1. K-State home
  2. »Research and Extension
  3. »Butler County
  4. »Horticulture
  5. »Agent Articles
  6. »Fruit Articles
  7. »Spraying Fruit Trees

Butler County

Spraying Fruit Trees

peach leaf curl

Fruit trees are very popular however they can be prone to several different fungal diseases that can impact the quality of the fruit and the overall health of the tree. Unlike insecticides, fungal treatments work best when applied as a preventative rather than waiting till you see the disease. Peach leaf curl is one such disease as is cedar apple rust and apple scab.

Peach leaf curl (photo above) is a disease that causes puckered, swollen, distorted and reddish-green color leaves. The disease ultimately weakens the tree by causing untimely leaf drop when the leaves unfurl in the spring. Luckily this disease is easy to control with fungicide applications in the spring prior to bud swell on the tree. The main fungicide labeled for this disease has the active ingredient chlorothalonil which is available in several products. Be sure to cover the tree thoroughly for best results. Peach and plum trees should also be sprayed for black knot prior to the buds swelling if that disease has been an issue in the past. The same active ingredient works for both diseases. Sprays for brown rot should begin right as the buds change color and continue according to the label for the season. Products that control that disease include the active ingredients captan or myclobutanil.

Cedar apple rust and apple scab are both common diseases that impactcedar apple rust spots varieties that are not resistant. This is another disease that if you wait till you see symptoms you are already too late. Fungicide sprays in April and May are critical to control these diseases. The first treatment should happen when the leaves appear and then additional sprays should be done on a 7 to 10-day schedule through May to protect the developing fruit and leaves. The most effective product available for homeowners is myclobutanil. Apple trees will also need additional insecticide sprays to prevent damage from codling moths. An insecticide should be sprayed with the fungicide spray following petal drop to prevent wormy apples. Do not use any insecticide during the bloom time to protect bees and other pollinators. There are several different fruit tree sprays that are available on the market. Be sure to read the label prior to any application and follow all directions.

MG Logo

Have questions? Contact our office where our Horticulture Extension Agent will assist you with questions.

Phone: (316) 321-9660

Email: callae@ksu.edu