Dear Sir or Madam, I have a few questions on the subject trees and was hoping...

Asked January 7, 2015, 2:57 PM EST

Dear Sir or Madam, I have a few questions on the subject trees and was hoping you could help me. I live in Salisbury Maryland. See attached July Elberta Peach (Dwarf) – Self Pollinating – only have 1 tree The tree is approximately 7 to 8 years old. I have never been able to harvest any fruit. I purchased fruit tree sprays from a local store. I sprayed the tree prior to the buds opening early spring followed by a spray after the flowers have died. After which I sprayed every two weeks. The fruit looks great until early June when some start to show signs of brown spotting only to get worse until they are all effected. This happens every year. Is there something you can recommend to stop the brown spotting which would allow the fruit to full maturity and harvest. Blackgold (TM) Cherry (Semi-dwarf) Self-pollinating and will pollinate with other sweet cherries – only have 1 tree The tree is approximately 6 years old. I have searched the internet to determine when is the best time to prune this tree only to find some to say after the cherries are harvested and others to say during the winter months (some have indicated winter pruning would allow insect infestation which could lead to killing the tree). As a result I have not pruned this tree up to this time. Could you recommend the best time for pruning this type of cherry tree? I have had little problems with harvesting this fruit with minor brown spotting. I followed the same spraying process as noted above. Regards,

Wicomico County Maryland fruit brown rot elberta peach cherry trees

3 Responses

Your spray schedule is very close to the optimum recommendation, but it would be helpful to know the type of fruit tree spray you have been using. The spots on your peaches sound like either brown rot or peach scab, both of which should be prevented by a proper spray schedule.
The past several springs have been rather wet, and the effectiveness of fungicidal sprays during rainy periods can be quite problematic.
The spray regimen during the bloom stage is especially important during wet springs, and best if applied before an anticipated rain. Apply twice - when blooms are 5% and 90% open.
At petal fall and for your early cover sprays: Spray when most flower petals have fallen; repeat twice at 10-day intervals.
For your summer cover sprays, apply fungicidal sprays approximately every 14 days until 2 weeks before harvest when fruit changes color but is still too firm to eat. This is a critical spray for preharvest brown rot control.
As for pruning your cherry tree;
You may find some useful hints in the following publication:

The fruit tree spray info is attached. Is this the appropriate spray i should be using?

You have better, less toxic options than this one.
Given that your problem is primarily brown rot, (not insects) we would recommend using a simple fungicide like Immunox, without any added chemicals. (Read the label. You want one with just Myclobutanil as the active ingredient).

The best time to prune your cherry in our area is right before bloom time.