Neighbor let herbicide spray drift onto me for 3rd time : Big Correction!


Hello, I used roundup for years, and have hit a few trees, but it never made the leaves fall off, just made the new growth yellowish with a witches broom like pattern. What kind of roundup are you using? what does it have in it besides the roundup itself? My local pesticide supplier always recommended roundup without the detergent to use around trees as it increased the ability of the roundup to get thru the bark. What else in in your mix? The only time I have had leaves fall from pesticide use was once I used an organic pyrethrin on my apricot trees and all the leaves fell off. I threw the rest of it away and never had a problem again so it might be something else.


My Round-Up concentrate calls for 6 ounces to a gallon.


Kevin, I agree with the above comments that your trees aren’t showing glyphosate damage. Copper can cause spotting and leaf drop.

With a traditional 41% glyphosate concentrate, a 2 oz. per gallon mix in water is still less than a 2%. It shouldn’t cause damage unless sprayed on smooth bark of young trees. But again the damage doesn’t look like that.

My money is on the copper causing the damage.

I would recommend signing up on driftwatch, as smsmith mentions. This farmer you are dealing with has certainly demonstrated he’s not been the most responsible when spraying. 10’ is really close and really not a good buffer for a herbicide, unless he is using a shielded sprayer. Not saying he can’t make it work, but winds would need to be blowing away from your trees.

My guess is the farmer did use glyphosate on the field (as you used under your trees). It’s cheaper than other burn downs, and systemic. He may have also used a pre-emergent in the tank.


Well, once again I’m incredibly grateful to the folks here. That so many of you have taken so much time to try and help me figure out what is going on is so incredibly nice and appreciated. Every single comment here is helpful in one way or the other, so I won’t address them all.

But this is an on-going mystery. I need to take more photos for you to see. The leave drop has gotten extreme- probably 75% of the leaves on many trees have come down. The good news- and a bit strange to me- is that even as the old leaves are falling off like crazy, the trees are sending out bright green, very healthy looking new leaves at tips only. This makes me think maybe it was copper as some of you said. Obviously new growth coming out has not had copper on it, so that might be why they new growth looks so good. Also, if it were my (or my neighbor’s) glyco, I doubt new growth would look so good and come out so fast…the nice new green was being pushed the same days the leaves were falling and still is. Some trees are almost bear except for green, new growth on tips.

BTW…the few trees that have fruit this year (lost most to late frost) have so far held their fruit. Even the trees with massive leaf loss held their fruit (so far, anyway)

Thanks so much for helping me figure this out and I’m hoping you will stay with me on this because I really need to know what happened and I suspect this might be a learning opportunity for a lot of us if we figure it out. Thanks!


Wow…either your concentrate is a lot weaker than mine or they are suggesting you mix it really strong. I use a generic that is called Gly Star Plus and I buy it at the local co-op. The label on it has a range of mixing options depending on what % you want to end up with. As I said above, I’ve actually used just one ounce per gallon many times in the past, giving it just a 1% strength. It actually kills weeds very good at that rate. This year I increased it to 2 ounces per galled which, as @Olpea said, give it a 2% strength. So…I wonder if your concentrate is just weaker or are you mixing it at super-strong strengths???


It’s name brand Round Up so probably weaker. Will have to look at the co-op next time I make the trip there. (It’s in the next town north, :flushed::laughing:


I’m still thinking about the buffer, and it’s just way too close.

I remember when I first planted my trees, the farm directly south was getting ready to spray herbicide on the field directly south. My closest trees had probably a 90’ buffer to the field and I still saw the applicator wait with the big spray rig (like the one Clark shows) till the wind died down.

There are a couple bee hives about 500’ from the closest crops I spray (with insecticide). Even that distance makes me nervous when I spray. I watch the wind and drift closely when I spray. This is with 500’ not 10’.

Now I do spray glyphosate and sometimes pre-emergent directly under the trees. But there are a few caveats to that.

First, mature apple and peach trees are pretty tolerant of glyphosate. They won’t be damaged if the spray occurs before mid July (when the leaves start translocating more herbicide to the roots to be stored during the winter). Even if some glyphosate lands on the foliage, I’ve not seen any effect on peach trees.

Second, my little boom sprayer which fits under the trees is very close to the soil. So the only foliage which might be sprayed is stuff hanging on the ground. The whole tree is never misted with this equipment. Also I skip young trees. We’ve killed our share of those over the years.

Here is an old link to an old forum. I’m hesitant to post it because I don’t want anyone thinking it’s some endorsement of that forum. I think just about anyone who transitioned from the old forum to Growing Fruit, knows why this one is much better. Better platform, no ads, much more sound fruit growing advice (all the serious growers moved over here).

I’m posting the link because it shows some good pics and explanation of glyphosate damage. This was when we were spraying with a power wand sprayer (which is much harder to control the mist). We had just planted these trees at my new location in 2012.

I wish I had some pictures of young peach trees we killed from glyphosate, but I don’t.

Btw, something like 2-4,D or dicamba would be much more problematic spraying around peach trees. Would need to be much more careful, even around mature trees.


That damage is definitely not roundup. Dicamba, paraquat, or 2-4 D would be my guesses.

When dealing with neighbors, it is always best to cultivate friendship. He could help you quite a bit by letting you know when he is about to spray and what with. Also, it is not realistic for you to plant trees right up to the property line and expect him to leave a buffer strip to protect your trees. Both of you could leave a buffer strip which would be more appropriate.



I would very respectfully disagree about planting trees close to the property line. Kevin is on a residential property. He shouldn’t let his tree limbs go over the line, but it’s his perogative to plant trees or plants close to his property line.

The burden of care rests with the farmer in this case since he’s the one spraying compounds harmful to the trees.

One of my neighbors put their been hives right on the fence lines. I don’t like it, but it’s my responsibility I don’t kill the hives with my sprays.

If I do(and it can be demonstrated that it’s my fault) then I owe my neighbor for new bees plus the honey he lost.


Does anyone more experienced with farm glyphosate know whether or not it is typical for the farm-use stuff to incorporate diquat? The piddly 1 quart spray bottle of RTU Roundup I buy at Menards has glyphosate and diquat as A.I.s. But I suspect that is because the run-of-the-mill retail customer expects instant weed death and that is what diquat will give. (At the determent of meaningful glyphosate uptake.)

Diquat would show similar leaf symptoms as paraquat.


It’s very uncommon to combine glyphosate with a contact (burndown) herbicide, for the reason you stated. They also typically call for different nozzle sizes, styles of application, etc. Slightly more common is a pre-emerge (like a PPO inhibitor) and contact herbicide combo, a few companies sell combination products like that.


AS always, very helpful post - and link. While my property actually is residential, I’m surrounded by large farms that all grow “row crops”. They do, including the one that sprays so close to me, all use those big boom sprayers like @clarkinks showed. Most of know about the catestrophic 2, 4-D spray drift that got me about 5 years ago, and a very minor case of it about 3 years ago, but this would have been my first glyco problem, but the more I’ve read from you and others, the more I am suspecting it was my use of copper. This is the first year I’ve used near-full strength copper on leafed out trees, and I bet that got me. I was honestly kind of experimenting with it, which was quire stupid- an experiment should be done on one or two trees, not all trees!!! ha.

I, too, have spent a lot of time thinking about the buffer zone, but I’m really torn about it. After having been hit once for sure from this neighbor, I’m no fan and not anxious to defend him, but I still have mixed feelings. I strongly believe that I should be able to use all the land I own and paid for as I wish, and I shouldn’t have to basically abandon a 90 foot strip just because my neighbor can’t control his spray. HOWEVER, it also seems a bit hypocritical for me to tell the neighbor he has to abandon 90 foot of his prooperty because I choose to grow fruit trees. Ideally would should both get to use all our land as we wish. The balance of this conflict in my mind, though, is decided by the fact that I am not saying he can’t plant right up to the line or even spray up to the line, only that he has to keep whatever spray he uses on his property-period, no excuses. If he can do that 100% of the time then he has every right not to have a buffer just as I have a right to plant up to my line. Problem is it doesn’t seem he has that degree of control. This is also a response to @Fusion_power who talked about all this is his post. Darrel’s, your suggestion that we BOTH leave a bit of a buffer zone might be the fairest solution, if we could get together on it. Being friendly, as you suggested, would also help us compromise. But you may not know or remember what happened last time he sprayed me. He denied it was his fault, refused to pay anything for months, and was generally a jack-ass. Even after the University of Tennessee experts, working for the State of TN envisonmental office came and sampled all my trees and other plants and took samples from his tanks and conducted an incredibly thorough investigation that proved 100% it was him (his workers) that sprayed me, his response was “Those are just a bunch of scientist that think they know everything, they can’t prove what happened”. That gives you an idea of why its hard to work with this person.

@joehewitt In the most respectful way possible, I’d like to disagree with your comments. I’m glad you like to grow organically. I respect and even admire your efforts in that respect and I’m glad you have found a way to grow your fruit that brings you pleasure. I would simply ask that you show me the same respect. Perhaps you can grow peaches (or whatever) there in Northern California organically. If so that is great and I envy you. Where I live in Tennessee, you can’t. In fact, most of the fruits I grow simply would not be possible without the aid of chemicals. I suspect your response to that- based on your comment- would be to tell me to just abandon everything I grow that requires some chemical intervention (ie more than half of my fruits). That seems a bit harsh for you to decide what I should and shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy growing based on whether or not it meets your idea of acceptable growing methods.

I use only legal chemicals and I always follow label instructions and guidelines. While I suspect you disagree with the government agency recommendations, laws, and findings, I follow those and they deem what I use and how I use it to be appropriate and safe and I do accept that. If you don’t, then don’t use those things and those manners, but please don’t tell me I shouldn’t or can’t. Also, it was a bit unusual that you should use this this thread to critizize this forum and it’s members since the problem I am having doesn’t seem to be caused by my own use of chemicals but by me neighbors. And I’m upset about it. Once again this is only a respectful disagreement, I was a bit put off not only by the fact that you were critical of this forum and its members, but also by your language. Saying that folks here are “poison obsessed” and telling us we are “raining hell upon the earth” seems a bit dramatic and is your opinion- though you are free to express it.

Finally, I’d like to point out that I am surrounded on 3 sides, as well as almost all the land in a 5 mile radius, by farms that all use chemicals on a regular basis. I understand that you would prefer they not do that, but they do. So even if I abandoned all my fruits that require chemicals, I could never be a truly organic property. I wouldn’t presume to tell those other farmers that they are poison obsessed or raining hell on earth just because they choose to use legal, generally accepted farming techniques, so I find it a little offensive when you say that to me and others here. But its just my opinion.


As a beekeeper for 50 years, I’ve always been of the opinion that bees are valuable to the orchard, valuable enough that I go out of the way to ensure they are considered first with anything I spray.

While I agree that the person applying spray has the onus to ensure his neighbors are not harmed, that was not the point of my statement. It was that it is not quite reasonable to expect the neighbor to observe a buffer strip on his side of the line without some form of reciprocation.

Kevin, I can see that you are trying hard to balance your position to respect your neighbor. That tells me there is hope.


I understand you are in an entirely different climate. Please come to my climate and live, before you judge me.

Certainly, there are fruit forums in dry climates which decry any pesticides. And there are a few folks in somewhat rainy climates who only grow bullet proof crops.

But most folks who desire to grow fruit want to grow at least tier two fruit. Most want to grow tier one fruit. It’s very rare that can be done without sprays, unless in a desert climate (at least in the summer).

I’ve been an active member fruit forums for a long time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people try organic protocols, in humid climates, only to be disappointed year after year with no fruit. I’ve also seen it beyond count with some of my own customers.

Yeah I spray synthetics. You can argue I’m spraying from Hell.

Before you judge me, ask yourself the environmental questions of where you live. The impact of farmers using so much previous water in CA to water their crops.

Here’s pic today of our land without a drop of water artificially pumped on the land.

We’ve never irrigated here. Water is plentiful (generally). The land will grow something.

I suspect this is very different from unirrigated land in most parts of CA, a month after Spring. The land produces abundance. That goes for insects and weeds too

Btw, I’m not trying to chase you off to get you to take your ball and go home. Just trying to offer a perspective which is different than the climate you are accustomed to.


To say that you meant to be disrespectful and you “cant find it in yourself to be polite” is quite a statement, and an unfortunate one in a forum where almost everyone else I’ve ever encountered has been respectful and polite even when they have different opinions. I’m not sure how you can “respect someone as a human being” but then be disrespectful and impolite to that same person. As you saw in my above response to you and in this one, I strive to be respectful and polite no matter how much I disagree with someone’s position. That just seems like a hallmark of maturity and good manners to me. It seems that you believe in your opinion so strongly that you feel it entitles you, or even demands of you, to be impolite and disrespectful. But as right as you feel you are, it is just an opinion and position, and there are other intelligent people and research and evidence that proper use of the right chemicals does not equate to “raining hell on earth” or being “chemical obsessed”. Its just a different approach, and one that the government, the law, many experts, and most people who shop in grocery stores support, since your way would lead to a very small selection of produce at very high prices. But don’t misunderstand me, I absolutely respect your right to grow what you want to how you want to. You’ve just said you don’t feel the same about my rights or those of most other growers on this forum, and I find that disappointing. There is nothing about your method or opinion that makes it morally superior to ours, and that is the feeling your posts give.

All that being said, I still welcome your input and your right to state your opinions and I will continue to be polite and respectful to them and to you- even though you just said that you will not be either of those. I would add that if you really want to bring more people around to your way of thinking and growing, you probably won’t do it by being disrespectful and impolite and disparaging most growers here. Honey really does catch more flies than vinegar. But to each his own.


Someone needs to adjust their tinfoil hat.


I’ve found when someone has no intention of being polite or respectful, it’s probably no use having a meaningful discussion.

Still, I’ll offer a few questions/observations. I don’t think Hawaii would not offer lessons to folks like myself in rainy summer climates. Not only is it a tropical vs. temperate climate, but I’ve been told the trade winds blow most of the insects in the ocean.

You mentioned I should raise livestock here in the Midwest. Certainly that’s done. But I think we have to acknowledge that’s a pretty limiting prospect for everyone to raise livestock in the Midwest.

You mention other “rare fruits” I should take an interest in growing. Care to share what I should be growing and trying to sell to my local customers, since you seem to be so familiar with agriculture in my area?

I have and do grow pawpaws, walnuts, and various other low or no spray crops. But if you have any advice on being able to market these crops, I’m all ears.

By the way, I’m not referring to spending all day marketing them as something like a few baskets on a nicely presented organic table. That doesn’t pay any bills here. I need to produce a product which people really want, and sell hundreds or a thousand pounds/day. People have fairly conservative tastes here. If you know any secrets to get them to eat pawpaws like peaches, please enlighten.





This is simply arrogance, and ignorant arrogance as well

Nowhere can you find more interest in rare and unusual fruits than amongst this group of people here. I see that despite your claim of seeing the truth for yourself, you are instead seeing people here through the distorting lens of your prejudice.

I see nothing that you have to offer this group but disruption


Everyone please be aware this topic has been flagged. Please be respectful of one another. We are looking closely at this topic now.