Evelyn’s disclaimer. I am not a certified pest control person; I am not recommending any particular product. What you have here is a short compilation of some useful information and websites where you can learn even more.
When the Calendar turns to November it is time to begin to think about spraying your stone fruit trees and your citrus fruit trees. Dormancy in our warmer Southern California areas often does not occur until late December. As soon as most of the leaves are off of your peaches, nectarines and other stone fruits it is time to do your yearly spray routine. A horticultural oil spray and a copper spray like Liqui-cop.
Most of our trees are still in full leaf in November but some experts say it is OK to start to spray early.
This year November 9th is the Fruit tree all day learning day. We'll have Master Gardeners there as both speakers and Ask Your Question res ours es.
*NEVER USE SULFUR ON APRICOTS! Do not spray sulfur if temp above 85
Here are some pictures that show you some of the more common fungal diseases.
Shot Hole Blight
Note: when you see the peach leaf curl or the fruit rot symptoms in spring and summer it is too late to spray. The spraying must be done in the dormant season to be affective. That is in the winter months of December, January and February when the tree has lost its leaves and is in what we call the 'dormant' stage.
Citrus trees tend to get every insect that can possibly find a place to live. There are many Beneficial insects (good insects) that feed on the (Bad Insects) but the bad guys usually are stronger and smarter than the good guys.
You can help this imbalance by giving all your Citrus a twice a winter light oil spray. This is organically acceptable. Spray Citrus with either an all season oil spray or the vegol oil spray. Vegol is made from Canola oil.
What does this do? An oil spray coats the insects, eggs and crawlers and suffocates them. It doesn't harm the good beneficials. Especially if you give your trees a quick water spray before hand. Do not spray your citrus when it is blooming. Con troll the ants by making sure that no branches are touching other trees or bushes. Then a collar of Tangle foot will help you control ants.
If you have any of the stone fruits you need to do both an Oil spray and a copper spray.. Yes, Copper sprays are listed on the Organic sites as being OK.
The best current products are the copper based sprays. The more copper in the spray the better it is. Check the labels. There are some sprays with copper soap that contain almost no copper.
Spray at least once with a Horticultural oil spray to control scale, aphids and all of those insect eggs that are hiding in the crooks and crannies of your trees. .
Peaches and Nectarines, Plums and Apricots .
Spray with Liqui-Cop, a copper fungicide to control peach leaf curl a and shot hole fungus from early November or December. If the disease is quite severe do a second spray in early February
. Spray after the trees have lost their leaves. If it rains right after you have sprayed you need to do it again.
. If you have some fruit trees that are early bloomers you need to be out there and ready to do your first peach leaf curl spray before they come into bloom. Tricky but do the best you can.
For Apricots...especially if you live where it rains a lot. Try to prune trees before the rainy season to control Eutypa fungus, a disease that affects where you made your pruning cuts. This disease is spreading and can be a real problem.
Brown Rot, causes the fruit to rot just as they are getting ready to eat. Spray with Liqui-cop during the spring bloom season. Spray 2 to 3 times if possible. About a week apart.
Be sure to download the calendar links below. This will give you quick information that you can take right out into the garden for easy reference.
http://homeorchard.ucdavis.edu/cal_citrus.pdf Download this one for citrus care through the year.
http://uccemg.com/Edible_Plants/?ds=530&uid=108 This is an Orange County Ag extension page by the Master Gardeners of Orange County and is really good and easy to understand.
November, December,and January is traditionally winter spray time for your fruit trees and your citrus trees. but I just read another site that suggested it is fine to spray for Peach leaf curl and other fungal diseases while the leaves are still on the tree. Maybe prune first so you won't waste spray.
Sulfur Dust is a must for most grapes and works well in other applications too. it can also be mixed with water for a spray.
All of these fungal infections are spread through microscopic fungal spores the over winter on the foliage, old fruit mummies and the cracks and crevices of the trees. Besides those 'nasites' your tree might be hiding aphid and mite eggs, San Jose brown Scale and other Scales too.
,Try to time your spray to a time when we will not have rain for at least 3 or 4 days.
From Evelyn's Nectarine that every year has Brown Rot and the fruit then is not worth even picking.
Here is the report on the results of last years spraying. The nectarines were certainly much better. Almost no brown rot. I did have some hard scabbing on the bottom. Was this from earlier Brown rot spores or from something else. I should have taken some fruit down to our home a advisor like I tell all of you to do. But I was just too busy .I am pretty sure it was scab. The nectarines were certainly much better. I used the highest and best quality of copper spray. Here are some pictures of the different fungal diseases that can attack your fruit trees. All these need to be sprayed in winter.
Pruning Fruit Trees in Winter and in Summer
It is also the time for your winter pruning of stone fruit trees like peaches and apricots.
Hopefully you pruned your trees during the summer right after your fruit was finished.
. If you are confused about pruning, Aren't sure where to cut. Want to espalier your fruit trees the new Dave Wilson website has some fantastic video's by Tom Spellman. These are not your little 3 minute videos but real in depth demonstrations. We at Weidner's highly recommend that all of our readers spend some time watching and learning.
This is also a handy link:.http://homeorchard.ucdavis.edu/
You can wander around these sites for ages and learn ever so much.
Below you will find some other links to some useful web sites where you can download with lots of help.
Be sure to download the calendar link below. This will give you quick information that you can take right out into the garden for easy reference.
http://homeorchard.ucdavis.edu/calendar.pdf for stone fruits and nuts. Do this one for sure.
http://homeorchard.ucdavis.edu/cal_citrus.pdf Download this one for citrus care through the year.
Quick tips for when you are out of time.
General pruning principles. I put in some drawings just to make you feel more secure.
First: remove all dead, dying and diseased wood.
Second: remove all branches and limbs that grow toward the center of the tree. This promotes aeration and light penetration to the fruiting wood.
Third: Remove thin branches and limbs that cross or touch, so that abrasions do not develop.
Finally: remove any suckers (suckers are the growth that comes from close to the soil and below the bud or graft)
Clean, Clean Clean. Strip off if necessary every single leaf off of the trees (hopefully the leaves the cold winter chill will have done this for you), the mummified fruit, the leaves on the ground. get rid of all of it.
Follow the instructions on your UC home orchard calendar and your Dave Wilson link on pruning.
How do the different types of sprays work? The short non professional answer is:
.Soap sprays work by drying out the outside covering of the pest.
Oil sprays work by smothering the pests. It cuts off their oxygen and they die.
A fungicide works by killing the microscopic spores. the newer organic fungicides work differently by incepting the growth cycle.
A true chemical pesticide actually poisons the insect.
Some sprays are multipurpose sprays being effective (we hope) against multiple pests. Look at the label to see what that product is registered to kill. A fungicide will not kill an aphid or a whitefly. A miticide will not do anything against powdery mildew or peach leaf curl.
Bacillus Hurriedness or Bt kills caterpillars by forming a toxin in the caterpillars gut. It does nothing at all for an aphid. Know what the problem is and use the best material that you can. follow the directions, don't spay plants that don't need it. When you spray spray thoroughly, a light spray just make them feel a little sick and then the next generation can more quickly become immune to that ingredient.
General dormant spraying principals.
Question? What organic sprays can you use to control Peach Leaf curl and or Brown Rot on peaches and nectarines.
I searched around and copper sprays like Liqui cop are listed on the organic sites and apparently are considered organic.
Dormant or summer oil sprays are certainly non-toxic and organic. You can use the vegol oil spray if you want to be super organic.
Will any of these sprays affect the fruit that comes later. No there should be no affect. It is important to understand the difference between a contact spray and a systemic spray.
Both copper spray and dormant oil sprays are contact sprays. They kill by contact on the fungal spores. they are effective for a relatively short period of time and any rain will wash them off and away.
A systemic spray is one that enters the plant and travels inside the plant cells and you can't wash it off. Systemic sprays are usually less effective on trees and larger shrubs because it takes much longer and is more difficult for the effective ingredients to get up to the green foliage where the pests are usually feasting.
Bayer has the Tree and Shrub spray that is strong enough to be effective on trees. It is really strong and you need to read carefully the instructions so you don't damage the tree with too strong an application.
Remember that I am not a pesticide expert. Your UC Davis web site is often the very best one to go to. If you live in California use the California information sites. If you live in Georgia the sprays and advice will be different. Stay in your state to be sure. Signed: Mother Evelyn
The diseases and insects are hiding now and are waiting to attack. in the spring and summer.
The spraying that you do now will avert a lot of problems in the summer.