Fungus Spray Question

rob_343(6B/7A)May 5, 2014

I apologize if this is a dumb or previously answered question...

I am in MD, just outside DC. I live in a densely populated neighborhood with (I think) plenty of possible 'nasties' carriers. I have not seen any neighbors with fruit trees or bushes, save for one neighbor who says he has a quince (neglected and overrun with vines and bushes). I have asian pears, apples, plums, blueberries, and blackberries. All planted this year or last and not fruiting yet.

My initial plan was to spray neem/kelp/fish and use nylon footies and/or surround. Then, address any other pest issues as they come up. Should I preemptively spray immunox for fungi even though my young trees do not seem to exhibit any fungi symtoms? Am I pretty much 'guaranteed' to get some sort of fungus?

I think I read somewhere that it is preferable and easier to prevent fungi onset than it is to remove it once there. Unfortunately, I read a lot of info but do only bookmark very few items.

Thank you in advance for any assistance.

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bart1(6/7 Northern VA)

YES! Spray plums, apples and (maybe) the Asian pears ASAP. I *think* the pears can do better without sprays, but the other two will get ugly if they're not sprayed

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 1:38PM
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bart1(6/7 Northern VA)

PS - I don't spray blueberries or blackberries and they do fine.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 1:40PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

If you are paying a lot of attention to your crop you can hold off on spraying until it is needed. It makes it a bit harder to get ahold of the first time but you are more aware of the exact timing of the problem and with reading up will learn when to spray. I myself don't spray for anything I don't get. I never get apple scab, the #1 apple disease, so I don't spray for it. Why don't I get it? I have no idea and I could get it some year, but meantime I am saving a lot of time on sprays I don't need. One exception to this is plum curculio always seems to show up so once you have fruits you will need to spray for that. Moths also nearly always show up in a few years (maybe not right away though). Brown rot on stone fruits also shows up in 4-5 years. So, I would go after the curc as soon as you have fruit, probably moths as well as you want to be pre-emptive on them, and brown rot 2-3 years later whether you see it or not. All the others you can wait tip you see it. Well, doing a dormant lime sulphur and oil spray is also not a bad idea for pre-emptive, get all the diseases while they are vulnerable to a heavy dose.

I haven't found neem/kelp/fish particularly helpful, I use kelp and fish off and on and don't see much difference. Neem is weak, too many sprays are needed and even then the results may not be good. If you want to be organic suphur and Serenade are the best for diseases. For moths you will need spinosad. I use Surround for the curculio.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 9:30PM
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I hope you are aware that neem is an insecticide and shouldn't be used when bees are present.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 9:39PM
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Thank you very much for your advice. I walk my 'orchard' quite a lot-- to the point that my neighbors think I am strange. So, I should be able to see any issues as they come up.

I don't have any evidence of neem's effectiveness, but using it has lost it's luster with me. It is pretty expensive. Further, it is a bit of a pain to mix when the temperature is below 75 degrees or so because it separates and gels so badly.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 10:17AM
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Well, I think I jinxed myself...

My Tennosui and Shinseiki, both planted this year, have some sort of issue. Almost all of the leaves have black splotches on them-- no leaf is 100% black. My best guess is pear scab. Only a couple of leaves fell. It doesn't look like the pictures of fireblight that I have seen, as no leaf is entirely killed. I can post pictures later.

All of my plums, apricot, and spring satin (also planted this year) definitely have shot hole, though I cannot tell which one.

So, I was gearing up for the fall spraying and am trying to figure out the best way to go.

Copper vs Sulfur vs Lime-Sulfur?

From my reading, copper seems to be the way to go. It seems to be effective and easy on beneficials. I won't be spraying enough to worry about it building up in the soil.
Lime-Sulfur seems to be nearly impossible to find online and is harsher on beneficials?
Sulfur is not as effective? Hard on beneficials?
Which copper to get?

The consensus here seems to be Kocide 3000. However, it is pretty hard to find, especially in the 4 lb bag. That will probably last me until I am in the garden (6' under it).
Champ WG is far cheaper and has almost double the active ingredient, but comes in a 20 lb bag. This will likely last until my kids are gone. Is this basically the same as Kocide 3000?
Both of these can be had at

I have some other things to order from, so adding Liqui-cop in the pint size is pretty easy. Is this one good enough?

Champ WG seems like the best value. Does anyone near the DC metro area want to split the bag with me?

Per Scott's and others' recommendations, I was planning on doing a leaf-fall and spring copper spray. Then possibly adding Serenade during the growing season-- it is pretty cheap.

Thanks in advance for any advice/answers you guys have.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 2:46PM
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