It can be a challenge to know how to spray fruit trees for pest control. Spray schedules will vary depending on whether the trees have fruit or not. Following are hints on what to spray this year for our most common fruit trees.
Peaches, nectarines and apricots: Most trees do not have fruit due to the December 18 cold snap and/or a late frost. Fruit buds on peaches and nectarines are most often killed if the temperature reaches -10 degrees. We had -10 degrees in Manhattan. The tree is fine but there will not be fruit any year with temperatures this low. Some apricots can also lose fruit buds at -10 degrees.
If there will not be any fruit, there isn’t any need for being on a spray schedule. If there is fruit, use a product that contains captan or myclobutanil (Immunox, Fertilome F-Stop Lawn and Garden Spray) from now until about two weeks before harvest. Spray about every 10 days.
If a specific problem develops such as borers, peach leaf curl or gummosis, see our listing of common problems at http://hnr.k-state.edu/extension/info-center/plant-pest-problems.html Look under “Peach” for possible problems and what to do about them.
Cherries: We often have good fruit on cherries without spraying. However, a wet spring can lead to problems with brown rot. Myclobutanil (Immunox, Fertilome F-Stop Lawn and Garden Spray) or Captan will give good protection. Cherry fruit fly may attack the cherries with the maggot causing damage to the fruit. Malathion (check label), Bonide Fruit Tree & Plant Guard or Sevin can be used for control.
Pears: Pears are often able to escape damage without spraying. If trouble does arise, use the same recommendations given for apples.
Apples: Apples are the crop most in need of a spray schedule. Unless you have disease-resistant trees, cedar-apple rust is a perennial problem. The larvae of the codling moth is the insect most likely to damage fruit. Control can be a challenge due to changing labels and an extended spray season. See our article in our March 21, 2017 newsletter on “Apple Tree Sprays” for details. You can find the newsletter at http://hnr.k-state.edu/extension/info-center/newsletters/2017/March21_2017_12.pdf. (Ward Upham)
Contributors: Ward Upham, Extension Associate
Horticulture & Natural Resources
2021 Throckmorton, KSU
Manhattan, KS 66506