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Plant Diseases/root damage


Hi,I am satisfied with your answer.Can you tell me is there any chemical or poision that can prevent aple tree root damage caused by  any kind of insects and fungal.particularly for clayey soil where water can retain and it is harmful for apple trees,as I have lost about 15 trees due to poor drainage of clayey soil.Same is also reason for apple tree loss in area where soil is loose and allows insects to settle beneath tree and cause damage by making hole in roots.

Dear Vivek, For the clay soil areas, the only real solution will be to drain the water away from the trees by a series of small trenches.  The trenches or canals will drain the water away from the area.  Dig small trenches between the trees and slope them downwards, so that the water will drain from the trees and to an area of your choosing.  In times of flooding conditions such as monsoon, there is not too much you can do when the water comes down faster than it can drain away.  Just try to keep working on these trenches and keep channelling the water away from the trees.  It will remove the excess water away from your trees much quicker and that will make a lot of difference.  As far as the insects or small rodents in the soil damaging the roots, the best thing you can do is keep your orchard very clean of fallen leaves and litter, because these are places for insects to hide and reproduce.  The problem with chemicals and poisons to kill these bugs is that by putting poisons into the soil to kill the bugs, you are also putting poisons into your apples.  That will make them contain poison and will greatly affect the taste as well.  You could try to set traps for small rodents, and perhaps put out sticky tape near places that seem to have a lot of insect activity.  In the morning you can collect the insects and discard them and it may also give you a clue as to what the problems are.  The only thing that I think you can drench the soil with is NEEM which is organic.  It might help control any excess soil fungus that you have and it might also kill some of the damaging bugs in the area.  I wouldn't use anything stronger than that.  I hope this information helps you somewhat.  We also have a lot of clay in our soil here and I know how very challenging it can be.  Good luck, Melissa  

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Melissa Johnston


Plant diseases, landscaping, tropical plants, roses, herbs, plant care, grafting, horticulture, plant identification, anything about plants I can likely answer.


35 years experience in various plant businesses, 1984 Certified Texas Master Gardener.

Master Gardener Association of Texas charter member

none as of yet, but I have a plant q&a book I am in process of submitting.

Magna cum laude graduate of Texas A&M, 1978

Awards and Honors
Plant growing awards, highest grade for Texas Master Gardener graduates.

Past/Present Clients
Past member of and was very highly rated. Owned landscape company in the past, Almost Paradise, and was very successful despite little equipment, no help, and no advertising. Lived well for two years until 9/11.

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