I don’t know about you, but I much prefer to put as few chemicals on my fruits and vegetables as possible. Preventing insect and plant disease is an important issue. So, when it comes to apples, insecticides and fungicides are pretty much, a requirement. Either you spray the trees, or your apples will be enjoyed by a wide variety of insects. Either you spray your trees, or any one of several diseases will affect the quality and health of your crop. Get the picture!? We wish we could say different. But, spraying apple trees is a must when growing them. In addition to insect and disease problems, animal pest are a big problem in some areas. Deer are the biggest problem, as they love your apples. With all of the problems a grower faces, one might ask why grow apples? The answer is simple. Apples are delicious.
A regular program of spraying apples and other fruit trees begins in late winter or early spring with an application of Dormant Oil spray. This kills insects that overwinter in your trees. It continues regularly throughout the summer, with applications of fruit tree sprays for insects and disease. Without regular applications, your apple crop will likely be damaged or destroyed by scab and/or other disease, as well as insects such as worms and aphids. With regular applications, you will have plenty of beautiful, tasty apples that you grew yourself.
There is no shortage of apple tree pests. In addition to a myriad of insects, there are maggots and worms that enjoy the fruit, often taking up residence while the fruit is still on the tree.
Perhaps the biggest animal pests are deer. They love apples just like you and me. If deer are present in your area, you need to protect low-hanging fruit from them. And, deer will go up on their two rear legs with the front legs hanging on the braces. So, low-hanging fruit is several feet up. There are several ways to protect your apple trees from deer. See Deer Control Protection.
For a safe and effective application for fruit tree sprays, make sure to:
Follow the instructions on the label for the insecticide you use.
Don’t over-apply the spray. It won’t increase effectiveness. And it is harmful to you and the environment.
Wear protective clothing at all times. This includes a mask, so you don’t inhale the spray.
Wash all clothing and tools after use.
Wait the minimum days required (see instruction label) after spraying before eating them.
Wash apples thoroughly before eating them.
.ps: Don’t forget to shine them by rubbing them with a towel. It gives an attractive appearance when displayed in a fruit bowl on the table.