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The key to a successful pest control program on fruit trees is the proper selection and timely application of pre-blossom sprays. These can be applied at various intervals before blossom, ranging from fully dormant up to and during certain states of bud development. To be most effective, they must be carefully timed. Observe proper timing to get best control and to avoid spray injury and pollinator poisoning.

Pests controlled by these early season sprays include: scale insects, spider mite eggs, blister mites, bud mites, rust mites, aphid eggs, fruit tree leafroller eggs, climbing cutworms, twig borers and other over-wintering larvae and pupae on the trees.

Oil Sprays Plus a Phosphate Insecticide

Oil (superior-type) is usually applied at a rate listed on the container and the recommended amount of an organic phosphate insecticide is added. Where a history of severe scale damage exists, use the higher rate of oil. FOR COMMERCIAL ORCHARDISTS ONLY: Diazinon or Thiodan can be used in this way. Follow the manufacturer's recommended dosage.

The control of scale insects, aphid eggs, mite eggs, twig borers and some other pests following this treatment has been excellent. Best control usually is obtained from treatment made between bud-cracking and pink-red stages. Do not apply these mixtures when the tree is in blossom, as they are deadly to bees.

Here are some examples:

Pruning Demonstrations 2005






(NOTE: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print the examples. Some web browsers include the Reader plug-in. If you do not have the Reader, it is a free download from the Adobe web site.)
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