Peaches, nectarines and apricots: Most people will not have peaches or nectarines this year due to the cold snap in February. Apricots seem to have fared better. Regardless, check to make sure the fruit buds were not winter killed. Just touching dead buds will cause them to fall off. These fruits are also very susceptible to late frosts as they bloom early. Trees that are in full bloom, become much more sensitive to frost damage than those with buds still closed. Temperatures at 28 degrees and lower will harm buds that are in full bloom.
If there will not be any fruit, there isn’t any need for being on a spray schedule. If there is fruit, use a product that contains captan or myclobutanil (Immunox, Fungi-Max, Fertilome F-Stop Lawn and Garden Spray) from now until about two weeks before harvest. Spray about every 10 days.
If a specific problem develops such as borers, peach leaf curl or gummosis on peach, see our listing of common problems at our “Common Plant Problems in Kansas” website. Look under “Peach” for possible problems and what to do about them.
Cherries: We often have good fruit on cherries without spraying. However, a wet spring can lead to problems with brown rot. Myclobutanil (Immunox, Fertilome F-Stop Lawn and Garden Spray, Fungi-Max) or Captan will give good protection. Cherry fruit fly may attack the cherries with the maggot causing damage to the fruit. Malathion (check label), Bonide Fruit Tree & Plant Guard or Sevin can be used for control.
Pears: Pears are often able to escape damage without spraying. If trouble does arise, use the same recommendations given for apples.
Apples: Apples are the crop most in need of a spray schedule. Unless you have disease-resistant trees, cedar-apple rust is a perennial problem. The larvae of the codling moth is the insect most likely to damage fruit. Control can be a challenge due to changing labels and an extended spray season. See our article in our March 24, 2020 newsletter on “Apple Tree Sprays” for details.
We have three publications that give an overview of fruit pest control that are helpful.
Spray Schedules for Growing Apples at Home
Spray Schedules for Growing Stone Fruit at Home
Fruit Pesticides, Active Ingredients, and Labeled Fruits
Don’t overlook the “Fruit Pesticides...” pub as it lists trade names as well as other very important information. (Ward Upham)