How much spray to cover tree ... ?

marknmtJune 4, 2013

Last week I asked about storing spray (not a good plan) and re-spraying (problems there too), and that got me to thinking about the question of how much spray to a given tree.

My Liberty apple is about 12' tall and roughly that broad, and I used about 1 1/2 gallons on it, and my much-smaller pear combined. I try to spray to run off, and try to get into all the nooks and crannies and into the bark.

Comments/observations? What are others' experiences?


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olpea(zone 6 KS)


For peaches, 250 gal/acre is generally recognized as "full dilute" (that is, spraying just to the point of run-off). Low density peach orchards are planted at 100 trees/acre. That would calculate to 2.5 gal/tree for full dilute (full sized trees).

That's pretty close to my experience spraying with a wand power sprayer. Takes about 2.5 gal to get a full sized peach to the point of run-off.

For some reason with a backpack, it doesn't seem to take quite as much spray (maybe 2 gal/tree). Don't know quite why that is. Maybe one is a bit more careful w/ the spray when you have to pump it by hand, or maybe the coverage isn't quite as good?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 11:18PM
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Thanks, Olpea. I'm probably in the ballpark given the size of my trees. The apple is a "semi dwarf" (don't know the rootstock) and the pear perhaps a third its size. Together they don't add up to a standard.

I think you can be pretty on target with a hand pump canister spray, although sometimes it's a little hard to get to the center of the tree. I use a couple of wand extensions to help and work from the inside out. I hope my triazicide works this year!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:17AM
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alan haigh

Well I sprayed about the equivalent of 70 mature peach trees today (it was a mixed orchard) and I use a fraction of the spray Olpea suggests is the common recommendation of a dilute per acre spray.

I used only about 35 gallons total to get trees to dripping point in the manner I've been doing for many years- mixed the pesticide 50% stronger than the per 100 gallon rate- mostly to give me a bit more protection from rain.

Trees are around 12-14' tall with a 14' spread and no first tier on central leader trees as they are trained above the browse line. The peaches are open center but higher up than in a commercial orchard.

I'm using a spray gun driven by a 4 HP motor that drops below 200 pounds pressure while spray is coming out- hovers at 250 when gun is closed.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 1:08PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Maybe part of the difference is in tree size. My full sized peach trees are 8' tall and have a 20' spread. There's no way I could cover them w/ 1/2 gal./tree.

I don't think I'm too far off commercial standards. Every spray guide I've read indicates full dilute for a peach orchard is 250-300 gal/acre.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 6:24PM
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alan haigh

They are using mist blowers and I don't know anything about that system. I don't use anywhere near that much spray to an acre- more like 100 gallons, and it works just fine- even for most scab susceptible varieties on the wettest years. This includes sites with predominantly very large apple trees.

Only a small part of the difference is likely the spread and fullness of your peaches.

Maybe they should do a research project comparing a spray gun to a mist blower.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:13PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

"Only a small part of the difference is likely the spread and fullness of your peaches"

Well I don't know why then. I only know I can't get my trees anywhere near the point of run-off with 1/2 gal/tree.

Obviously there are a lot of variables that go into it. Trees earlier in the season don't take as much spray to reach run-off as trees later in the season when the canopies are fuller. Trees recently pruned don't take as much spray as trees needing pruned. Obviously dormant trees don't take as much spray. I've also noticed the amount of wind affects the amount of spray required.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:23PM
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good information , I have always sprayed until droplets just start to fall off of the leaf tips and considered this the run off point. Now I am not sure. What level of visible run off constitutes the point where spraying more is just a waste of time and materials?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 10:24AM
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