Spraying for Santa Rosa plum and Redhaven peach

Zone 6 NJ

The Redhaven is already in the ground and the Santa Rosa is going to be shipped soon.

This is the source I’m using as a guideline: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs/publication.asp?pid=fs113

I went to Home Depot and picked up what I could find. I bought: Bonide “All seasons horticultural and dormant spray oil concentrate” (petroleum oil 98%), Bonide “A complete fruit tree spray concentrate” (Captan 11.76%, Malathion 6%, Carbaryl 0.30%), and Ortho MAX “Garden disease control concentrate” (chlorothalonil 29.6%). Browsing the old garden forum I also found Kocide3000, Immunox, and Triazicide but couldn’t find them at Home Depot (I was in a rush).

My question is if I should begin a spraying program or wait a few years to begin? The consensus on the old garden forum was to wait and see what diseases and pests arise first before beginning to spray. People seemed to not be fans of Bonide fruit tree spray because it’s ineffective for some and blanket spraying for everything is unnecessary. I was thinking about doing an application(s) of dormant oil onto the Santa Rosa, Redhaven, and blueberry bushes this year and then wait until a problem arises. What do you guys/gals think?

Let me try to help you. Please keep in mind different people may give you different advice.

I prefer to wait to see what problems my trees will have before spraying anything. That’s said, you are in NJ. It’s likely that you will get everything!! These include Peach Leave Curl, canker, bacteria spot, peach borers, Coddling moths, Oriental Fruit moths, etc.

One thing at a time. You don’t have to worry about moths/bugs until your trees produce fruit.

Dormant oil is not needed for peach. Since you are willing to spray, if your trees are still dormant, you should spray Chlorothalonil (Daconil) or a copper spray (I use Kocide 3000). Daconil is a lot easier to find in stores. Kocide you need to order on line.

Copper can also help with a bacterial spot issue. For canker, nothing much you can do but keep your trees healthy.

Borers is a big issue that can kill you trees. Look them up on the Net and start looking around at the base of your trees. You can spray Triazicide for borers.

I don’t use the Bonide products you mentioned. The only Bonide product I used was Turbo spreader/sticker. Mix it in your spray so the chemicals stick on the trees longer.

I don’t think you need to spray anything for blueberries.

Also, for two trees, you seem to stock up so many chemicals. If you don’t need them, don’t buy them yet. These things have expiration dates.

Once you trees start flowering and bearing fruit, please post again.

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A ton of busting on the Bonide combo spray has been done over the years. I don’t use it and never have, but for different reasons than is generally spoken about. As far as a general spray I know why Bonide chose what they did, and it was for good reason; at least mostly I think. I’ve researched and read a ton more about fungicides and pesticides than I ever should have. Captan is overall the most cost effective fungicide available still today that has wide spectrum control. Malathion is an aging organophosphate, but is among the safer of the group, possibly the safest and definitely the most widely used pesticide (along with Carbaryl) by hobbyists in the last 40 years or so. Carbaryl is also a very long used pesticide and still remains one of, if not the most effective for Japanese beetles. It remains a widely used pesticide in the commercial sector still.

Problem I see is content percentage. I don’t know what the mix rate is, but I have looked at it before. I’m doubtful of the effectiveness of 6% Malathion at almost any reasonable mix rate. I flat out don’t believe that .3% Carbaryl will be effective at all…again at an assumed mix rate. 11.76% Captan may very well be effective.
Seems to me the big container often available at hardware stores makes 33 gallons…that’s a ton of water for .3% Carbaryl. Defintely fact check me on the mix rate because it may be available in different concentrations and maybe my memory is off.
No matter though, the cost for what you really get is just staggeringly expensive as compared to what you can get buying the individual components in larger quantities. I realize though that you may not need that much, but it’s so much more expensive that you really should look into it.

IMO though, Bonide did a fine job in selecting the chemicals (for the average BY orchardist / gardener), it’s just that cost and concentration kills it for me. It also lacks flexibility, that is, the ability to change spray chemicals to tailor the spray to target different issues possibly not controlled by the combo spray’s chemicals.

Also…mamuang is right…everybody has different opinions and there really is no right or wrong. It’s really all about your priorities and concerns. I for one, DO believe in combining fungicide with all my sprays for a whole host of different reasons, and my near perfect fruit are proof enough (to me, at least) that it’s the only way to go. Z6 you won’t get lucky with anything…everything will be there at some point.

BTW: Lowe’s sells both Triazicide and Immuox. Check out ebay for deals. Last year I bought 6 bottles of Immunox for $9.99. I used Triazicide a lot, and I like it a lot, but don’t expect PC control with it…it’s just not up to the task.

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You do not need to follow a program to defend fruit when you are first planting your trees. The only protection needed for establishing the trees you likely need for those two species is from borers, especially the peach.

Forget what Rutgers has to say about pest control entirely. The information they gave you is not only obsolete but was never formulated in a careful way to help you get crop. Rutgers is not in the business of helping homeowners get crop- they are paid by the gov to help commercial growers do this.

What I think they want to do is make sure you don’t kill yourself with dangerous chemicals and reduce the risk of you contributing to environmental problems by handling chemicals carelessly. Then after you’ve tired of your hobby you can focus on buying nice NJ produced peaches.

Even at its strongest legal rate, Malathion is not very useful for the production of fruit except when you need something to knock a pest down that’s already in the tree. It has a very short life and I know of no commercial growers or successful home growers that use it for anything beyond treating severe aphid outbreaks.

Return your chemicals to Home Depot and find the smallest bottle of Triazide they sell to treat the base of the trees for borers and spray the lower trunks at highest legal rate after planting and again around mid-July.

Unfortunately the stuff has a shelf life of only 2 years and it is hard to know how old it is at time of purchase as the manufacturer carelessly provides no expiration date.

Here is something I’ve composed that may at least be of some use to you although my pest pressure in southern NY may be a bit less than yours, depending on where in NJ you are.

     Alan Haigh- The Home Orchard and Nursery Co. 


Low Spray Schedule for Home Orchards in the Northeast

Here’s my spray schedule for the scores of orchards I manage around SE NY adapted for home owners managing a few fruit trees. It has functioned well for me for over 2 decades, although J. Beetles and brown rot of stone fruit increases the number of sprays and necessary pesticides some years some sites. Stink bugs are also an increasing problem requiring more subsequent sprays when they appear. Time of spray is based on apple bloom as that is the predominant fruit here but I generally get away with spraying all trees at the time I spray apples.

Please note that pesticide labels must be read before their use and my recommendations do not override the rules on the label. The label is the law. This document only communicates what has worked for me and your results may vary depending on local pest pressure, which may require a different spray schedule.

Spray needs to be applied thoroughly throughout the trees and with a back pack or any human powered sprayer this is more easily accomplished in the morning before breezes usually pick up.

Dormant oil (this is optional if there were no mites or scale issues the previous season, which is usually the case in home orchards). Do oil spray from when emerging green shoots are 1/2" to just before the flower clusters begin to show a lot of pink. Mix Immunox (myclobutinol) at highest legal rate (listed on label for controlling scab and cedar apple rust on apple trees) with 1 to 2% oil( 1 to 2 quarts per 25 gallons of water). If it’s closer to pink use 1%. Never spray oil on open or almost open flowers.

Don’t spray again until petal fall when petals have mostly gone from latest flowering varieties and bees have lost interest. Then spray Triazide (Spectracide Once and Done) + Immunox mixed together at highest legal rates. Repeat once in 10 to 14 days.

Where I manage orchards, the space between earliest flowering Japanese plums and latest flowering apples is only 2 weeks or so which usually allows me to wait until the latest flowering trees are ready to begin spraying anything. Plum curculio seems to time its appearance conveniently to the rhythm of the last flowering apple varieties. This may not be true where you are.

If plums or peaches need oil they may need application before apples. I’ve only had mites on European plums here and never need oil for other stone fruit.

All this is based on plum curculio being your primary insect problem which is the case most areas east of the Mis. River. These sprays will also absolutely control scab, CAR and Mildew as well as most of the crop fatal insects. Apple fly maggot is an exception as it tends to emerge a couple of weeks after last spray looses effectiveness, but I haven’t had much of a problem with this pest in the orchards I manage. This pest can be controlled with a lot of fake apples smeared with tangle trap.

If you don’t want to use synthetic chemicals try 4 applications of Surround about a week apart starting at petal fall. You may need to start on earlier flowering varieties as soon as they drop petals because Surround is a repellent and can’t kill eggs after they’ve been inserted into the fruit. When temperatures permit it is good to mix horticultural oil with 2 of those applications as Surround makes a nice home for mites and scale.

Stone fruit may require the addition of an application or 2 of Indar (Monterey Fungus Fighter is closest available chemical for home growers) starting 4 weeks before first peaches ripen. Apricots must be sprayed sooner if they are scab susceptible with same compound. On some sites that single spray will also prevent serious rot on later ripening varieties on seasons not particularly wet. If it is rainy, spray the later varieties again two weeks later.

Because I manage so many orchards so far apart I have to resort to a spray schedule that is based on expectations rather than actual monitoring. You may be able to reduce insecticide sprays with monitoring but PC can enter an orchard overnight and if your insecticide lacks kick-back (as is the case with Triazide), do a lot of damage in a couple of days.

Other problems may occur later in the season and you will in time learn to monitor and react to the pitfalls.

Good luck, Alan Haigh- The Home Orchard and Nursery Co.


I don’t really have anything to add to the above posts, except an amen.

Mamuang, Appleseed, and Alan, offered such spot on advice. Each from a slightly different perspective, but solid council nevertheless.

I skimmed Rutgers spray guide for peaches/nects and wonder who put this together. They will have you spraying for all kinds of stuff you will likely never experience. As a couple examples, most peaches aren’t susc. to rusty spot, and I no longer spray for anything before shucks off. By and large, the shucks protect the peaches from insects and fungus. I do spray for leaf curl, but that’s in the dormant season.

Alan’s comment, “What I think they want to do is make sure you don’t kill yourself with
dangerous chemicals and reduce the risk of you contributing to
environmental problems by handling chemicals carelessly. Then after
you’ve tired of your hobby you can focus on buying nice NJ produced
peaches.” is probably not only the gritty truth, it made me laugh out loud.

It’s hard for me to say because they are generally cutting edge, but I would ignore the Rutgers spray guide in this case.

I bought Spectracide Triazicide (gamma-cyhalothrin) link and returned the Bonide Fruit Spray. I haven’t decided if I’m going to return the Daconil (chlorothalonil) yet. I think my strategy now is to spray the base of the trees with the Triazicide. Questions: 1) should I buy Bonide’s Turbo spreader/sticker to aid in the application of the Triazicide, 2) are two applications of Triazicide one after petal fall and 8 weeks later satisfactory, 3) how high up the trunk should I spray? I was considering painting the first 12-18 inches of the trees with 1:1 water and white latex paint to prevent sun scald, but maybe that will interfere with the insecticide?

I am thinking about holding off on the Daconil (chlorothalonil) and Immunox (myclobutanil) for now. Maybe I will begin spraying Immunox later in the spring/summer?

Still haven’t made up my mind on the dormant oil. I bought it at a Mom and Pop shop but misplaced the receipt!

The sticker can also be used with the Daconil to help prevent Peach Leaf Curl on the Peach,if that is a problem there.Yes it is getting late to use it now and won’t be effective if leaves are showing. Brady

Are you spraying for fruit of are these very young trees? It takes at least 3 years for the small trees people usually buy to be ready to begin bearing fruit- usually more.

Here peach leaf curl is not that common a problem in sites with good light exposure.

The Daconil at least should stay potent for years so you can use it for an early peach spray if scab is a problem even if PLC is not, when trees come into bearing.

I gave you a suggested time frame for protecting trees from borers.