Pest and Disease Control for Healthy Fruit Trees

Protecting against fruit tree pests using yellow sticky tape

This informative half day workshop provides you with the knowledge and skills to identify, prevent, and treat many common pests and diseases of fruit trees. You'll also learn the key principles that result in a healthy, balanced, biodiverse garden that is less likely to attract pests and diseases, as well as learning how to make one of the most useful organic sprays.

Curly leaf attacks peaches and nectarines in srping

Pests and diseases are responsible for most fruit losses from organic farms and backyards, but many of them are preventable.

Earwings do a lot of damage to soft stone fruitThis workshop covers the common categories of fruit tree pests and diseases, with suggestions for prevention and treatment of each one.  You'll also learn how to monitor your trees, how to identify pests and diseases, and how to decide when (or if) to take action.

The workshop includes a practical session demonstrating how to mix and use Bordeaux, the most common household pest and disease preventive, and lots of info about other organic remedies. Brown rot is a major threat in stone fruit peaches and nectarines

You can see and test home spray units, and learn about appropriate safety gear and techniques. If you’ve got a great organic home remedy that's worked in your garden, bring it along and share your experience.

The workshop is taught by Katie & Hugh, who have learnt through 15 years' of experience at Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens, that when it comes to pest and disease control there are two maxims that carry equal weight: "Be prepared" and "Don't panic".

By the end of this workshop you’ll be able to recognise most common pests and diseases of fruit trees, and know how to prevent them. You'll also understand the keys to building a resilient ecosystem in your garden.


"Thanks, we will definitely put into practice the advice on controlling pests in the orchard and garden."
Judy and Phillip Hopley, Harcourt


Who is this workshop for?

  • People who are already growing, or wanting to grow, their own fruit
  • People who are renting houses with fruit trees in the backyard
  • People who look after fruit trees in the community
  • People who are interested in organics, permaculture, growing their own food or food security
  • People who already grow, or are interested in growing fruit commercially

What does this workshop cover?

  • Descriptions, prevention and treatment of fruit fly and other common pests like codling moth, pear and cherry slug, aphids, earwigs, and bugs
  • How to avoid common diseases like curly leaf, brown rot, apple scab (black spot), and gummosis
  • How healthy soil helps to prevent pest and disease outbreaks
  • Pest prevention activities by season
  • How to discourage birds
  • Biodiversity - what is it, and how does it help prevent pests and diseases
  • The relationship between backyard pest control, commercial growers, and food security, and why we all have a responsibility to keep our trees healthy

What’s provided?

  • Pest and disease reference books to help identify samples you bring along
  • Workshop notes

>What you need to bring:

  • Got a pesky pest or unidentified disease? Bring along a sample or a photo, and if it’s new to us, our reference books might shed some light.
  • A pen and/or coloured markers for note taking
  • Appropriate warm and outdoor clothing (part of the workshop is inside, but depending on the venue it may not be heated, and part of the workshop is outside)

About Us

We – Hugh and Katie Finlay – draw on over 15 years' experience as orchardists at our farm, Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens, to bring you the Grow Great Fruit Program, the farm-proven system for home fruit growers.

To read the full story of our farming journey, click here 


Our blog gives a snapshot on various aspects of life on the farm. Currently Katie is documenting her journey as winner of the 2015 RIRDC Rural Women's Award for Victoria!

Visit the blog 

MAFG Forum

Grow Great Fruit Forum

Our Grow Great Fruit Forum is a place where our program members can access member resources, ask questions, and find answers to their specific fruit-growing problems.

Visit the Forum here.

Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens © 2018