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Spraying Apricot Trees

First and foremost, be sure to familiarize yourself with the existing or potential pest and diseases issues for apricot trees in your area. Your local county Cooperative Extension is an excellent resource for this information. Documents for identification and control, assembled by your local state universities, may even already exist online. Your local independent garden centers and local growers are also invaluable sources of pest and disease control in your area.

In high-density areas, a proper and consistent spray schedule can be paramount to the survival of your apricot tree. Many potential issues can be prevented with sprays before they become problematic. To get the most return on the investment of your time and energy, spraying apricot trees should be done consistently and thoroughly following the guidelines below.

Note: Apricot trees, including Aprium trees, can be sensitive to sulfur in sprays that contain it, and certain areas (such as California) restrict using sprays that contain Captan, especially to apricot fruit.

NOTE: This is part 8 in a series of 10 articles. For a complete background on how to grow apricot trees, we recommend starting from the beginning.

General Maintenance

Before you begin, read and follow all instructions on the labels of the products you have in hand. Do not combine any chemicals unless the labels on each chemical spray involved specifically state that you can safely do so.

A well-rounded home spray program for apricot trees includes dormant-season as well as growing-season sprays for pests and diseases. Research your location and learn about any pests or disease that are common in your area. If you know apricot tree diseases are common in your area, consider planting easy-care, disease-resistant apricot trees if possible.

Note: Contact your local county Cooperative Extension for alternative suggestions and advice on cultural and chemical control methods if certain sprays offered by Stark Bro’s are not recommended for use in your area.

When to Spray Apricot Trees

  • Dormant Season (late winter/early spring, before bud break)
  • Growing Season – Bud Break (emergence of new growth)
  • Growing Season – After Blossom (after petals drop*)

*gives bees and other beneficials a chance to safely pollinate the blossoms

It bears repeating: Always follow instructions printed on container label for more detailed information, such as timing and application instructions specifically for apricot trees.

Also note that some varieties of apricot can be sensitive to ingredients in some sprays. Avoid using sprays that contain sulfur and – better safe than sorry – avoid using sprays that don’t specifically mention application instructions for use on apricot trees.

Pest Control Sprays:

Bonide® All Seasons® Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil

  • For: Overwintering eggs, larvae, and pests including mites, adelgids, scale insects (like San Jose scale), aphids, moths (like codling moth), leafrollers, red bug, psylla, whitefly, tent caterpillars, and mealybugs.
  • Timing: Dormant Season, Growing Season – Bud Break, Growing Season – After Blossom
  • Type: Mainly preventative, also active. Controls overwintering pests, eggs, and larvae.
  • Application: Follow the label. Apply as directed when temperatures are between 40ºF and 90ºF. Respray as needed. Do not apply to sensitive varieties (if unsure, test a small area first).

Bonide® Captain Jack’s™ Deadbug Brew Garden Dust

  • For: Borers, fruit flies (drosophila), Japanese beetles, leafminer, leafroller, thrips, worms (caterpillars)
  • Timing: Growing Season – After Blossom
  • Type: Active. Controls pests on contact. Pests must be present for spray to be effective.
  • Application: Follow the label. Apply as directed, every 7 days, up to 6 times per season (max) as needed. Can be applied up to 14 days before harvest.

GardenTech® Sevin® Bug Killer

  • For: Aphids, maggots, mealybugs, mites, leafroller, bagworms, scale, lesser peachtree borer, spittlebugs, omnivorous leaftier, orange tortrix, weevils, cutworms, rose beetle, Japanese beetle
  • Timing: Growing Season – After Blossom
  • Type: Active. Controls pests on contact. Pests must be present for spray to be effective.
  • Application: Follow the label. Apply as directed, every 7 days, up to 8 times per year (max) as needed. Can be applied up to 3 days before harvest.

Disease Control Sprays

Bonide® Captan Fruit & Ornamental (wettable powder)

  • For: Brown rot (twig blight), jacket rot
  • Timing: Growing Season – Bud Break (pre-bloom, bloom, petal fall), Growing Season – After Blossom
  • Type: Mainly active, also preventative. Controls and prevents fungal diseases.
  • Application: Follow the label. Apply as directed, as needed. Can be applied up to harvest. Not for use in California (contact local county Cooperative Extension for recommended alternatives).

Bonide® Fung-onil™ Multi-Purpose Fungicide

  • For: Leaf curl, shothole (coryneum blight), brown rot (blossom blight), leafspot, scab
  • Timing: Dormant Season – Leaf Fall (to late winter), Growing Season – Bud Break (pre-bloom, bloom, petal fall), Growing Season – At Shuck Split (not after)
  • Type: Mainly active, also preventative. Controls and prevents fungal diseases.
  • Application: Follow the label. Do not use after shuck split or before harvest. Instead, use another registered fungicide for additional coverage (contact local county Cooperative Extension for recommended alternatives).

Combination Sprays for Pests & Diseases

Bonide® Neem Oil

  • Pests: Aphids, spider mites, scale, whiteflies, beetles, leafrollers, and other insect pests.
  • Diseases: Powdery mildew, black spot, downy mildew, anthracnose, rust, leaf spot, botrytis, needle rust, scab and flower, twig and tip blight, and alternaria.
  • Timing: Dormant Season, Growing Season – Bud Break, Growing Season – After Blossom
  • Type: Mainly preventative, also active. Controls overwintering pests and their eggs, and pests on contact. Controls and prevents fungal diseases.
  • Application: Follow the label. Oil-based, so apply in early morning/late evening to minimize the potential for leaf burn. Apply as directed, every 7- to 14-days as needed. For optimal performance, do not mix with water colder than 34ºF. Do not apply to wilted or stressed trees. Do not apply to sensitive varieties (if unsure, test a small area first).
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