Bonide Fruit Tree Spray Burns on Peach Trees

I know that I am not the first one to mention this but still, I think some will find it helpful. I have sprayed my peach and apricot trees with Bonide Fruit Tree Spray twice so far this season. On both occasions, a couple of days later, I noticed burn holes in my leaves. Later I noticed the skin on some of my young peaches exhibit various degrees of burn as well. From my reading on this site, it looks like Captan is probably the chemical agent that is responsible (thanks Tippy!). Additionally, it sounds like, if you are going to spray Captan, it is best to do so in the heat of the day so it dries as rapidly as possible to minimize possibility of burning? (I sprayed evening then early morning - mistakes both times)
Here are results on peach leaves:

Here are results on some peaches:

Seems like a good thing to know.

I burnt apples this spring with this product. New growth seems especially sensitive to it. I have 2 remaining containers I don’t wish to use. Bonide is a local company for me, and I’d like to support a local company, but I won’t be using this product again.

The issue with several Bonide products is that the chemicals used in the mix is at a low rate, too mild to be effective. However, Bonide is sold everywhere. Newbies usually do not know enough to use more effective products.

I like this product. It does burn leaves, but I only use it twice early in the season. It is effective for PC, and also helps with brown rot. Using captan later in the season as you found out can damage fruit.
I will probably just use malathion in the future. I do like it for strawberries though.

Often the user is at fault, not the product. they make excellent products that has given me very clean fruit.I’m very impressed with many of the products I have used for 7 years now. Sure the copper is weak, but blame the feds, not Bonide. Monterey or other liquid copper products are just as weak. I agree some of the products are weak, but that is more to do with federal regulations than the company.

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I speak in general. There is no need to assign blame or discuss who is at fault. Inexperienced people tend to make mistakes. We all know that. People learn from their mistakes.


If you don’t want to find out the problem, and how to solve it, I guess that is OK. Well that is my only reason for mentioning it. The liquid copper products got cut, way back. Sucks, no doubt. Also users do make mistakes. Not in this case, it is the product. You should use this product with acidic water both captan and malathion work 1 thousand times better in acidic water. Both highly benefit from it.

I keep finding myself surprised that anyone still uses this stuff

Beautiful clean fruit keeps me using it. I agree this paticular product does have some issues, but I still use it on strawberries before bloom, and on my trees 2 times. It does casue some holes, but never seen it damage fruit before, that is new to me, must be because of later use.
One of the very best products is Bonide Fruit Tree and Plant Guard. I would say it is the best home product one can buy for stone fruit.
Nectarines are hard to grow without damage.
Spice Zee

Arctic Glo

Bonide products can work very well.


Indeed, the Plant Guard is a great product.

I use Captan on my strawberries, where it does no harm, but I wouldn’t want to spray malathion when they’re in bloom

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Yes, I have to say overall this product is not the best. It can be crap! I used it because I ran out of Captan. I need more I will buy some for next year. I don’t like to even use Captan after blooom. I probably lose some strawberries to gray mold because of it.

The Fruit Tree Spray may be good for insect control on ornamentals or other plants. I will not buy anymore. But it has a place, and I hate to see the whole company dissed over one product.
My own experience is the holes are no big deal. Never seen fruit damaged, that is concerning!
They also make a Citrus, Fruit and Nut Orchard Spray. I have not used that product. It has sulfur and Pyrethrins.

I use quite a lot of Bonide products, but not the one with sulfur, as I have apricots

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The leaf damage looks like shothole. Some of my plum varieties get it during a period of high humidity and rain.

I looked at the general fruit sprays early on. I remember one had a few warnings that it contained an ingredient that is harmful to certain varieties. I had one of them, Stanley plum I think. I found it to be yet another humorous fail at dumbing something down for the ignorant. You still have to do your homework. It’s also smart to do a small test spray when dealing with new spray mixes, but most people not on a spray schedule will wait until its an emergency and feel they can’t wait days to see the results of a test.

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Agree that those leaves looked like a shot hole disease, not Captan burn.

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I used to get burn on my plums from Captan.

I thought it looked like shothole as well. Then I thought, why would I get shothole right after spraying? So I sprayed again paying closer attention and once again holes formed in the leaves. Interesting that the older leaves don’t get burned and the very youngest leaves (still folded up) dont get burned. It is just the young ones that have unfolded. At this stage my leaves are often kind of wrinkled. My best guess is that the spray is able to pool in these pockets and those pockets take longer to evaporate giving the Captan enough time to burn these areas of the leaves.

@SpokanePeach/ Kevin,

I’ve found this article helpful. Although it compared Bacterial Leave Spot to copper injury, the author did mention that copper injury and Captan injury is similar.

It is possible that you have both shot hole and Captan burn issues.


Captan causing shothole appearance was discussed here. It isn’t clear to me if it was a variety issue or an application issue. Maybe @MES111 can clarify.

There is an interesting discussion here that includes Captan burn conditions.

Thanks Tippy and AJ. This information is very helpful.
A few take aways: Some sprays can burn plant tissue. Captan and Copper are examples. To minimize the potential for injury, try to spray in “fast drying conditions”.
Although there are other spray products that may be more effective for a particular problem, there is nothing wrong with the Bonide product and it is readily available to backyard fruit growers. However it is useful to be aware of the potential pitfalls and what to do to avoid them. Thanks again for all of the help!

One other thing you should know- just because a grower claims good or bad results at a specific site, this kind of anecdotal evidence is always suspect for your own conditions and even in general.

Over the years many growers have complained about the poor results they’ve gotten from Bonide mixed pesticide products on this forum and others I have followed in the past. Drew is exceptional in his endorsement, but he is fairly experienced at this point- in his own conditions.

I don’t like mixed products because the only protection I usually need after spring is from brown rot for stone fruit. I’m also a commercial applicator who sprays scores of orchards, so I can use any material available and usually make use of a lot of material over time (meaning I can put the large quantities of commercial packaging to use). .

If it can be avoided, it’s a good idea to only target the pest that is threatening your fruit. Too much insecticide can throw off the natural predatory controls in an orchard- especially when pyrethroids or sevin are in the mix. I spray scores of orchards and do use a pyrethroid in many of them due to a lack of legal alternatives. Most orchards don’t get mite flair-ups or even infestations of white-fly as a result, but some do. I’ve had the same problem with Sevin, so when my only issue is fungus, all I ever want to apply is fungicide.