Time to spray young trees??

thebug1971(z6 OH)March 30, 2008


I have two very young (one year old) apple trees and a peach tree. I am not exactly sure when is the proper time to apply spray. I have pruned the apples but have not pruned the peach yet. Is it too early to spray? I am in eastern Ohio in zone 6 near the West Virginia border. Thanks...


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Fruit trees should be sprayed in the fall. I think you can still spray them though as long as the have not started budding yet.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 11:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


There are some important facts missing from your message. The first is: What are you spraying for? Insects? Diseases? What insects? What diseases? Did you see any evidence of insect activity last season, such as aphids, (which I assume was their first season in the ground)?

Second, what do you propose to spray with? There are some "combination" fruit tree sprays that combine insecticides like Sevin and Methoxychlor, with a fungicide like Captan. But these combo sprays tend to be weak in all their components, as well as quite expensive per application. It is better to figure out what is wrong, if anything, then spray with the substance that will best do the job. No point in applying something that is totally unnecessary just because it is a part of a combo.

But right now, your trees, as young as they are, may not need any spraying at all. While dormant spraying with oil, copper and/or lime/sulphur, is a good idea on nearly all fruit trees, insecticidal sprays are normally not necessary until the trees begin to set fruit. I doubt that your trees are at that stage yet.

So the answer is there is no easy answer, and no one-size-fits-all response to your question. Just observe your trees closely throughout the growing season, and if you see something that looks wrong, like a lot of little bugs under the leaves, try to identify it with an internet search or ask about it here. But when you do, describe the problem fully, which cannot usually be done with a one-liner question.

I was a little surprised that you had already pruned very young trees, and I assume this was sometime during the winter just passing. Renewal pruning in winter can be useful for some trees, like peaches, but for apples and pears the best time to prune is in late summer. Summer pruning helps to control unwanted vegetative growth of pome fruit trees, and encourages the formation of fruiting spurs, which leads to blossoming and, eventually, fruit.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 1:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Don: What dillution rate do you use for Kocide?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 8:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Kocide comes in several formulations. The one I use is Kocide DF. I use a coffee scoop to measure, which results in 2-3 tablespoons dry measure/gallon, depending on how full the scoop is. This results in a pretty strong solution, and is not scientifically based; only an estimate based on the insert which assumes use on a much larger area than I have here.

I apply Kocide only during the dormant season, and use it on all the apricots, peaches, cherries and apples. When I tried using it on peaches after they had leafed out, even at a greatly reduced rate, the result was leaf damage.

Whether or not I am using Kocide at the proper rate or not, the dormant sprays seem to have resulted in elimination of peach canker, peach scab, brown rot, and apple scab, so I am quite satisfied with this product. For over three years, I have also seen no fireblight or cedar apple rust on the apples, although I also do a couple of early sprays on the apples with streptomycin and Ferbam, so can't really say which of them is doing the job.

This spray program, followed by bagging the apples and peaches soon after thinning, has given me a lot of perfect fruit with no further growing season sprays at all.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 8:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I have found peaches can take Kocide up to shuck split (when the flowerets get splits in the side due to the expanding fruit and are about to fall off) at a rate of 1 1/2 tsp/gal, without any significant leaf damage. This is Kocide 2000, similar stuff but surely a touch more or less concentrated than the DF formulation. I have recently switched to Kocide 3000 which needs only about half the concentration to get the same effectiveness, and it may do a bit better as far at phytotoxicity goes since only 3/4tsp would be used.

I had a bad case of shothole and was spraying peaches as much as I could. Now that is under control I plan to do only one non-dormant spray on them, and based on Don's experience that might not even be needed.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 8:57AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Looking for really early (blooming) pear
I have a Hood pear that blooms very early, usually...
Propagating Muscadine vine
How long do I leave them in the frig? How do you propagate...
Foliar fertilizer on fruit
I have been using foliar fertilizers more and more...
Is it just me or have my plum tree buds gotten bigger lately?
I have a bruce plum tree that i planted last september. It...
Something ate part of this apple tree
This a seedling I started last year. Last night something...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™