Signup to receive email updates




or follow our RSS feed

Authors


John Fulton


John Fulton
Former County Extension Director



Blog Archives

732 Total Posts

follow our RSS feed

Blog Banner

In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis

Home Fruit Tree Spray Schedule

Posted by John Fulton -

What a way to usher spring in! At least temperatures have been mostly mild this winter. Many trees and shrubs are showing those effects with plump buds on many of the early species.

When it comes to spray programs for apple and pear trees, the two rules are to be consistent and be persistent. Quality fruit these days takes these two things, and time. It seems like quality fruit must be sprayed at the recommended intervals. Starting with dormant oils, these need to be applied before buds swell. Dormant oils are usually needed only every two or three years to provide control of scales and mites. Sure, the populations will build up in the off years, but should remain relatively low if the three-year program is followed. Dormant oils do require temperatures above freezing for 24 hours, but you want to be ahead of the bud swell.

The first regular spray of the year is applied when the green tissue is ½ inch out of the bud. This spray for homeowners usually consists of a multipurpose fruit spray (and sulfur if needed for powdery mildew). Multipurpose fruit spray has been re-formulated the last few years to include malathion, captan, and carbaryl (methoxychlor was eliminated from the old mixture). This same mixture would be used when the fruit buds are in the pink stage (when fruit buds show color). After that, the persistence and consistence pays off as you spray with the same mixture about every 10 days until we get to within two weeks of harvest. In our area, we need to continue spraying this late because of apple maggot and sooty mold.

This spray program will also control borers on apples and pears, if you also thoroughly spray the trunk and main limbs of the trees. On non-bearing, young fruit trees where borers have attacked, you can spray the trunks every two weeks during June and July with a multipurpose fruit spray.

The spray schedule for peaches, nectarines, apricots, and plums varies a little bit. The dormant spray for them uses captan fungicide. This is the only spray that controls leaf curl and plum pockets. The next spray is when fruit buds show color with captan, followed by captan at bloom. When the husks begin to pull away from the base of the fruit we would then spray with sulfur, captan, and malathion. This mix would then be used every 10 days or so to within a week of harvest.

For borers on the peach group, you can spray or paint the trunk only with carbaryl (Sevin) on June 15, July 15, and August 15. We have some challenges with the loss of some of the insecticides, since carbaryl can cause fruit drop or thinning on the peach group and some apples.

Website Information

The Logan County Extension Office continues to develop its website at www.extension.uiuc.edu/logan . The site contains program information, subject matter, links to other university sites, and fact sheets. I have even started blogs for horticulture and agriculture. Reposts of these columns, as well as frequent horticulture information updates, may by found on the "In The Backyard" blog. The world continues to change. If you would have told me a couple of years ago I would be a blogger, I'd probably have hit you. Now, it's very commonplace. I'll try to update the blog as samples and calls come into the office.



Please share this article with your friends!
Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter