a beginner w/fruit trees

thecityman2May 16, 2012

Hi folks! It is very clear to me in reading through the forum posts that most of you are true experts on the subject of fruit trees. I, on the other hand, am NOT! I just bought a new farm and I rushed out and planted 15 fruite trees (3 ea of peach, cherry, fig, pear, plumb). There were already 6 trees (1 peach, 2 pear, 2 apple, 1 unknown) I think I did enough research that I did plant proper pollinators for each other. Enough is what I'm looking for.....

Is there any kind of GENERAL insect spray that I can use on all my trees? I'm sure each tree has certain sprays that would be better for it, but I just can't afford to buy 6 different types of spray. My cherry trees (sweet and tart) are being eaten alive, though I never can see the bug eating them...just tiny little poops (i think). Also, the existing peach tree is full of peaches, but they are falling off and when I cut the small (golf-ball size) peaches open, the pits have something that looks like a small magot in them. All the new trees that I put out are very small (like 2-3 feet). I bought some kind of stuff that was suppossed to help with bugs but got home and realized it wasn't a spray but was to be poured into the roots (on the ground). I mixed it as directed and for $20 I got enough to do about 3-4 trees!!! WOW. Any other tips I could do for my new trees would be greatly appreciated. Also, I live in a rural area with no specialty suppliers/nurseries so please try to recommend something I can buy at lowes or walmart. Thanks everyone.

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Hello Cityman.

I guess the short answer is that it's just not that simple. You really have to learn about the different pests, when they are doing what, and what it takes when to knock them down. There are also lots of viruses, mildews, rots and assorted other nuisances that will require your attention for that many trees.

It sounds like you bought a systemic pesticide to apply to your trees. Most of those are designed to be used on ornamentals, and it could be dangerous to eat fruit from a tree that had been treated with a systemic. A close reading of the label is an essential prerequisite to using any insecticide, and there are valid legal reasons that oblige you to follow those label instructions. I guess what I'm saying is that if you did use a systemic pesticide on a fruit tree then nobody should eat fruit from that tree until the pesticide had had time to work its way through. I don't know how long that might be. I would certainly not
eat any for at least a year, maybe two, maybe longer.

Good luck,


    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 8:25PM
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Randy31513(Georgia 8b)

It would be helpful too, for you to add your zone and general location like 8b South Ga so people's comments can be more direct to your area.

There is a whole lot to learn but don't give up it will be worth climbing the learning curve. A trip to your Extension agents office should get you off to a good start.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 8:40PM
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Start reading about pesticides and their alternatives for each type of tree. Buy the book 'The Backyard Orchardist'. Ask any question you like here, there will be a lot of help for you. It is best however, to take an initiative and read as much as possible about what you have purchased. That said, reading before buying is best. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 9:39AM
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One of the best things you can do to is to use dormant oil/lime sulphur in the off season. It can help with both bug and fungi issues. It is the one thing you should do yearly. Anything else should be on an as needed basis only.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 10:46AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


You've been given some good advice. I'll take a shot at answering some of your questions further.

My guess is the soil drench you used was Imidacloprid. It's the only soil drench I can think of that has a homeowner formulation for fruit trees. There are Imidacloprid formulations for fruit trees and as well as for ornamentals.

Imidacloprid is not a long term solution.

Temperate fruits like apples and peaches have a few major pests that affect fruit. Unfortunately, Imidacloprid won't control them.

For an insecticide, most folks on this forum use a product called Triazicide Once and Done. It is available at big box stores and is labeled for most of the fruits you mention and has efficacy against major pests. It's fairly inexpensive at something like 10-15 dollars/quarts. A quart will make many gallons of spray mix.

Spraying it on your cherry trees will stop the insect feeding.

It sounds like you are pretty excited about fruit growing. As Mark suggests, be sure to take some time to learn about the pests affecting your fruit.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 10:46PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

And make sure when you buy the triazicide you buy the concentrate. They sell two different varieties and the concentrate is formulated for fruit trees. Just make sure you check the label on the back and it will say fruit trees.

I use it and it works great.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 11:16PM
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I cannot begin to express my appreciation. That so many people would take the time to try and help and stranger and his budding passion for growing fruit bodes well for you all and for this site...its thrilling to have such a resource since I'm so inexperienced. I also agree with what many of you politely tried to say...I need to educate myself on growing fruit beyond just asking questions in a forum...and I will. But right now I've got several (expensive) fruit trees in trouble! SOunds like their is no magic bullit for all my trees, but perhaps the "One and Done" would be a good start. For the record, Imidaclorpid is what i put on the roots and it did say for fruit trees, though I do appreciate the warnings. Oh....Im in northern middle 7 but not far from zone 6 on the 2012 map.

Any other spedcific recommendations for my peach problem would be appreciation until I have time to do more extensive research.....again, my peaches are golf ball size but are dropping off in large numbers and when I cut them open there is alwasy a little larvea looking "worm" that looks like a maggot. Anything I can do for that?

Again, thanks for all your help! You have no idea how fired up I am about my little mini-orchard! ha. It was one of the reasons I wanted to buy a place in the country with some land. Eventually I hope to fill about a full acre of my new place with fruit, but obviously I need to learn a lot before that. My current (approx) 25 assorted trees aren't doing to well yet, so I need to get them under control first.

Again, thanks for all your help!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:26AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


The larva in your peaches is probably plum curculio. It is a common pest of peaches. The other common internal feeder of peaches is Oriental Fruit moth. You can distinguish these two larva by observing whether the worm has legs. If it is legless, it is plum curc. If you see legs, it's Oriental Fruit moth.

In the early season, generally it's plum curc. that invades fruit. Once and Done will prevent further internal feeders, whether plum curc. or Oriental Fruit moth.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:35PM
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Be sure to keep picking up those drops and dispose of them. Otherwise the larvae will develop into more curculios. Orchard sanitation is an important part of keeping it healthy.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 5:32AM
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