Have a lovely untreated ornamental apple that is going into a 3rd year of...

Asked January 26, 2014, 12:24 PM EST

Have a lovely untreated ornamental apple that is going into a 3rd year of "scald or scab"? After 2 yrs of leaves dropping early, was told to begin spraying while tree is dormant this spring. Will likely have a tree service do this BUT I have 3 dogs who walk within the spray line of this tree. The tree can die from this (although I much prefer NOT to lose it) BUT MY BELOVED DOGS cannot die or be affected in any way. Is there any effective product that will not harm my dogs?

Ramsey County Minnesota apple diseases apple scab

1 Response

There are some sprays, such as neem oil, that are considered to have low toxicity, but the best solution might be to replace the tree with one that is resistant to scab. If you don't, you will need to spray the tree every year. I hate cutting down a nice tree, but after a few years I am always glad I bit the bullet and did it rather than fussed over the old tree and worried about what my dogs were licking off their paws.

Here is a sheet on controlling apple scab, including suggested varieties of trees:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/managing-apple-scab/

and one on treatments with lower toxicity:
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/lincoln/sites/default/files/Least_Toxic_Pesticiddes_for_Gardeners.pdf

Hope this helps.