How To Spray Fruit Trees Step By Step

How To Spray Fruit Trees Step By Step

Since insects and insect eggs will overwinter in the bark of fruit trees, it is essential that you begin to spray fruit trees in the early spring.

When you spray fruit trees, if you choose to use the organic-based Dormant Spray “combo”, you must use this spray in a very precise way at a very precise time in the early spring.

Although this mixture is an organic fruit tree spray, a spray which is safe for the environment and will not leave poisonous residual on your fruit, the spray mixture of both the lime sulfur and the horticultural oil can be used only under the following conditions if you wish to be successful.

How To Spray Fruit Trees with the Lime Sulfur and Horticultural Oil Combination

1. Spray fruit trees before the buds swell and break into leaves; otherwise, you risk burning your buds

2. Choose a day when the temperature will remain at or above 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees F) for a minimum of 24 hours.

The oil part of the spray needs time to smother insects or their eggs, but a cold night will break down the oil before it has a chance to be effective. However, if it happens to freeze after the 24-hour period, there is no harm done.

3. Do not use this lime sulfur/horticultural oil combination if your temperature goes above 20 Celsius (70 degrees F) for you will burn your tree bark and your buds.

4. Spray when it is very little or no wind (early in the morning is best) If you spray when there is wind, your neighbor may not be too happen to get all this spray in his yard or on his buildings. Besides, how can the organic fruit spray stick to your plants if it is blown away by the wind; plus you certainly don’t want that stuff blowing back in your face or on you.

5. Be sure there is no rain, snow, or sleet in the forecast to allow the Dormant Spray to coat and dry effectively, and your organic fruit tree spray mixture will have time to do its work.

6. Read the instructions carefully two or three times. Be sure you mix the lime sulfur and horticulture oil according to the instructions on the package. Ask your supplier at the garden center for further information if you are not sure.

7. Mix only what you can use to spray your fruit trees, for you cannot save the prepared solution for use later.

8. Cover up well. The mixing of these ingredients and the actual spraying can be a very messy job, so wear protective clothing, long sleeves, a hat, chemical-resistant gloves (sulfur can burn so kitchen rubber gloves will not work), and anti-splash goggles.

Since you must spray your tree from the top down until it drips, you are likely to get some on you; therefore, COVER YOURSELF WELL.

Here in Ontario, Canada, the best time to spray fruit trees with this Dormant Spray “Combo” is late March or early April. Our rule of thumb is to spray our fruit trees with Dormant Spray before Easter, and we should be OK.

In this video, you will get a visual of how you should spray fruit trees with an organic spray such as the Dormant Spray combination of sulfur and oil.

How To Spray Fruit Trees with Horticultural Oil/Water Combination

On the other hand, if using the horticultural oil/water combination, although not as messy to use because you have no sulfur to deal with, it is strongly suggested that you follow the above method of covering yourself when you spray fruit trees. After all, you don’t want the oil to fall back on your clothes or your skin.

This combination of horticultural oil/water has the advantage of not being restricted by weather conditions, so you can spray fruit trees during the summer as long as the spraying is done early in the morning when the weather is cooler and the tree has had all night to cool off. However, I was not particularly enchanted with the cleanup that had to be done after I had finished spraying my trees, so I did not use this combination that often after the initial few times in the late spring/early summer.

How To Spray Fruit Trees with Homemade Fruit Tree Spray

One day, while searching through my gardening books, I accidentally came across a homemade fruit tree spray and fell in love with it. I found that this particular homemade fruit tree spray was easy to make, easy to spray, and could be sprayed at any time of the day and at any time of the year between April and frost (Note: I avoided spraying fruit trees at the time of day when the sun was the hottest).

Not only did I like using this spray but also the trees just loved it and seemed to “perk right up” after they had been sprayed with this homemade fruit tree spray.

What Type of Sprayer Should Be Used To Spray Fruit Trees

If your shrub or bush or tree is very small, then you could probably use the 2-liter bottles which have a spray cap attached to them (as shown in the movie).

Since I had to spray fruit trees which were tall, wide, mature 10-foot trees, I would buy a 10-liter hand sprayer at Home Hardware or Canadian Tire so I would not run out of spray too quickly.  I had to use a 7-foot stepladder to reach the top of the tree, so those 2-liter bottles would not hold enough spray to do all these trees.

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