last issue, Jeff answered a question about protecting cherry
trees from birds, squirrels and other would-be fruit robbers.
He suggested a physical barrier such as netting or spun-row covers.
One of our readers offered another solution:
Thanks for all the good advice that keeps coming our way from your
experience. As far as organic protection from pests for cherries,
I know one of my uncles used a sprayed-on kaolin or clay barrier
on fruit trees. Both insects and birds were discouraged from the
fruit, no matter what kind, since their bright colors were dulled
by the clay, and the film on the fruit deterred them.
Would this be considered an organic solution? Have you heard of
anyone else using this method on cherries? Just a thought.
Tim Gierschick II
I’m not a cherry grower and have no experience with them
at all. I would think that the kaolin product would do just what
you suggest. I spoke with several of my colleagues and no one saw
a problem with the practice from a cultural aspect.
We use the product on a routine basis on our apple trees with great
success as part of our insect management program. Our organic certifier
has no problem with it and I have not heard of anyone who has experienced
any problems with certification. If you are currently certified,
I suggest you contact your certifier prior to using any new product
and receive a letter of support.
Let me know how it works if you try it.
Have some questions to Ask Jeff? E-mail him
directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.