Media Release - 24 September 2017
Appeal to remove unwanted fruit trees
Now is the easiest time to remove or reduce the size of fruit trees you can no longer use or maintain
Householders are being urged to cut back or remove any fruit trees they can no longer manage, as part of a concerted effort to remove host fruit for Queensland Fruit Fly before the warmer weather.
The Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area Committee says unwanted, oversized and untended fruit trees across the district are a major obstacle to stopping fruit fly.
GSPFA Regional Coordinator Deidre Jaensch said unmanaged fruit trees provide all the elements needed for fruit fly to multiply rapidly, food shelter and a place to lay their eggs.
“If fruit fly is controlled our growers can access more markets and they incur fewer costs, which helps to ensure healthy horticultural businesses and a positive flow-through to our local economy and workforce,” she said.
Ms Jaensch said many people had trees in their back yards which they no longer wanted or which produce too much fruit for them to use.
“Removing trees is a permanent solution because it removes any potential for the flies to breed,” she said.
“Fruit flies need fruit to lay their eggs, and even leaving one or two fruit on the trees provides everything they need – and can be just as bad as applying no control at all.”
Ms Jaensch said now was an opportune time to remove deciduous trees, before they were heavy in leaf to avoid the trouble of disposing of maggot riddled fruit.
“Most people can remove the trees themselves, or have friends or neighbors to lend a hand, but where people aren’t able to manage, we have some funding from the Victorian Government and industry charges to arrange for their removal,” she said.
“There’s only limited funding available and conditions apply, but if people need to have a tree removed they should get in touch with us to talk about what’s available.”
Ms Jaensch said for people retaining their trees, ongoing management was required from now on. “Traps for both males and females should be maintained and are available from agricultural suppliers, gardening and hardware stores and they not only kill flies but are essential in working out when flies are active.
“If you do enjoy having your fruit trees and their produce, you can get good control by reducing the height of trees to a more manageable size, applying bait sprays at least six to eight weeks before harvest or netting the fruit you want to keep” she said.
To register your tree for removal or for further advice please contact the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area on 5022 0327 or IDC@greatersunraysiapfa.com.au or contact us via our website www.pestfreearea.com.au.
Remember, almost every type of fruit and fruiting vegetable is a potential host for fruit fly.
Don’t bring fruit or vegetables into the Pest Free Area
Advise visiting friends and relatives not to bring fruit or vegetables with them