Spraying Fruit Trees

Asked December 29, 2020, 11:55 AM EST

What type of Spray to use for Apple Trees and when to Spray Trees?

Douglas County Oregon

1 Response

There are many cultural and biological techniques you can use to manage or prevent disease and insect damage.

Choose the proper cultivar for your climate and soil.

Choose disease resistant cultivars. For example, Liberty, Prima, Akane, and Chehalis apples are resistant to apple scab, while Granny Smith and Gala are not.

Water and fertilize the right way. Overwatering can cause root rot, and overfertilizing can increase disease and insect problems. A soil test is a first step in managing soil fertility, and analysis of leaf tissue samples gives you valuable information about the nutrient status of your trees.

Proper pruning and fruit thinning. Proper pruning and fruit thinning improve fruit quality, air circulation and pesticide spray coverage.

Good sanitation. Remove and get rid of (burn, bury or send to landfill) diseased branches and leaves. Remove and destroy old fruit from the tree and the ground. Do not use diseased leaves as mulch. Mow and shred or remove old leaves beneath fruit trees.

Pest monitoring. Know which pests are likely to attack your trees and when these pests might appear. Create a routine for inspecting your orchard. Pheromone and sticky traps are useful pest management tools. Contact your local Extension agent or nursery professional for more information.

Biorational pesticides. Insecticidal soaps and oils are effective against a wide range of tree fruit pests. You can use microbial pesticides like Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) to control certain caterpillars.

Biological control. You can enhance control by the pests’ natural enemies by limiting how many times you use pesticide sprays and by using selective pesticides when possible.

Exclusion. In the home orchard, excluding certain pests can be a practical method. For example, bag individual apples in mesh baggies (fruit sox/orchard sox) to protect fruits from codling moth, apple maggot, and stink bugs. Another tactic is to cover entire trees in screen material to exclude pests.

Tolerance. Some pests, such as leafrollers, are rarely a problem for the tree or the crop and they are heavily targeted by natural enemies. It’s a good idea to tolerate the presence of some pests at non-damaging levels.

In late winter apply a dormant oil spray.

Here is a great publication:


Hope this helps!