Apple spray program

Asked October 4, 2020, 9:34 PM EDT

I’m having trouble w my home orchard. Apples are badly misshapen with brown streaks in the flesh. Do you have a recommended spray schedule? I have a mixed orchard of 23 trees....apples,pears,cherries,peaches,Asian pears, one plum and a few hazelnuts.

Livingston County Michigan

3 Responses

Insects have really beat up this fruit. Plum curculio, perhaps leafroller larvae, and the streaks in the flesh may be apple maggot larvae.

Typically, the insect control program should start when you can start seeing the fruit after bloom and run until a few weeks before harvest. The first 1 1/2 months of this spray season are the most important time to avoid fruit distortion. Apples generally need fungicides starting several weeks before bloom and running until early June, at a minimum. You will have to decide how much time and energy (i.e., number of sprays) you want to spend protecting your fruit.

You will need to check out what types of fruit tree spray materials are available in your local garden / hardware stores. Probably the hazelnuts do not need to be sprayed. Cherries and peaches need to be protected against brown rot, maybe a bloom spray, and then again as the fruit are starting to develop some color. Check the label to make sure the fruit tree is listed.

For home apple grower sprays where you need to protect against insects, and diseases I recommend this short resource from the University of Kentucky

Here is a good resource on home fruit tree care -

They also have a good resource for pest control --

Thanks for your quick answer.

I thought I was pretty conscientious this year on my spray program. Started w dormant oil in early March before bud break, then after petal fall and repeating ever 2-3 weeks. I used “orchard spray” from TSC, which I believe is captan fungicide +pesticide combination.

Can you recommend a better product?

I did manage to get a few edible apples and they were excellent flavor and crispness. Encouraging me to learn proper orchard spray technique.

Dan M. Fenton

My brief search did not come up with a TSC product for orchards. If you can give me more information about the spray material used, what rate you used, how much water, this might help shed some light on your situation.