Sulfur Question

I plan on spraying Sulfur soon, Is it better to spray sulfur before or after pruning? Sulfur may get on freshly cut limbs if done after pruning.

Not the answer you are looking for but I feel obliged to comment so just ignore. Personally I’d say wait till after pruning and then continue waiting forever so you don’t have to have such high maintenance plants and instead figure out what’s possible without such regimens.

I’d spray after. Why are you concerned about sulfur contacting wounds? I’ve never read of any phyto-toxic properties of sulfur and if it was dangerous to spray recent wounds I assume the label would mention it because pruning is part of growing fruit and is often done at a time you might be spraying sulfur.

If the tree is more open it is easier to spray and you aren’t wasting time and material on wood that is going anyway. .

I wonder why Jujube felt compelled to write his comment- this forum is to get and give all kinds of advice on growing fruit and many of us choose to do what is necessary to harvest the fruit we love. We’ve had topics about spray-free fruit and that seems like the appropriate place for such advice.


Sulfur Spray

The application of sulfur sprays in late winter and early spring is commonly used for control of certain fruit tree diseases. Although effective, sulfur is a drastic measure and should only be used as a last resort for for combating a disease in orchards. Even though it is accepted as an organic spray, it should be noted that sulfur is still toxic and should be used with proper safety precautions. It is also a indiscriminate killer. It will not harm honeybees, but it will kill a variety of both beneficial and pest insects, fungi, and other microbes. For this reason, use sulfur only if a disease is having a dramatic effect on fruit production or tree health and other means of control have been ineffective.

Sulfur is naturally water insoluble. It is available in a dry powder form, but formulations termed “wettable” or “flowable” are generally best for orchard applications. Colloidal or micronized sulfur products are also preferred, as their smaller particle size is more effective in providing good coverage. {1}

When searching for a sulfur spray product you will also come across a lime sulfur compound. This will have the disease fighting benefit of sulfur with the added benefit that lime will allow for sulfur to penetrate the plant tissue, thereby increasing its efficacy and faring better against rain or snow. This added benefit does come at a cost, as the lime can damage the plant and the product is also more toxic than straight sulfur alone.

Safety precautions and spray directions

Sulfur spray is moderately toxic to humans and other mammals, so avoid direct contact and inhalation. When applying and mixing, make sure to wear long sleeves and long pants, preferably of waterproof materials. Wear waterproof gloves and cover all other areas of exposed skin. Wear goggles and a dust mask. Never spray into the wind.

For each application, please follow the directions on your packet for proper mixing proportions and spray the solution until all branches are drenched.{3} Sulfur spray should never be applied in temperatures above 85 degrees or if the temperature will exceed 85 degrees within 3 days of application. Also avoid use of sulfur spray within a month of oil spray applications. {2} Because sulfur can be corrosive to metals, sprayers with all plastic parts are preferable.

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I know you can add granulated sulfur to soil, to naturally acidify it

out of curiosity
When would the least amount of bugs be out (minus bug eggs on plants)
(edit to spray sulfur not add granulated sulfur to soil)
I’d think Night time but what about Frogs , and toads
anyway to spray something to scare them off a few days before
so not to kill them or at least less of them.

The comment Jujube wrote are worthless for my situation. It is impossible to grow fruit without using some form of spray(s) in my area. The only two exceptions are paw paws and possibly persimmons. When I first started growing fruit I did not spray and the results were zero fruit.


When first using Sulfur,I tried the wettable stuff and it clogged my small pump sprayer’s nozzle.Someone on the forum recommended to get the micronized kind,which worked fine.

If you want to grow apples, pears, stone fruits, or many other things, in some places spray is the only way to get a good crop. Additionally, sulphur, copper, surround, and many others are about as organic as you can get, being minerals literally mined from the earth with little to no influence by man other than extraction and making the proper particle size. When I first came to this forum I had a similar view of fruit growing (and I still do, that’s why I plan to grow almost exclusively disease resistant fruits) but similarly to a stance on 100% stopping resource extraction, it’s unreasonable and unrealistic to expect everyone to not use some sort of spray. If you want to drive a car, even if it’s electric you still need to mine for metals and use oil or natural gas to make the plastic interior and the tires and sheathing for the wire, and the fuses… you get the point.

I think jujubes are the only fruit here I’ve seen mentioned that has no spray requirements at all, and I bet there are exceptions to that rule in certain climates and you can’t grow it in all climates. I still spray surround on my pawpaws and persimmons because the darned stink bugs and Japanese beatles eat my leaves.


I’ve never used it myself, but I can see why those that are trying to grow stuff organically are bound to. Even for my customers on an organic program my spray person doesn’t include sulfur. If a client has apple varieties susceptible to scab or stonefruit to brown rot he violates that protocol and includes a synthetic fungicide- with permission of, course. One of our customers grows a lot of peaches, pears and apples and so far has not needed any kind of fungicide- she couldn’t be more pleased.

I wonder what she we do if and when brown rot shows up. She just loves her organic peaches. Big orchard too. I’m sure she will want sulfur apps, but I’m not sure it is a service she can obtain. That is, having someone able to reapply it after every heavy rain and in time.

I wonder if it can work if you only start application a month before fruit ripens. That’s probably what we would try.