Total failure with surround

I have three apple tress that are in their 6th year. Last year I bagged a bunch of them and got a modest harvest. This year I didn’t bag at all but tried to control pests organically. I tried to get as much info from this and another forum, but I had some unanswered questions. The most important one was a request for photos of properly applied surround, but no one posted any. I applied every two weeks until summer set in and rain stopped. the apple all had surround on them, but without photo to compare I just didn’t know if it was enough. Apparently not, but the other side of this is coating the leaves so their surface gets no sun.

Is there anyone honestly having success with this stuff? If yes can you go take photos? Or is this whole thing stupid and I should apply the same chemicals as Alan and Tony?

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I asked a similar question last year on GW.

I think success is relative with Surround. Most of my apples have at least some damage- they aren’t what most people would consider acceptable. I still bag a few per tree just to make sure that I get some nice ones. I’m interested to hear what others have to say.

I used Surround on plums and peach with little success this year but I blame it on the timing. I could not spray when I should have due to rain and wind. Next year I will spray even when it is breezy.

I have 3 apple trees, two are productive. Both are about 6-8 ft tall. I spray for rust and scab with Immunox at petal fall and 10-14 days later. After that, I bagged. I bagged a few hundred of apples. Nothing else needs to be done after bagging.

The fruit are clean.

cckw…I remember you making that request, and I also remember it going unanswered. I thought you did spray, I generally categorize individuals here as sprayers or organics and I thought you were the former.
At any rate, imo you should spray. I’ve spent a lot of time reading, studying, asking questions here to arrive at a workable solution to pests and fungus. IMO Imidan is the only workable solution for most of us in rural or suburban lots of decent size. It is low cost and highly effective (unlike OTC products).
It is the only highly effective effective broad spectrum insecticide available that is storable and available relatively inexpensively.
I think it, coupled with Captan is probably the most useful all-around spray for most home orchards. The combo effectiveness is supported by virtually all efficacy charts compiled by just about anyone. The addition of myclo is another time tested and inexpensive option to add on an annual basis, as it is available in 16 oz. bottles fairly cheap. I bought 6 bottles on ebay for $9.99 including shipping.
Sulfur can be added when powdery mildew is present and it is very cheap and even organic.
All of these products can be purchased online including shipping for around $150. It will be enough to spray a decent sized home orchard for 5 years…even longer if you want to go Alan’s low spray program which will work using these products.
I’ve sprayed far less this year than any other, and for the first time, I finally understand how the commercial guys get nice fruit. Imidan is the bomb.

Imidan 70 WP 5lb.
Micronized sulfur 4lb.
Captan 80 WDG 6.25 lb.
Myclobutanil 16 0z. bottles

Growing fruit is tough enough already, and to me, it doesn’t make sense to attempt to do it using inferior practices. I do however understand folks who want to avoid pesticides and applaud their willingness to accept more work, higher cost and lower quality fruit. It’s tough enough for the commercial organic growers, how much more so for the average backyard orchardist?
Sine the heavy hitting pesticides are needed most early on, perhaps you could get away with a more organic approach later in the season? I’ll post pics of my apples when they come in…not a single solitary PC sting to be found…plums were the same. Peaches always used to have ooze coming from stings everywhere on the fruit…none of that…zero, zip, zilch.
I cannot imagine that being possible here any other way.

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I sprayed with Surround 5 or 6 times, before bagging my apples. The PCs had already attacked many of the apples, and the ones I didn’t bag were mostly junk. Plums and pears were fine. I think I will go with the Imidan next year.

Out of curiosity, how many times you spray each of these products in one growing season? I know you can combine them. I just want to find out how many time you need to spray.

I prefer bagging because I do not have many trees in full production and I beleve I spend less time bagging than keep spraying all saeson long.

As of today, I still see OFM shoot strikes on my stone fruit esp. Peach. It never stops.

The first thing you need to do is figure out what the pest is. Is it codling moth, or is it curculio? The reasons for failure are very different depending on what pest you have. The second thing is throw out any regular spray schedule, sprays need to be based on weather conditions and monitoring.

For codling moth I use spinosad, mating disruption, and codling moth granulosis on top of Surround. I never did straight Surround so don’t know how well that would do. You might need to at least add spinosad to get good results.

For PC, its usually Surround coverage that is the issue. You don’t want to spray every two weeks, you want to spray when the coverage is low. If it rains an inch the day after you spray, you probably need to spray right away again. Note that you never can put too much Surround down, studies have shown the light lost is made up by gains of cooling to increase photosynthesis efficiency.

I probably was too busy or I would have put up some pictures, ask me this coming spring and I will make sure to. I don’t know if they will show a lot though, the photos I have done don’t come through very well. One thing I do is target the clusters, they get a thicker coat than the limbs. On many clusters the apples will be totally white, no other color is visible. But all gets coated, including limbs on trees not bearing. Please put up some pictures of your sprays and we can look at them as well.

Avoiding poisons requires more work, not only spraying but monitoring. I am regularly monitoring my apples at curculio time, every other day or more often. If I see some fresh attacks (un-sealed scars) and the weather is on the warm side at nights I will immediately pile on another coat. On the other hand if its cool at night and there are no scars I may leave my apples largely unprotected - the curc works many times faster in warm weather and when its really cool she is almost not moving at all. Also the window of peak curc activity on apples is not that long, maybe three weeks, and you want to nail the coverage in that period and worry less when you are outside that window. When my apples get to be nickel-sized the curc has usually completely lost interest. It could be they are moving on to my plums by then, so your mileage may vary.

This year my apples are about 80% bug free. I have almost no curc-damaged apples as I thinned all of those out earlier, its all codling moth damage.

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Is there a reason to spray everything ? What is the consensus on the effectiveness of surround for apple maggot?

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The curculio usually walks between clusters, and by spraying the limbs around the clusters that walk will take her ten times longer. I even spray some on trees with no clusters, the curc will be looking there at some point and it will again slow them down. Surround is all about applying the brakes to the speed of the curculio.

I don’t have apple maggots here so I don’t have any direct experience. For them you just need to spray the fruits as they don’t walk between clusters. Surround should work, but I probably would use a combination of Surround and sticky balls to get better results.

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Scott. We all tend to want to set up a schedule to do everything. Unfortunately the weather/rain doesn’t. My plans are to use surround next season and I’m going to try and not get into a schedule habit and just watch my coverage. When they get about nickle size they are going into bags. Bill

On orchards wanting orgnanic we manage the trees here by applying 4 apps of surround once a week starting at petal fall. This has done a good job of adequtely reducing plum curculio damage and the other insect pests that come at that time. Once every 2 weeks with Surround will not cut it because the apple are growing quickly and they won’t maintain enough cover no matter how well you coat them- at least that’s my theory. The key problem is trying to control CAR and SCAB with this level of organic intervention. Fortunately, in the orchards around here, these two often don’t get out of hand in mixed variety orchards.

Unlike Scott, I can’t manage orchards based on careful monitoring and do use a specific schedule. Where Surround has not done well is if you have a light fruit set. The percentage of damaged fruit goes way up when there isn’t a lot of fruit.

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Thanks Scott and Alan
I plan on giving surround a test run next season to see how works. It will get a real challenge as my plan is to severely reduce my apple crop by eliminating unwanted varities. That should put a lot of pressure on the apples that are left next year.

I found them difficult to bag when the Surround was thick on them. Had to wear a dust mask, so I let the rain rinse off the Surround on the next trees I did. Come to think of it, on that first tree I bagged, the apples came out much better. I must have taken too long bagging the remaining three trees. Also a good half of the bagged apples subsequently dropped. That is why I am considering using Imidan next year, then possibly bagging. This year I put on well over 1000 bags with poor results.

Agreed. I have a general targeted schedule, but the weather dictates when and if these sprays are made. For me, the very early sprays are done according to tree stage of growth almost entirely free of weather, since rain is so random and prolific in the early spring. Otherwise, I never spray when rain is in the immediate forecast.

Mamuang. excluding two dormant oil / copper sprays I’ve done a total of 6 sprays this year so far, with just one more on Honeycrisp and 2 more on late apples Winesap, Goldrush etc.
To put that in perspective, last year I sprayed 13 times with heavy mixed Triazicide (some egregiously heavy), including 4 early sprays targeted toward PC, this year just 2 with Imidan and spread farther apart. I never even used PC stings as a thinning determinant as I found literally less than a dozen in ALL the hundreds (actually way over a thousand total ) of thinned fruit.
I always combine the Captan, usually the sulfur (more if conditions seem PM likely), and the myclo is added almost exclusively for CAR protection only. I wanted to do only 3 myclo combinations, but I think I did 4.

I should add also that I was spraying Imidan at the minimum rate based on 100 gals. per acre. It wasn’t until Blueberry corrected me in that Imidan can be sprayed at up to I believe 5 1/3 pounds per acre, that I decided to up the last spray concentration.
I’m glad you mentioned OFM strikes, I’ve seen exactly 3 this season and they were high up in the plums where I don’t get good coverage with my sprayer. They used to be everywhere.
I do buffer all my sprays with white vinegar. I bought matchbook type ph test strips from ebay for $1.49 for 3 books of 80 including shipping. I tested the amount it required (not much) to get a ph of around 4.5 - 5.5 and just crudely measure in that amount to my spray tank.

CCW, I don’t remember your location. My schedule is based on northeastern conditions where pest pressure is apparently much less than the mid-atlantic and further south.

Thanks, appleseed. 6 times are a good number.

I will continue to tweak my mostly organic spray for a few more years. I hope I will be ready for stinkbugs next years. They got me good this year.

For anyone testing Surround on moths, do make sure to include spinosad and/or granulosis. I include spinosad with every tank of Surround in the spring, and granulosis when I remember it.

This last spring in looking at my logs I did around 4-5 sprays of Surround/spinosad on my apples. I don’t hit all the trees every time and sometimes its just leftovers from a plum spray I am targeting clusters only with, so its not an exact number.

@mamuang, what I did for stinkbugs is spray Surround later, I put it on the pears for example in mid-June. I had very little damage on all crops except for two pear trees that got hit badly; I probably did not do a good job with the Surround on them. Last year my pears were all contorted so it was a definite improvement.


My peaches got ruined by stinkbugs soon after petal fall. It’s definitely not PC or OFM signs. Catfacing damages but extensive on almost of the fruit. I also have several OFM damages on the same fruit. So, I don’t think I could spray them later.

I have never sprayed my A. pears but my luck ran out this year. When the fruit were younger, stinkbug damages were not pronounced. Last month when I did the last round of thinning, I saw about 40% of fruit got contorted by stinkbugs. The most insect damages I’ve ever got on A. pears. I’ll cover these pears trees with Surround next year.

Mam, are your trees close to a lot of wild weeds? That’s where bug damage is the worst for me. Orchards I manage with broadleaf weed free turf under and around suffer much less from stinkbugs and tarnished plant bug- the catfacers in my area.

We have Japanese Knotwood everywhere. But they have been here long before we moved it 16 years ago. It’s this year that I got hit hard by stinkbugs. Usually, it’s PC, OFM and CM with a few Apple maggot flies.