Sprayers - Pressure Needed for Fruit Trees & Vegetable Garden & Quality Options

What pressures are needed to spray fruit trees, and are those too powerful for the veggies?

Are there backpacks and hand sprayers that manage pressure better than others and less annoying to use? The battery powered sprayers look quite nice, but not sure I’ll use it enough to justify a battery that only lasts a few years.

Thanks!

Additional background:
I have a couple fruit trees and will be building out a small backyard orchard in the coming years. The apple I have is big – maybe 22-25’ tall, and based on some recommendations last year, I’m thinking of training it to a weep and grafting other varieties onto it. There is also a pear that is about 15’ tall, though it may have to go. Eventually I’ll have 8-12 fruit trees, mostly semi-dwarf or smaller.

I haven’t had experience spraying fruit trees previously. I also have a large kitchen garden, and this year had an outbreak of powdery mildew across a dozen squashes while I was out of town. So, ideally I would pick sprayers that can work for both.

I’m done with the cheap-o home-depot sprayers, and am thinking one hand-held (1-2 gal) and one backpack (3-4 gal). Hopefully something quality that will last 10+ years. Was viewing Jacto, SP (Sprayers-Plus), Birchmeier, and am open to other recommendations.

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I was going to post a recommended sprayer post as well, so will be watching this one!

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For the big apple, consider a hose-end sprayer. They don’t cost much and the pressure lets them reach up into a semi-tall tree

I wouldn’t use that on vegetables myself, but adjusting the fineness of the spray can gentle it down on any sprayer

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If you are looking to eventually have 10-12 fruit trees, I think you are on the right track to get a good backpack.

I have an SP and a Solo backpack. The SP is a better sprayer. I’m convinced with hand sprayers, you pretty much get what you pay for.

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Thanks for the feedback. I hadn’t thought about the hose-end sprayers yet, and will check those out.

With the backpack sprayers, do the motorized ones have enough pressure to meaningfully spray the semi-dwarf trees?

I see some of the backpacks that are up to 45psi, some up to 60psi, and some up to 80 psi. The electrics seem to be closer to 45psi and are rated for something like 20’ vertical, but that’s most likely a skinny stream.

Most likely I won’t have more than 3-4 of those, with the remainder being more dwarf size.

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If it’s a good hand pump backpack with a long wand you can spray semi-dwarf trees. You may have to spray the tops with a straight stream though. You can still get good protection spraying the tops with a straight stream.

Unless you are growing your trees tall to prevent wildlife from eating the fruit, I wouldn’t advise growing trees 20+ foot. It just isn’t necessary, and ladders are a pain to work off of, haul around, and are just plain risky for most people. If you have trees 20+ tall now, I’d start bringing them down to a pedestrian level. That is, unless you are keeping them tall because of wildlife.

If you do need a power sprayer to reach the tops of trees, I wouldn’t bother with a motorized backpack. I know a guy who bought one, and they are ridiculously heavy and expensive for what you get (They only hold 4 gallons.)

If you want a power sprayer, I’d advise a 15 or 25 gallon 12 volt sprayer. You can get them with a small pull behind trailer, or you can get one which doesn’t have a trailer and put it in a lawn cart and pull it around with your mower.

That’s what I do for trees in my backyard. I even put a plug and a switch on my mower, so I can plug in the sprayer, flip the switch and have instant live pressure to the wand.

These small electric tank sprayers are cheaper than motorized backpacks, hold a lot more in the tank, and don’t put all that weight on your back.

If you search Craigslist, people sell 12v tank sprayers quite often, so you can save some money that way. Just make sure you try it out before you buy it.

One drawback of the 12v tank sprayers is that manufacturers generally put cheap pumps on them. I have one sprayer (Fimco) I have to rebuild the pump every two years because the oils in the sprays I use eat the seals in the pump. I plan to get rid of the current pump and get a better one with Viton seals.

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I recently was in the market for a new sprayer as my 12 year old Rocket Sprayer was acting up and I thought why not just buy a new sprayer. Over the years, I’ve been through your same progression, and finally decided to bite the bullet and buy a professional battery sprayer that would do any job I wanted it to and do it quickly with minimal work from me. After perusing what was available, I soon discovered that I couldn’t beat what I already had. So I analyzed the problem and discovered that all I needed was a new switch, which was a minor fix. This sprayer is easy to repair by yourself and over the years I have replaced most of the parts. It’s has a 5 gallon tank, is on wheels, and I put a 50Ft. hose on it. It also has an adjustable spray nozzle that will do anything you want. I spray all of my fruit trees and rose bushes with it with minimal effort from me.

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I’m very happy with my 5 gallon battery cart sprayer. It does the job about 10 times faster than the hand-pump backpack sprayer I used to have

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Thanks, all!

After your feedback and additional thought, it certainly is appealing to think about a small (4-6) gallon cart-mounted sprayer. I looked at the Rocket Sprayer (seems the most versatile), SpotShot, LawnVac Peco, and the Fimco 5-gallon Cart Sprayer.

Each seems to have its strengths and weaknesses. I’m not clear if the SpotShot 85psi would be too much pressure for some tree or garden applications.

After thinking about these, it got me thinking if building my own with a high quality Shurflo pump might be a good option. Has anyone done this?

Also, any experience with TeeJet nozzles/wands?

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Stay away from Spot Shot. The sprayer has no back to it and the major parts
and wiring are exposed to water and certain corrosion. They failed to tell me this, when I bought mine. The sprayer is supposed to have a one year warranty, but when you read the owners manual,all of the main parts only have a 90 day warranty. I sent mine back. The owner of Rosemania, who sells it, told me several lies about the machine, trying to entice me to buy it. Once again
STAY AWAY FROM SPOTSHOT.

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Are any sprayers better for spraying something like Surround?

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I would agree about the motorized backpack. I have the stihl brand and it works great, turn it into a fog almost. But it is very heavy and holds only about 4.5 gallons. If I had it to do over I would get something else

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ltilton - what model is your cart sprayer?

rayrose - any idea what pressure and volume your rocket sprayer is?

I’m trying to determine what pressure and volume can ideally be combined with various nozzles for vegetable garden spraying as well as 20’ fruit tree spraying, but haven’t found any good information thus far. Ideally I’d find an adjustable pressure (or variable speed) pump.

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I am very happy with my sprayer, although I only spray fruit trees and not garden plants with it.
I bought a gas powered sprayer from Iva Manufacturing
http://ivamfg.com/sprayers/lawn-garden-sprayer/lawn-garden-orchard-sprayers

I ordered one with a Honda engine and it can spray up to 300psi. I usually set it on 250psi. The pressure is adjustable. I assume you could adjust it down to something ideal for vegetables. My spray gun can also be adjusted all the way to a fine mist.
It was not cheap, but cheaper than the rears estate sprayer I was looking at.

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thanks, ribs1. That’s a nice unit. Probably a bit heavy duty for my application, but would be great when I get to the point where I need something that powerful :slight_smile:

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You can look at their specs. I think you’re overly concerned about pressure and volume. This is a versatile sprayer that can be used for any application.
It can be adjusted, if needed, to do whatever you want it to do. I’ve never had to adjust the pump, and I spray many different things. The spray wand nozzle is where you’re going to do most of your adjusting.

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Perhaps, but it’s probably because I don’t have experience with anything other than the hand pump units, and don’t want to buy something that isn’t versatile. The Rocket Sprayer does seem like one of the nicer ones out there, but there are no current photos, at least at a size where you can see the workmanship, and when i e-mailed them with questions, I received no response in 2 days.

I feel like building my own will probably be best for versatility and quality of parts, but the Rocket Sprayer would be a close alternative.

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I’ve always called them and spoken directly to the owner, who has
always been very helpful. You’ll probably get his voice mail, but he’s
always been good at returning calls. 580-679-3670.

Of course you can build your own, if you know what you’re doing and how
to design it, and obtain all of the proper parts…