Spray schedule link or help with spray for now

Dan.NYMay 11, 2012

I am going to get out and spray this weekend and wondering what should be spray for right now. I have the following available to me:

Wettable Sulphur




Prophyt (for fungus)

Bonide Fruit tree spray

This is for pears, apples, peaches, newly planted cherry. I should be past petal fall. I am thinking Captan for Apples and peaches. Sulphur for pears. Good? Bad? Can I spray the apples and peaches with Sulphur so as to make it lots easier..??



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What problems are you addressing in your spray program? That makes the greatest difference.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 12:46PM
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This is pre-emptive. I know I will have issues, problem is I do not know exactly what. I thought people in my zone and area may chime in with what is reasonably typical.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 1:27PM
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megamav(5a - NY)

Im in Saratoga.
Try Immunox and Triazicide by Specracide.
This should cover insects, scab and rusts.
harvestman recommended those after petal fall.
Read the labels.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 2:41PM
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alan haigh

Here's my spray schedule for the scores of orchards I manage around SE NY. It has functioned well for me for over 2 decades, although J. Beetles and brown rot of stone fruit increases the number of sprays some years some sites.
Dormant oil (this is optional if there were no mites or scale issues the previous season).

Do oil spray somewhere between the point where emerging shoots are 1/2" and the flower clusters begin to show a lot of pink. Mix Rally or Immunox (myclobutinol) at highest legal rate with 1 to 2% oil. If it's closer to pink use 1%.

Don't spray again until petal fall when petals have mostly gone from latest flowering varieties and bees have lost interest. Than spray Imidan (or triazide or something equally affective) + Nova + Captan mixed together at highest legal rates (you may want to drop the Captan because of increasing concerns about health risks). Repeat in 10 to 14 days.
Where I manage orchards, the space between earliest flowering Japanese plums and latest flowering apples is only 2 weeks or so (not this year) which usually allows me to wait until the latest flowering trees are ready to begin spraying anything. Plum curculio seems to time its appearance conveniently to the rhythm of the last flowering apple varieties. This may not be true where you are.
If plums or peaches need oil they may need application before apples. I�ve only had mites on European plums here and never need oil for other stone fruit.

All this is based on plum curculio being the primary insect problem which is the case most areas east of the Mis. River. These sprays will also absolutely control scab, CAR and Mildew as well as most of the crop fatal insects. Apple fly maggot is an exception, but I haven't had much of a problem with this pest in the orchards I manage. This pest can be controlled with a lot of fake apples smeared with tangle trap.

If you don't want to use synthetic chemicals try 4 applications of Surround about a week apart starting at petal fall. You may need to start on earlier flowering varieties as soon as they drop petals. When weather isn't too hot you can mix hort oil at 1% once or twice.

Stone fruit may require the addition of an application or 2 of Indar (Monterey Fungus Fighter is a similar chemical available in home orchard quantities) starting 4 weeks before first peaches ripen. Apricots must be sprayed sooner if they are scab susceptible with same compound.

Because I manage so many orchards so far apart I have to resort to a spray schedule that is based on expectations rather than actual monitoring. You may be able to reduce insecticide sprays with monitoring but PC can enter an orchard overnight and, if your insecticide lacks kick-back, which Imidan has, do a lot of damage in a couple of days.
Other problems may occur later in the season and you will in time learn to monitor and react to the pitfalls.

Good luck, Alan Haigh- The Home Orchard Co.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 6:27PM
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blackrag(6A East PA)

I have been scavenging bits and pieces of this idea for awhile in prior posts since lurking this site. This is a good summary for the overall approach in practice (vs. theory) for the season in one place. Thanks for the time and the explanation. Chad

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 10:46PM
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megamav(5a - NY)

harvestman, it always amazes me to read your posts.
You're always writing up such helpful details for nothing in return. It would be a great treat to follow you around to see how its done the right way for a full year. Someone who is new at this craft like me, even if its only in the backyard, has so much to learn from someone with so much experience.

How are you predicting sprays on such an awkward year like 2012?
Blossom orders are shuffled in some places, this cant make your job easy.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 11:50PM
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alan haigh

Thanks for the compliments, but the bad news is that I still don't feel all that experienced even after all my experience. This is a craft that can make you feel stupid regularly.

I am struggling to figure this year out. Southern growers always have a long period between first and last bloomers as I understand it- they need have an early blooming apple to pollinate another early bloomer. Here there's usually enough overlap that any apple will pollinate another.

This year there's been more gap, but worse, the late bloomers have held blossoms for almost 4 weeks. I still have a few trees on sites that I haven't sprayed yet and I've had to make extra trips and many more sprays. There's no rhyme or reason I can make out why same varieties like Goldrush are holding on to their flowers on one site and done on another with less exposure where the opposite would usually be true.

I have no idea what the plum curculio are up to or if they've starved out. I haven't seen much damage at all.

There are no aggravating tiny flies that are usually in your face here by this time either. Always an upside somewhere.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 5:56AM
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mjmarco(Zone 6 Upstate NY)

I've always thought the reason George Washington cut down the Cherry tree was because he was never able to get any fruit without a spray program with the insects ruining all the his fruit.

Maybe he had years like his one when mother natures helped kill off the insects so there were fruit to eat back then...just a guess and I know the season still early...lol!

Thanks Harvestman for listing your spray program.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 7:36PM
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I'm in Wisconsin, zone 5. Do you think the schedule would be the same as upstate NY? Also, Harvestman mentioned the fake apple balls. Do those actually work? I've been reluctant to try - seemed like a newbie trick!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 8:01PM
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alan haigh

I don't have to deal with apple fly maggot but my understanding is the balls slopped with tangle trap are affective. I think you need to have 2 or 3 balls in a medium sized young tree and change the gook when it gets too cluttered with debris. AFM season starts right around the end of PC season so usually about mid-June in our climate as I recall.

Maybe someone with actual experience with this method can post something.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 8:29PM
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yeah the apple balls work quite well. ditto on the reapplication when gets cluttered.

as for spray scedules in wi...that can vary widely depending on where in wi you are...if there's a cps location near you that's where i'd start. or extension.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 9:34PM
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I've used them, they do catch the flies - and a lot of other insects besides, including bees.

What isn't clear is how many flies the traps don't catch.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 10:18PM
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alan haigh

I don't think the cooperative extension is necessarily going to be that helpful in providing info on lowest spray programs unless there's someone there with a special interest in fruit trees. I have a very good cooperative extension but they could never provide me with a helpful program although they are very good at ID'ing pests.

Cornell doesn't do research on growing fruit in home orchards, where fruit doesn't have to be pristine and pest pressure tends to be less than in huge orchard monocultures. Both Cornell and Rutgers, the NJ source of extension info, provide unreliable info on fruit pest control for home growers.

I can't speak for other states, but none of them has a mandate or enough funding to do research and distribute legitimate info for home growers beyond trying to stop them from poisoning themselves or the environment. They usually recommend pre-mix fruit sprays and often malathion with too large intervals between sprays. They tend to me unaware of newer, safer and more affective formulations such as Triazide and Rally.

The best thing to do, IMO, is start with a 2 insecticide program if you are in about Z7 or colder and see what happens. Then you can find out what the sweet spot is and if trees are young, not risk much fruit in the process. Or better still, don't spray the first crop at all and identify pests as they appear, sacrificing a small amount of fruit for your education.

That is, if you can't get info from a nearby grower who seems competent. If I lived near Scott, for instance, I would expect to have problems with Oriental fruit moth, which would greatly complicate a spray schedule beyond what I currently have to do. It's a pest that's becoming a greater liability in my area and may soon increase the number of necessary sprays here.

I used to have a problem with OFM deforming nursery peach trees after my low spray was over (they attacked shoots but not fruits). For a while there was a company that sold a pheromone bait formula with a pyrethroid bait that is extremely affective for me. I still have some bait left but it's been taken off the market for some stupid reason.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 6:20AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

A lot of people on this forum use Hman's two/three spray program w/ success, but his write-up above is the best synopsis of it I've seen.

Might be a good idea for somebody in the northeast to save this thread on their computer. Every year there are new folks who want a spray program. For those in the NE, this would be a good thread to point them to. The thread would do them more good than Extension literature.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 11:40AM
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megamav(5a - NY)

I've made note of it on my blog.
Definitely a keeper post, great job harvestman.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 11:51AM
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alan haigh

Thank you Olpea (and Eric)- people in your area could certainly benefit from an outline of your approach, especially if you differentiated between essential for useable fruit and essential for pristine fruit. You are still a small enough grower to have a pretty good evaluation site for what's needed an a home orchard and you have a better understanding of available materials than most other commercial growers I've met. Scott could do an outstanding job for the mid-atlantic region.

I do have the advantage of managing multiple sites, but that is not as important as it would be if we all didn't have good access to each other through the internet.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 2:17PM
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