Hello from Southern Illinois (1hr 30 mins SE of St. Louis). My wife, 2 girls (8 & 2), and I live on 4acres.
In the spring of 2021 I planted a honeycrisp and golden delicious apple tree. The golden delicious died over the summer and was replaced in the fall. Both trees seem to be doing good now. The honeycrisp had a few flowers this year towards the top. The Honeycrisp tree does have some brown spots on the leaves. I will try to get some pictures later today.
In the Fall of 2021 I planted a Red Haven and StarkSpur EarliGlo (from Stark Bros Nursery). Both trees did great last year. This spring I noticed what I believe to be Peach Leaf Curl on both. Now within the last week, the leaves have started wilt and fall off.
In the Fall of 2022 I planted Bing and Rainier Sweet Cherry Trees. The Bing died over the winter and a replacement is on order for this fall. The Rainier died down to about 18” above the graft. I pruned it down to living tissue and I am now waiting to see if it will rebound. If not it will be replaced.
I also have some Natchez and Triple crown blackberries scattered around.
I have intermittently sprayed neem oil on the trees, but I’m not sure if I am wasting my time?
I’m looking for some suggestions on what and when to spray.
PLC will have red spots, your peach doesn’t appear so.
Do you have very clay soil? I see spots in ground where grass doesn’t even grow. Your trees do not look very happy. It could be that the soil conditions are not ideal for your growing and are negatively impacting your trees. I bet if you brought in good soil and grew the trees in mounds, the issues would go away.
I do not have heavy clay soil. 18”+ of top soil where the trees are planted. The bare spots are mostly due to it being a newly planted stand of grass (last fall). Some of the leaves had reddish orange spots before they fell off.
Your climate is warmer than mine,I am in Chicagoland. Red Heaven performances very well here. One of the most reliable peach cultivar I have seen in the area. It should thrive in your location weatherwise. Can’t see well from the picture, the tree seems need to be pruned into optimal scaffolds. The leafs look pale, may have some PH or nutrients intake issues. It doesn’t hurt have soil tested. Neem oil alone is not sufficient to combat the world of fungi, diseases. The longer you grow fruit trees on your property, the more bugs will show up, so do diseases. Following the dormant spray schedule is a effective way to control the diseases and bugs, therefore minimize your headache.
My peach care in the spring started with, after last dormant, 10-10-10 before bud break in March. At shuck split, I hit the tree with foliage spray with Sevin and immunox to control the pests and diseases. After that it depends on the weather and the performance of the trees to add or skip spray to target specific issues. In general, if you are doing dormant spray, in growing season one spray at the right time can control high percent of the bad bugs. If PC or stink bug showed up, I will give them second spray. I try to do minimum spray.
Rainier cherry struggles a little in Chicagoland, but depends on the micro environment too. Here in the suburbs, Rainier planted closer to the house, cold wind may also be shielded by neighbors’ houses, it can fruits like other sweet cherries. In your location both Bing and Rainier should fruit well. Maybe the location you planted both cherry trees is not a good spot. Sweet cherry doesn’t like wet feet. Or maybe there is something in the soil that killed the tree. So don’t plant the replacement tree in the same spot to avoid soil born diseases.
I’ll go off topic here. 1. You need way more trees. 2. The guides here are very good. Scott has the low impact spray schedule and Alan has a synthetic schedule. Both of these guides are probably better than most guides published by major universities. I have been using Alan’s schedule for at least 10 years with mostly great success. I have late apple fly maggot here and a few other things so I have to spray more than the 3 times Alan recommends.
I hope you spend a lot of time here. Many contributors have tons of reports on interesting varieties off all types of fruit.
I am in Illinois as well in the central Illinois area.
For cherries in Illinois tart cherries are much easier to grow than sweet cherries. Best cultivars for sweet cherries in Illinois are BlackGold and WhiteGold. An older heirloom cultivar Black Tartarian is also a decent choice. In Illinois sweet cherries require dedication, a good spray schedule and some way to keep the birds away ( a net or bird scare tape).
This thread will give you an idea of what you will face.
For spraying we have two spray guides. One is organic and one is synthetic. For stone fruits sweet cherries, peaches, etc. most people struggle with the organic one and eventually move to the synthetic one. In Illinois for apples the organic one may work.
I agree the peach has bacterial spot and the apple has scab. Both are extremely common diseases. Copper at leaf fall and again in spring before leaves open is a good treatment for the peach. For scab myclobutanil is the best thing… I think Immunox spray still contains it.