Saturday, 17 May 2014

What is eating my Cherries?

I have been very blessed this year with my two cherry trees full of juicy cherries. Well not quite juicy yet you understand but the promise of fruit is there. Thankfully one of the trees is small enough to net & the other well while it is taller I could possibly chuck something over that too. Blackbirds like cherries also!



I thought I had taken a photo of the damage but if I did I cant find it now! I shall try my very best to describe the issue.

On one branch only or so it seems the cherries have been eaten. A green shell remains. Now the cherries are small, hard & green at present. It can't be blackbirds as they have the knack of whipping them off the tree the very second they ripen to perfection. I have pondered over the possibility of mice, we are surrounded by fields of course. I have also skated over ever so brieflyin my mind of rats but there is no sign of rat activity in the garden & as I say it is only on one branch. The rest of them seem fine so far. Also the trees are in large tubs.

For the record my two cherry trees are 'Stella' - sweet & 'Morello' - sour. This issue is only on the Morello tree.

At the moment my very favourite cake is Cherry Madeira cake & am perusing the idea of perhaps trying to glacé my own cherries. Naturally I am getting too far away with myself after all  I'm sure the blackbirds will get them before I do.

As always enjoy your day

Ps, my local yarn store Stash Fine Yarns has 20% of Debbie Bliss & 25% off Manos Del Uruguay & Hobbycraft in store are reducing lots of yarns. Naturally I have taken advantage of said offers, thought some of you crafty types might do to. Hobbycraft are reducing a huge amount of Rowan yarns, the expensive stuff too & it is still part of their 3 for 2 on all yarn! Super bargains to be had.

38 comments:

  1. I hope you get to the bottom of this mystery. I now have a craving for Cherry Madeira cake!

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    1. I'm checking everyday to see if I an spot anything. So have I, I've ran out - need to make some more.

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  2. There is cherry drop where immature fruit drops from the tree before it has time to ripen, but I think that only occurs on sweet cherry trees. I hope you manage to solve the mystery. I didn't get much blossom on my Stella tree this year, there must be about half a dozen immature cherries on the whole tree, no worthwhile harvest for me this year. You're very naughty telling me about a yarn shop which is offering discounts, I shall just have to wander over there and have a look now.

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    1. Mmmm it's not that. I'm going to take a proper photo of them today. It's a shame about your cherry tree this year but it took several years for mine to blossom properly. Just a friendly helpful hint Jo :) Hope you found something that you liked!

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  3. For the first time this year we have watched a wood pigeon taking immature plums off our trees. They would have taken the whole fruitlet though not just pecked a tiny hole. I wonder is it something coming out - some sort of tiny bug?

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    1. We have wood pigeons & doves in the garden though I do agree with you about the whole fruit being taken. It could be a bug, I hope not but then the cherries have only been on the tree for a couple of weeks. They made their way out pretty quick.

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  4. We have the same Cherry types as you so I will keep an eye on ours for this, I have no idea what could be causing it unfortunately.

    Have you Googled the problem?

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    1. I did have a google yesterday Sue, no specific answer but I found a few mentioning robins. They were overseas but I am wondering if the smaller birds were pecking for bugs as it were & pecked the cherries too.

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  5. My guess is it will be birds. The ones on the fruit farm here have been hit by pigeons! The Farmer Boy reckons they are working in organised gangs ;)

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    1. I would prefer birds rather than bugs. We certainly get pigeons in the garden, perhaps I will have to start netting the trees now!

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  6. Sounds like you need to go on a stakeout to catch the culprit, but my guess is you're far too busy to be able to do that. I'm sorry I can't offer any ideas and hope that you don't lose too many. We rent our cherry tree - the fruit farmer does all the work and we go and pick our cherries around July, how idle is that? Quite good though. Cherry madeira cake sounds like heaven! Have a good weekend. Jane x

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    1. I could sit out there with my knitting, I think renting a cherry tree is a superb idea. I wish they did that by me, I may enquire at the farm shop. It's not idle at all, sounds more like common sense to me. It is, especially when you bite into a cherry.

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  7. Could it be something eating from inside,such as a bug or caterpillar? That would explain why it's only on one branch ie if the Mum laid eggs on that branch.
    Jane x

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    1. It's a possibility I hope not though. If it is bugs they seemed to eat their way out pretty quickly.

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  8. My guess would be birds are the culprits. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. Flighty xx

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    1. I hope it is birds rather than a bug inside. I can net against birds but I won't spray against the bugs. Have a lovely Sunday.

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  9. I'm thinking maybe birds? I've never grown cherries so I have no advice. Sometimes my apples get eaten by insects or birds. Enjoy your new yarn supply. :)

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    1. I do hope so. I can net against them. Yes my apples get nibbled too but as I only grow cooking apples I can cut around the damage + the cooking heat will kill any remaining bugs. So many bargains this weekend, I don't think I have ever bought so much yarn in one day before. All useful though.

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  10. If you lived where I did, I'd say it was the kids! However, more likely to be winter moth caterpillars. I'm not clever, I just googled it!! :) Have a look at 'cherry tree pests' on the Ken Muir website; the caterpillars are known to eat the fruit and leave a hole that goes to the cherry stone. Bugs are thriving after a mild winter so there's a lot of competition for food! The website will give advice to stop the problem this winter. I'd better go and check my Morello trees now!!

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    1. If it was later on in the year & ripened I would say my kids. I read something about 'winter moth'. There is no stone in the cherry though they are only a couple of weeks old & there is no entry/exit hole just one side of the skin left like a sort of empty shell. Hope your trees are ok.

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  11. No cherry advice I'm afraid, but I hope that you figure it out, netting can't hurt as it will stop the birds getting at them when the do ripen! Happy yarning! xx

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    1. Hopefully it is birds as I can net against them but I won't use bug sprays. Oh so much yarn bought I think it will be ecstatic yarning!

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  12. Hi Joanne - thank you for entering my Orla Keily giveaway on my blog. I'm making my sister a granny square blanket in Debbie Bliss Rialto from my yarn stash. Use that shop too by post. Amanda x

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    1. My pleasure it looks a lovely useful box. Rialto is my favourite yarn, I bet a blanket made out of it would be super soft, I envy your sister now! I order from them on line & pick it up from the shop, it really is a lovely shop. Then again when we pass by when going to Chester I always call in for a ball or three!

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  13. I hope you get to the bottom of things, the birds always seem to get ours, even with a net
    Clare x

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    1. I hope so too, it's the first year I have had this many cherries on the trees. They always have a knack for getting through the net don't they!

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  14. Thanks for the tip about the yarns, I'll have a look. I hope your cherries are okay. I've put a little Morello tree in my front garden. Last year my next door neighbour gave me some of his and they were utterly delicious.

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    1. Lots of lovely things there. I have a sour tooth not sure who I am trying to kid I have a sweet one too! I enjoy them of the tree, I hope your tree does well for you.

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  15. Our cherries never get as far as ripening- the birds hoik 'em off long before! x

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    1. I have no doubt they will this year. I think we managed to eat two last year off the Stella tree. I am being ever so optimistic that if I solve the problem I will have a chance of harvesting some.

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  16. Do you have a government agricultural office near? They are good at answering questions and always interested in potential threats to fruit growers. I haven't heard of anything happening at the hard green stage as far as insects are concerned but I would read up on Drosophila and Tephritidae to be on the safe side.

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    1. There will be something similar, it's a good idea I will look into it. Perhaps I could send off the offending fruits. That's what I am finding so strange about it, they really are like little bullets. I will, thanks

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  17. I love anything with cherries! And it is a dream of mine to have a cherry tree! That cake sounds delicious!!! And hmmmm.....do you have chipmunks or squirrels in your garden??? Our squirrels are crazy and could probably break those open just like that! Have a great weekend friend! Nicole xo

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    1. No chipmunks but yes there are squirrels about. Never had them in the garden before but as there a fruit trees about I'm sure it wont take long! Have a great Sunday.

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  18. I hope the birds don't get to them, i love the sound of your cake.

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    1. I would rather the birds than the bugs! The cake is wonderful just a basic Madeira cake with glacé cherries added.

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  19. I've got a rather large cherry tree and can only save the fruit from the birds on the lower branches by tying a few together in a bunch and then wrapping a large clear plastic recycling bag over the bunch of branches tied on with garden wire. I make holes in the bottom of the bags to allow rain water to drain out and that way for the first time I had at least a couple of pounds of beautiful juicy fruit.

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  20. i have the same problem on one of my two stella cherry trees..
    i have googled but no luck so far..
    it looks like the immature fruits have been eaten. definitely not 'dropped' (it was looking like a good crop too :-( )

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