Improving Apple & Pear Production

It's a challenge to apply the various control products at the correct time to keep diseases and insects at bay on your apple and pear trees. Here is a clever technique the Japanese have used for more than 150 years to produce near perfect apples.


The technique is called bagging.


How to Bag Fruit:


1. Buy zipper-lock or sliding-lock sandwich size plastic bags. Snip off the two bottom corners of each bag diagonally. This allows accumulated moisture to drain away from developing fruit.


2. When the fruit is about the size of a large pea, thin clusters to one fruit and thin to space apples at least eight inches apart on branches.


3. Place a bag over each fruit and close the zipper or slide lock around the fruit stem. If the fruit falls off during the process, it wasn't fully pollinated and would abort on its own later.


After bagging, all you need to do is observe the developing fruit periodically. Extra heat gathered by the plastic bag will help to increase the sugar content of apples and pears and contribute to larger size. Fruit colors perfectly, it remains firm and crunchy, too. When it's time to harvest, simply snap off apples from trees as you would normally.


Many growers leave apples in their bags for long-term storage, so the fruits don't dehydrate. Apples stored this way will remain crunchy and sweet much longer than thosed stored without coverage. Apples will also mature a week or two earlier when grown in bags, which can be a tremenous bonus in the shorter growing season areas