If that's his only problem, he's lucky. At least bird damage can be seen when you pick the cherries. Infestation by the cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis cerasi, is only noticed when you bite into the cherry . In our French orchard, we can only defeat the problem by picking the fruit really early, before it is ripe, and before the flies have had a chance to lay their eggs (or before the eggs have hatched). There are supposed remedies (other than synthetic pesticides, which we don't want to use), but locally we've been told that they don't work. All our neighbours have this problem too.francovendee wrote:A friend here has a large cherry tree that fruits beautifully but he gets very few to eat as the birds have defeated all his efforts to stop them stealing the fruit.
Our favourite fruit tree is a specimen of Mirabelle Plum which appears to be immune from insect attack. We've had bumper crops over the years, but sadly the tree is past its best, it has shed several branches recently and probably won't last much longer.