultivated and free from grass and weeds suffer but little from this pest.

L. H.

Another good plan, especially for uneven ground, is to obtain a large sheet of stout material, cut a slit from middle of one side to centre of sheet, bind the edges of slit strongly, and provide with strings or buttons and holes. Fix an eyelet in each corner of the sheet. Procure four pointed stakes with a small hook at top. Place the sheet so that the stem of the tree will be at bottom of the slit—i.e., centre of sheet—then button the slit over. Force the stakes into the ground, and lift a corner of the sheet to each hook. Then shake the tree, gather up the beetles, and tip them into a bucket containing water and kerosene.

Fires in the orchard at night will destroy a good many of the beetles.


By Authority: George Didsbury, Government Printer, Wellington.