Spray & chore schedule for new backyard dwarf fruit trees?

dohertyc9May 18, 2013

I need advice on when / what to spray for my fruit trees. I have a mix - apples, pears, peach, plum, cherry. They were bareroot whips last year, all I did was mulch last year, and they seem healthy so far. The peach had about four blossoms on it a week ago, that's it so far.

1. Is there a spray and chore program I could follow? I have Lewis Hill's "Fruits and Berries for the Home Garden" and I'm googling like crazy but feel like I need more hand-holding. Something more tree-specific and area-specific (I live in Chicago.) Is there a good online resource for these sprays?

2. Japanese beetles were a HUGE problem last year, they ate every leaf off my plum and cherry. I used some kinda organic potassium spray that killed on contact but couldn't keep up with them.

3. Last year late in the summer the pear trees developed mostly brown curled leaves - but not at all what I see if I google images of fireblight. No damage to branches. The leaves this year are gorgeous green. What should I do to prevent this again?

4. I did not use dormant spray yet. Is it too late? It's mid-May and there's plenty of foliage. Sometimes we're still dipping to 40 degrees at night.

5. If I'm not worrying about blossoms or fruit sets this year, should I even bother spraying this year?

This post was edited by dohertyc9 on Sat, May 18, 13 at 23:12

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I have not heard or read which fits all fruit tree critters. You did not make dormant spray is big mistake. Japanese beetle are easy to fight with spectracide spray. The trees you mentioned are mostly called stone fruit. The biggest enemy for stone fruit is OFM and codling moth. From my experience fighting the adults is impossible because they are ghosts and they don't damage to the trees. Commercial growers has their ways and resources to fight it. The damage is caused by their eggs which hatch into larva and destroy the new stem growth and mainly the fruit. The best way to fight these critters is to prevent the eggs from hatching.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 2:10AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


I wouldn't worry about spraying anything this growing season, until you see a problem. At least that's pretty much how I manage my non-bearing trees. An exception might be borers. If you know the area has a problem with borers, that might justify a preventative treatment.

Peach trees bear pretty early, but if yours only had 4 blooms it's likely most (or all) of those will fall off.

Triazicide or carbaryl (Sevin) will help control Japanese beetle. Sevin is probably slightly more effective than Triazicide.

Dormant sprays must be done in the dormant season. Oil can be sprayed in the growing season, but only at a lower rate. At this time, there is probably no point in spraying oil.

The next dormant season, you'll probably want to spray your peach tree for peach leaf curl.


Codling moth doesn't attack stone fruits.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 10:25AM
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