Deformed honey crisp apples #851213

Asked September 25, 2023, 4:47 PM EDT

So I have 2 Honey Crisp trees and the majority of the applies are deformed. I believe it is a Apple magot, but not 100% sure. I did start spraying with Seven in late June or early July, but I think the damage had been done. Can I do anything now so that I have better apples next year? Is it really apple magot?

Olmsted County Minnesota

Expert Response

Hi Brian,

This is insect damage from apple maggots and possibly plum curculio. If you want apples that are free of insect damage you need to follow a spray program or find ways to exclude the bugs. Apple maggots are active most of the summer.

The issue with using sprays is that you need to apply after every rain (which wasn't really an issue this year!). The easiest organic way to keep bugs out of apples is by bagging them early in their development.

Here’s a guide to dealing with apple maggot, including bagging the fruit:

I have a Honeycrisp and for many years have bagged apples. It’s a time investment when you’re slipping baggies on small fruit in June, but it’s worth it because you don’t have to repeatedly spray. A guide to bagging is included in the above link.

Some advice if you choose to bag fruit: timing is critical. You need to bag when the apples are about the size of a grape. And stapling the baggie on either side of the fruit stem is a good way to ensure that the bags don’t blow off. Just pressing the bags shut doesn’t work that well.

Some people use these imperfect apples in pies or cider.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

Mary Jane Smetanka Replied September 25, 2023, 5:31 PM EDT
Thanks  I did bag a couple of years and it did help, but I probably waited to long. Probably the size of a plum when I bagged. Good advice.

One question, do you prune the fruit. If a cluster has 5 apples on it, I usually prune to 1 or 2 when size of grape. Is that good practice?

Thanks again, Brian 

On Mon, Sep 25, 2023 at 4:31 PM Ask Extension <<personal data hidden>> wrote:
The Question Asker Replied November 02, 2023, 1:23 PM EDT

Hi Brian,

I apologize for the late reply to your follow up question, I didn't get it until today. Yes, when you're bagging apples thin the cluster down to a single fruit. And bag when the apples are the size of a grape. If you let them get much bigger than that they may already be buggy.


Mary Jane Smetanka Replied November 02, 2023, 8:49 PM EDT
Thank you for the clarification.

On Thu, Nov 2, 2023 at 7:49 PM Ask Extension <<personal data hidden>> wrote:
The Question Asker Replied November 02, 2023, 9:39 PM EDT

You’re welcome!

Mary Jane Smetanka Replied November 03, 2023, 3:35 PM EDT

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