When we bought our house about 2 years ago, I was so excited to have a large, old apple tree in the back yard. And later that year I couldn't wait to eat the lime green apples! But, it was not meant to be. Apple worms had destroyed the apples...ALL of them.
So the second year I "protected" them with the paper bags, like they do in Japan. I thought I was really smart for coming up with a safe/natural way to prevent the apple worms' destruction, even though it looked ridiculous. This option turned out to be a lot of work and some of the protective bags fell off in strong wind. But I remained steadfast: "No spray is going in THIS garden!" I waited for the apples to mature and when they did? More than half of them were eaten by the worms, AGAIN. Apparently, they are able to chew thru the bags and/or wiggle underneath the ties. And the taste of the few apples that survived the attack? Only so-so.
Now, I'm thinking about my options. And I'm thinking about the fate of the apple tree. We're considering a rearrangement of the backyard, since my husband wants to build an outbuilding for his motorcycles. And in our latest discussion, the current apple tree location is slated for the relocation of the greenhouse.
The very thought of chopping down the apple tree feels un-American...maybe even un-humane! But the reality is that I have a small backyard and I need to make my space count. If we end up moving the greenhouse to the apple tree spot, I'll probably have to plant another one somewhere else, just for the purpose of being redeemed. Actually, there would probably be space for a nice espaliered apple tree along the fence. But you know what? I'll still have the apple worms, so what's the point? There are other fruit trees/shrubs that I could plant instead of an apple tree that wouldn't be so bothered by pests. Why don't I just do that? Hmm...more raspberries, or blueberries or a fig tree.