Apple & peach fruit tree sprays
Have several apple and peach trees in Annapolis. Dormant oil spray and Bonide Fruit Tree Spray (Captain/Malathion/Cabaryl) used to manufacturer's directions have not been effective in preventing fruit drop, fungus, and other pesticide problems. What fruit tree spray regimen do you recommend?
Dormant oil is effective at controlling overwintering scales, aphids, and spider mites but not larvae that affects fruit. Fruit drop can be due to poor pollination, natural thinning, larvae of various pests, etc.
Peach and apple trees can be a challenge to grow as they are susceptible to disease and insect problems. You will have to familiarize yourself with and manage and prevent pest problems. Select the most disease resistant varieties. If you have questions this growing season, send us photos as soon as you notice symptoms.
See our website on Common Problems of stone fruits. Look at insects - oriental fruit moth and plum curculio. You will have to cut open the fruit and look for signs and symptoms this season. Also, look at diseases - brown rot , a fungal disease. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/common-problems-stone-fruit-peaches-cherries-plums-apricots-and-necta...
Apples - See Common Problems of Pome Fruits See possible diseases and Insects - codling moth, apple maggot, and plum curculio. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/plants/common-problems-apples-pears
Keep your peach and apple trees in good health through proper planting, watering, fertilization, pruning, and pest management. See our website on stone fruits http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/stone-fruit-peaches-cherries-plums-apricots-nectarines and pome fruits https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/apples
and the spray schedule from Virginia Tech.
The goal of your spraying should be to prevent and manage the most serious fruit problems. Certain insecticides such as those that contain pyrethroids are highly toxic to bees, pollinators and natural enemies. Do not spray them during bloom period. Be aware that pesticides labeled in other states may not be labeled for home fruit and be available in Maryland.