What to spray on fruit trees?

lateriserJune 27, 2010


I am new to the forum. I have a home orchard consisting of apples, peaches, nectarines, pears, grapes, and plums. I have been using the bonide fruit tree spray for the orchad, but have found it to be way to expensive. Does anyone have any recomendations for less expensive sprays that I can use? Some of my major pests are plum curculio, appple cedar rust, and grape berry moth.

P.S. I live in VA


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Suggest you search (like google) this website because there's lots there.

One thing---there are various sprays for various problems. You should find the sprays for the problems you have.

Generally, maybe a strong copper spray like Kocide 3000 (not cheap) for the dormant season; and Monterey Fungi Fighter or maybe Captan; and a bug-killer for the growing season would be a start.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 1:07PM
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myk1(5 IL)

I was going to say "less expensive?" but then I remembered they did jack the price up.

Triazicide from Walmart for curculio.
Immunox multi-purpose for the CAR.
I imagine Sevin for the berry moth.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 1:32PM
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Thanks for posting where I can get the triazicide. Could you all tell me where I might be able to get the other sprays? I know I might not be in your area, so big retailers or internet sources would be fine.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 2:00PM
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myk1(5 IL)

If you have Lowes they sell the right Immunox. The only other place around here I know of is a local garden center. Everyone else has the non-food version.
Sevin is everywhere.

The reason I say Triazicide from Walmart is the stuff at my Lowes is .08% and the stuff at my Walmart is .25%. Both are about the same price but you have to use 3 times as much of the .08%.

Liquid Sevin seems expensive for the amount it takes so I save that for my grapes. Plus the Triazicide isn't rated for grapes.

The Immunox is expensive, especially at grape concentration, but it works

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 2:56PM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

I've been reposting this a lot lately. It was a lesson I learned the hard way, so I have a bit of a mission to get the word out. See below.
Like others have said, you really want to get some Immunox and Triazicide, and possibly some Monterey Fungi Fighter and some Kocide 3000.

Many people on this forum (and I can now add myself to this list) are not big fans of Bonide Fruit tree spray (and other manufacture's all-in-one fruit tree sprays). The reasons are:
1.) The quantity of some of the ingredients is often insufficient to actually accomplish the task. Take for example the quantity of Captan in there. Many people here have argued that it is not nearly the strength required to be effective. Compare the quantity in there with that on the plain Captan container.

2.) In the all-in-one spray, you are often spraying chemicals that you do not need, for pests and diseases you do not have.

3.) The all-in-one says it controls things that it does not. It says it controls Cedar Apple Rust, but with itÂs only active fungicide being Captan, it can not, as Captan does not control CAR.

WhatÂs the alternative you ask? Identify your pest and your diseases and treat them individually. If you know those, let people know what they are. In some cases, you can even use things that are considered organic (Copper is often considered organic) to fight a very nasty diseases. Bagging your apples is another option to protect your fruit from insects. Finally, if all that fails, there are the effective sprays but theyÂre not the Bonide (or other mfgr) combined fruit tree sprays.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 3:56PM
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maryneedssleep(5a (PA))

Check out the spray schedule provided by UVa. You may not require all the products and all the cover sprays, but if you know what pests you're facing its a good place to start since it's for your region.

I'm new, and up until recently I bought premixed solutions that came in an inefficient sprayer bottle. Buying in bulk and using a good backpack sprayer may help save money over time and improve efficacy of your sprays. Using a sticker like Nu-Film-17 (not necessary for systemic products like Immunox) may also help.

Good luck!
-- Mary in WV

Here is a link that might be useful: UVa Spray Schedule

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 10:50AM
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Oh good lord. I hope the people who don't like Bonide are wrong. Because I am using it since the beginning of the season. Some people say find what you are fighting to some one who does not know what can I do? All I know in the past the fruit ( Apples and Pears) fell from the trees injured and rotted. Some of you said it is Apple Maggot but I have not seen even one Maggot fly on the lures. I am using Bonide weekly so far I hope I am on the right track. I have an army of Japanese Beatles and I am using electric stinger and at least 500 are killed or captured every day. I collect them with the shop-vac from under the stinger. I hope this will do.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 3:12AM
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myk1(5 IL)

I went from,
Not spraying = no apples
Fruit Tree Spray = enough to store some pies and make some cider
Targeted sprays = giving apples, pie filling and cider away.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 5:39AM
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jethro75(Z 5 N Central PA)

Get your Triazicide at Walmart while you can. I was there the other day and theirs has .08%. I did find 3 bottles of the .25 mixed about with the new and bought those.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 7:20AM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

Get some Triacizide and take that bottle of Bonide and throw it in the trash. I'm very bitter about the Bonide Fruit Tree spray because I wasted so much time and effort using it, meanwhile my trees got worse and worse. You see the story repeated over and over again here on this forum... just do a search here and you'll see that I'm not wrong. And, you already know it... Your rotting fruit is the proof.

Unfortunately, it may be too late to save your fruit this year. Fruit and leaves can not heal from the damage that they've already received.

The good news, is we can help you. Start some new posts. In there, tell us where you're from. Once we have that, we can give you some initial suggestions (like Triazicide). Then, in the spring, pay careful attention to your trees. Walk around them every day. When you see something you don't like or don't understand, post a question about it here. A picture is often the fastest way. It may take a year or two to get all your disease and insect pressures fully under control, but once you do that, you'll be glad you did. And then you too can be bitter about the Bonide FTS.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 8:07AM
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Thanks Glen. I may have some bonide damage. I see some the pears tree leaves turning yellow and fall. I am in zone 7 Maryland.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 4:11PM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

Hi foolishpleasure-
I haven't experienced any damage from the Bonide, it has simply been ineffective for me. I wouldn't think it would damage your trees at all unless it was conflicting with other sprays that you were doing (and you didn't mention that you were). Because I have limited experience with pears, would suggest you start a new topic on the subject and include as much info as you can. A picture is probably going to be required for best results as well. Good luck,

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 6:49AM
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bart1(6/7 Northern VA)


Don't know where you are in VA, but I get a lot of my chemicals from Helena Chemicals in Winchester. I know they have other locations around too so maybe they have one near you. A lot of the chemicals are sold in large quantities for commercial growers at prohibitively expensive prices, but you can pick up certain things in 5 pound quantites. It's still expensive but you have to use so little per gallon, that it will last forever.

For instance I bought a 5 pound bag of Imidan (a pesticide) for something like 70 bucks (maybe more, maybe less, I can't remember) last year and I've barely made a dent in it. I'll be using it for years and it will probably average pennies per gallon.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 7:23AM
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I strictly use caftan with 2tbs of acidic fertilizer and imadan in my 4gls backsprayer in the first 2 sprays right after petle fall. I need 3gls per spray. Then inlatter part of june and the second week in july just imadan for jap beetles.It kills them right a way and the smell keep them away. By the way add a little nu-film for duration.
My 5lbs bag of imadan is 12 years old and still works and is still more then 1/2 full.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 11:20AM
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I did some research on Triazicide and the mechanics how it works. You don't need the insects to eat it to be affected. They say it works on contact and that is right because it destroys the central nervous system of the insect. It blocks the magnesium channels in the central nervous system. One spray will stay effective for 4 weeks. I recommend wearing plastic gloves when you work work with it. The thing I could not find is how long you have to wait to harvest. I am already bought some from ACE Hardware.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 11:33PM
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myk1(5 IL)

I think the longest PHI for Triazicide is 21 days for apples/pears/etc.

I would recommend wearing rubber gloves with any of this stuff, and wearing a mask, a wide brimmed hat and glasses.
You have a potential to get a lot on you. You never know when the wind is going to kick up.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 1:45AM
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alan haigh

The label may suggest a month long period of protection but as I understand it, for primary apple pests like CM and PC 10 to 14 days is the functional life. Here in the northeast, that would mean at least 2 sprays, starting at petal fall.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 5:46AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

I agree, don't buy the advertising that it lasts a month. The commercial counterpart, Proaxis, lasts 10-14 days under optimum conditions. Pyrethroids break down even faster under hot summer temperatures.

Myk, Are you sure the PHI is 21 days? I thought it was 14 days, at least that's what I recall was on the older (more potent) formulation.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 9:50AM
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myk1(5 IL)

Positive, 21 for pomes (I assume they're all considered pomes) and corn. 14 days for stone fruits and nuts. Lower for some vegetables (down to 1 day for some).
Is the "older version" the Proaxis type? If so probably the difference between pro and homeowner.

I've had it last pretty long. I think it could last 4 weeks for homeowner standards in the right conditions, especially if using a sticker.
But I would say 14 days is more realistic.

Something odd I've noticed, before spraying my McIntosh and Cortland would be nearly wiped out by PC. The Arkansas Black would get a few that would go nowhere.
Since spraying Triazicide my McIntosh and Cortland are nearly untouched, the Arkansas Black gets a lot more hits and a lot more of them are successful.
I have 2 kinds of snout beetle, small and large, it seems to be the large one going after the ArB.

The way they went after my cherries last year because they were unsprayed I would think they'd all go after my neighbor's unsprayed garbage trees and leave me alone.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:31AM
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I have a Cortland apple tree and the leaves look terrible. It is a young tree and there are just a few apples growing. The leaves have bumps and yellow spots on them. I would like to know what I can spray on them that is not harmful. I tell my grandchildren to wash everything before they eat it but just in case they eat before washing I would like to know if there is anything I can make etc to spray and would be safe. This is my first time growing apples and I would appreciate any help I can get.

Thank You

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 12:52PM
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alan haigh

jpaw, it would be best if you posted your question independently but I can answer your question here. I manage a lot of apple trees in CT and this was a tough year for cedar apple rust, which matches your description. If it's a Cortlandt it would be surprising if it doesn't also have black fungus on the leaves as well (scab).

The disease has pretty much run its course on your apple and next year needs to be dealt with proactively. Your best be is to find some Immunox fungicide and thoroughly spray your tree at least twice, once at petal fall and once 10-14 days later. At the worst sites on bad years another spray just before flowers open may also be needed if you don't want to see any disease in the tree at all.

You can also try protecting the tree with sulfur, but I believe it would require a minimum of double the quantity of sprays.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 2:56PM
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Where I work we sold Bonide fruit tree spray (contains Captan, Malathion and SEvin). Odd was the directions to
"spray at petal fall"? How can one spray SEvin at petal fall when it will act as a fruit thinner?

I e-mailed Bonide about the issue was told "not to spray at
petal fall" because of this. I also was told to talk to their resident horticulturist on staff if I needed info on growing fruit.

I will be polite and not say more about it. But buyer beware! Years ago many home orchard spray pre-mixes had methoxychlor in them instead of SEvin. I think they changed to SEvin and did not change their label directions afterwards.

Please do not spray any product containing Sevin (carbaryl)
at petal fall and at least 10 days afterwards or you may loose a lot of apples.

I will always suggest never buying any pre-mixes anyway.
As others have pointed out, the pre-mixes have issues.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 11:51AM
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Don't throw out the bonide fruit tree spray. It has value for protecting peaches from rot as they are ripening. You must know the average ripening date for your peach. One spray of it 18 days before harvest and another 9 days before harvest will stop your brown rot problems. Admittedly, it has no value for preventing cedar apple rust on apples. Also if your jug of bonide FTS is old, all the captan will have settled to the bottom forming a brick.

The synergistic effects of the chemicals in Bonide fruit tree spray amplify the power of the insecticides in it. Less is more in this case. But it is not enough to stop the plum curculio so you will need some triazicide or some imidan which is available on ebay.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 6:22PM
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