Fruit tree spray and fruit tree spraying should be a part of your plan to control pests and diseases. Find facts and information on fruit tree sprays, spraying fruit trees, safety precautions and pest control. The most commonly used products will be covered; fungicides, insecticides, pesticides, and dormant oils. This also applies to your espaliered fruit trees that you might have.
Fruit trees offer ornamental beauty as well as delicious harvested fruit year after year. It is important to carefully manage their growth and conditions throughout the year. If you are wanting to obtain picture perfect fruit in a home garden it will require special attention to pruning, fruit thinning, and controlling pests and diseases. Careful planning begins with the correct choice of cultivar for your climate and site. There are so many varieties of fruit trees available that you can look for cultivars bred for your local extension agent to find out which types are the best.
How to keep your fruit trees free of diseases and pests
Few fruit trees perform reliably year after year without the use of pesticides. You can help to prevent pests and diseases by keeping the ground around your trees free of dropped fruit and vegetative debris. For guaranteed pest-free harvests, however, you will need to learn how and when to spray your trees.
Safety and protective wear when spraying
For a home-garden spraying of just a few trees, a conventional pump sprayer may be sufficient, although a motorized sprayer is easier on your hands. Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, protective eyewear, and rubber gloves while mixing and spraying chemicals.
Read and follow the label instructions completely, measure carefully, and do not exceed the recommended application. Keep children and pets away from the area until the spray has dried. Mix only what you need for one application; a small amount of excess can be sprayed onto the trees. No amount should ever be stored.
Dormant Oil and Pesticides
Apply dormant oil before buds swell, when the tree is dormant and the temperature is above 40 degrees F. to smother insects that have overwintered on the tree. Dormant oil or horticultural oil applied a little later, when green leaves on apples and pears are 1/4” to 1/2” long, may be even more effective.
Bordeaux mixture can also be applied at this stage. Pesticides to control mites, aphids, leaf miners, scale, and psylla should also be used at this green-tip stage but should not be applied at the same time as or directly after the oils.
Using Insecticides and Fungicides
Spray insecticides when buds are fully formed and showing color but are not yet open. Fungicides for control of scab, rust, and powdery mildew are also applied at this stage and again on open blossoms. Avoid spraying insecticides when flowers are in bloom to avoid killing pollinators such as honeybees. Spray insecticides and fungicides again to apples, pears, and cherries when nearly all of the flower petals have fallen.
This is also a good time to prevent plum curculio, leaf rollers, stinkbugs, and other pests as well as diseases encouraged by hot, humid weather. (Wait for 10 days after petals fall on other fruit trees before spraying to control rots.) use either or both again at 10-day intervals until fruit sets. Fall-fruiting trees can be sprayed again with insecticidal soap or pesticide at 14-day intervals throughout the summer as long as the temperature is not above 90 degrees F.
Tips on Spraying Fruit Trees
1. Follow label directions carefully to measure the correct amount for one application only.
2. Fill the sprayer with the correct amount of water for the amount of pesticide added to the sprayer.
3. A conventional pump sprayer is sufficient for home-garden treatment of just a few small trees.
4. Adjust the nozzle for accurate spraying and to avoid drift onto non-targeted areas.
5. Spray fall-fruiting trees with pesticide in the summer but stop applications at the appropriate time.
Orchard Control of Voles
Voles, another name for mice, can cause a tremendous amount of damage to fruit trees, especially apple trees. It is possible that the damage is not noticed for quit some time, but you will soon notice that your trees have been weak, or begins dying. This often happens in early spring or late summer. Preventive measures include using chlorophacinone baits or zinc phosphide.
Reference: www.extension.iastate.edu/publications/pm1282.pdf, Orchard Vole Control.