Disease on my fruit trees and 'Bonide'

sakura2006July 20, 2009

My two Asian pear trees suffered from fire blight disease several years back but recovered.

Now these trees have curled leaves and looks like slowly dying.

My desperate attempt to save these trees, I bought fruit tree spray 'Bonide' and sprayed on.

I think I made big mistake because 'Bonide' fruit tree spray is not organic and very bad for environment.

I have 4 cats so I have no business of using non organic spray to control diseases on fruit trees and vegetables.

How stupid of me to buy toxic chemicals to control diseases of fruit trees knowing there are organic alternatives!

How do you think?

We all learn by mistake?

I did not know about this before I went on internet and typed 'ingredients of 'Bonide'.

It was my fault of not reading ingredients carefully before I paid for product.

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Bonide fruit tree spray is about the least toxic and most useless chemical spray you can buy. The individual ingredients may be toxic in very high concentrations, but they are very diluted in this product. Lots of things are toxic in high concentrations, including aspirin and table salt. There is no danger at all to your cats from Bonide fruit tree spray, and I can't imagine what aspect of the environment might be damaged.

I use actual chemicals on my fruit trees, especially early in the season when insect pressures are high, then reduce the frequency when they are no longer needed. I have 3 cats that are out around the yard all the time, and 20 miniature ducks that cover the entire orchard with their foraging all day long. Ducks are chemically sensitive, but all of mine are very healthy, and never take off any sick time. The earth around the trees is chock full of earthworms, and the entire orchard is filled with bird species of every kind. Many nest in the fruit trees.

Don't believe all the nonsense you read on the internet, where the most extreme views of all kinds can be found.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 7:51PM
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myk1(5 IL)

I think that since cats can't be confined with a fence they require being on a leash so unless you don't care about your cats and allow them to roam you have no worries, simply don't allow them outside for the required time or make their leashes such that they can't get near the trees.
If you do allow your cats to roam then whether they get into your poison, someone else's poison or catch feline leukemia from another stray cat really doesn't matter and you're picking the most minor thing out of your actions to worry about.
Feral cats are much worse for the environment than Bonide Fruit Tree.

If you're talking barn cats, the only cats that should be allowed to roam, then I'm sure they've got into a lot worse than Bonide.

The organic alternatives that can be sprayed right now probably aren't that effective depending on what the disease is and what the spray is.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 7:58PM
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jellyman, http://www.chem-tox.com/malathion/research/
In your opinion, link above is exaggeration?

Ingredients of Bonide are 11.76% Captan
6% Malathion
81.7% Other ingredient
0.24% related derivatives
0.30% Carbaryl

I just don't like the thought of spraying toxic chemicals on my fruit trees knowing most people are eating fruits and vegetables sprayed pesticide.
Organic fruits and vegetables are better for our health but not everybody can afford to buy pure foods.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 11:17PM
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myk1(5 IL)

Malathion is most likely what your city sprays for mosquitoes if they spray for mosquitoes.

Kidney damage after someone sprayed their home? If Malathion was the cause you would have hundreds of millions of people with that across the country. I know I was stuck behind a spray vehicle when I lived in Des Moines and we had a recent post about someone who's city sprays so close to his fruit and home he didn't know if it was OK to eat.
Notice your link is blaming everything on Malathion. That is not how things work. It would have specific reactions.

Also notice your link suggests pyrethrum as a natural alternative to Malathion for mosquito sprays, like "natural" means safe.
Pyrethrum even the non-synthetic form is suspected to cause brain damage and is extremely toxic to fish, in fact the Indians that used it used it to catch fish. Pyrethrum in it's natural form would require so many sprays that it would be an environmental problem.

Bonide Fruit Tree is pretty weak (compare that 6% to other home use malathion sprays that are 50%, which I've sprayed on my trees and my dog is alive). You're right, most people are eating stuff sprayed with a lot stronger chemicals than Bonide Fruit Tree or anything else available for home use. They're still alive aren't they?
Like I suggested, if you allow your cats to roam they are more likely to catch feline leukemia due to you allowing them to roam long before they get something because you sprayed your trees.

Here is a link that might be useful: Read this and decide to keep your cats inside

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 2:00AM
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This would not be the forum to debate the use of pesticides. Go to the organic section and you can preach to the choir.

Would you like help with your pear?
The first rule to spraying anything is to know what/why you are spraying for. Then you can figure out what to spray. You have a pear leaf curl. Probably a few factors that would cause this im not an expert but there are a few here that come close. Could you post a pic or at least tell us what state you are in?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 7:53AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


You seem to be new, so I would just take a moment to encourage you not to get your information from Websites like the one you mention. The Website may seem to make a compelling argument against Malathion, however the problem is, they ignore the 100s of millions of times Malathion has been safely used by consumers. Outfits like these scan a large data base and "cherry pick" information that supports their viewpoint. In this case it was mostly individual occurrences supported only by physician opinions. Those occurrences were then compiled to present a case against any use of Malathion.

But you see, anyone can use the same tactics to make a case against just about anything. As an example, carbon monoxide is highly toxic, and also has damaging effects on the body, from chronic exposure. Gasoline operated engines produce some carbon monoxide. If I had the time and inclination, I could collect numerous data regarding the lethal and deleterious effects of CO on mice and humans. I could also collect case studies regarding poisonings, health problems, birth defects, etc. due to carbon monoxide exposure from gasoline engines. I could then make a case it's unsafe to operate a gas engine. But again, the problem with the conclusion would be that it ignored the voluminous cases where gas engines were operated without any negative effects whatever. Websites do this sort of thing all the time. Below is a spoof website listing reasons to ban water (aka dihydrogen monoxide).

I'm not saying Malathion can't be poisonous (it can) just that it can be used safely, even though it's not a very effective insecticide for many fruit pests.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ban dihydrogen monoxide

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 1:58PM
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frozen_north(Zone 4a - Minnesota)

Mmm, where to start.

Well, first of all, spraying trees with a general-purpose fruit tree spray won't help with the fireblight. Controlling fireblight is a matter of selecting resistant varieties, pruning, and sanitation. There are some sprays specifically for fireblight that help but only in certain situations.

Second of all, you are not going to hurt your cat with fruit tree spray. While I wouldn't recommend doing it deliberately, I will note that from a standpoint of toxicology, a full drench of a cat in home fruit tree spray in the dilutions typically recommended for orchard use wouldn't do any lasting harm.

You ask about the toxicity of the spray. I will respond by saying that these are all widely used products. You are probably exposed to them in greater quantities in the fruit and juice products you purchase at the grocery store than you are through your home orchard activities. I personally consider the Captan to be the greatest risk since it is a known human carcinogen and it's unclear what a safe exposure threshold really is. For the malathion and carbaryl, the available evidence shows that it takes a fairly high dose to cause any damage. On the other hand there is some evidence that cholinesterase inhibitors (a family that includes malathion) may cause problems at lower doses than previously believed, although the science behind this is far from conclusive. I currently run my spraying program using carbaryl as the primary insecticide although I do use malathion for rotational reasons and during the period immediately following petal drop since carbaryl will cause excessive thinning at that point in the season. I do use captan and maneb as necessary but try to keep them to a minimum.

Not sure what's wrong with your pear. Give us some more details and we'll help. Are all the leaves affected, or just some? Is there drought stress? When did this start? How bad is the curl? Where are you? What varieties of pears? Are the plants well anchored or has the tree become "wiggly" when you try to move it in the ground? Is it in a wet location?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 2:23PM
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Bonide Fruit Tree Spray is made of Toxic synthetic chemicals!

Bonide has two products that are highly effective natural or organic products that you can use on fruit tree's.

Bonide Citrus Fruit and Nut Orchard Spray using Sulfer and Pyrethrin's and Bonide's Copper Fungicide that uses an organic Copper Octanoate.

The Copper Fungicide is works great on Blight and Peach Leaf Curl, and its Organic! It's also highly effective domant spray as well.

The Citrus Fruit and Nut Spray is a great in season formulation that will treat insects, disease and mites.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 12:29AM
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I live in western NYS (25 miles from Lake Ontario). I am trying to establish a commercial apple orchard with the high density planting system. I am presently studying for my applicators license. Until I pass the test I am dependent on Bonide products for defense against whatever wants to dine on/ destroy the 1500 trees I have in the ground. The posts on this site are very confusing because they state the product as being from worthless to it being highly toxic. I continue to spray per the label directions and must admit to little obvious damage, so to date I am satisfied. I am not a chemist and wonder if the written opinions are really from persons qualified to make such statements (either way). So how does an admitted greenhorn draw worthwhile conclusions from a forum such as this? I do not intend to discredit any opinion. I just would like to collect reliable data from those who have gone before me and use that data in my application. Thank you.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 6:30PM
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