Spraying peach trees

ozlifterJuly 28, 2012

Hi from southeastern Oklahoma. The past two years have not been kind to my peach tree in the back yard. Worms have pretty much destroyed the crop, causing every single peach to rot and fall early. From looking online, I think my tree is being attacked by the plum curculio..

Have any of you experienced these pests, and how successful were you at getting rid of them? Can anyone recommend a pesticide or course of action?

Here is a general guideline I found online. Does it sound about right?: Apply a general-purpose fruit spray starting in the pink bud stage in late winter (buds are fully swollen, but none has yet opened). Repeat the treatment when 75 percent of the petals have fallen and, thereafter, on 3-week intervals until harvest.

Is there anything I can apply this summer or fall to get a head start? Or is it best to wait for the late winter?

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Hi from southcentral OK. I grow peaches and plums but haven't had plum curculios here in 14 years that I can recall, and I garden organically and do not spray preventively. However, if I had plum curculio issues, I'd follow the OSU spray schedule, which I'll link below. I have had Oriental fruit moths a couple of times.

If you will look at the linked fact sheet from OSU it not only tells you what to do at each stage, but has color photos to show you what each stage looks like. It has this info for both pome fruit, like apples, and stone fruit, like peaches, plums and apricots.

Precise timing is very important. Spray too early or too late and you do not get good results.

One of the most important things you can do is clean up all the damaged fruit and dispose of them by throwing them away or by burning them. That's about as much of a head start as you can get. It is never a good idea to leave diseased or pest-ridden fruit on the ground because that encourages more problems for future years.

Good luck,


Here is a link that might be useful: OSU Fact Sheet: Home Fruit Tree Management

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 6:56PM
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Thanks, Dawn. The pictures on the OSU factsheet were very helpful. I'm really hoping I can harvest some fruit next year. It's been so disheartening to lose every single peach to these things.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 1:09AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


You're welcome.

Yes. It is very, very disheartening.

My neighbors who do not garden organically and who do spray seldom lose their fruit to pests or disesase.

There are some organic sprays you can use, but if you want to go that route, it probably would be advisable to find a book written specifically on growing fruit organically and growing fruit organically is not easy. It has to be part of an overall organic program on the property so that you can build up a good supply of beneficial insects to help you take care of the pest insects.

It is hard enough to get peach trees through the spring without a late freeze knocking the blossoms or young fruit off the trees--and then to have a year (or two in a row) where that happens but you lose the fruit to a pest---it is incredibly discouraging. Do not give up. With a good spray program you can defeat the pests and harvest a crop, and the flavor of home grown fruit is so good that it is worth all the effort.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 10:49AM
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