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Anyone recommend a spray/pesticide for Pear Trees?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by DeepCreekLake on January 11, 2006 09:28 AM
I have a good amount of pear trees I planted last Spring- about 10 different cultivars (and more coming this Spring). Last year I used Bonide Fruit Tree Spray, for my apples & peaches with good results, but noticed that the bottle had no info for using it on Pears. Also Stark Bros, new catalog list this same spray as "not for use" on Pear Trees. I plan on using Dormant Oil Spray, in Late winter before bud break. I would like to spray for pests, when the trees leaf out ,and after blossom drop as preventive maintenance. Does anyone have any recommended Sprays to use that will not burn or deform the fruit, or do any harm to the tree otherwise?
by peppereater on January 12, 2006 11:28 PM
Deepcreek...I am an organic only gardener, so I am very biased against synthetic sprays. I realize that not everyone shares my view.
I recently received the Stark catalogue and looked just now to see what Bonide contains. The caviat at the bottom of the description says "cannot ship to California." This is because the stat has banned the use of carbaryl, the active ingredient in Seven. The EPA has not yet followed suit to make the ban nationwide. While carbaryl has very low toxicity, it is a known carcinogen.
I eat grocery store produce, so I am exposed to the same pesticides as most everyone else, I just choose not to use them in my own gardening.
Spraying with dormant oil the best overall protection you can use, and will eliminate the majority of problems with fruit trees. Pear trees have few problems, but unfortunatley, one major issue with pears is fireblight. There is currently no totally effective way to deal with this, and no preventive measures I know of to use in advance, other than good sanitary practice (removing fallen leaves, etc.). If you want to pursue organic methods, check out Garden's Alive, for one. Also, there will be free literature at your County Extension Agency that will give you specific spray schedules, etc. for your area.
Wishing you great success wiht your gardening!

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by DeepCreekLake on January 13, 2006 08:42 AM
Yes the spray contains many chemicals, including malathion (spelling?), but it is an effective spray- on apples and peaches. I live in a somewhat wild area, with pests like gypsy moth, coddling moths, and Japanese Beetles to name a few.The japanease bettles love the peach and apple leaves, I just dont like idea of the trees being defoliated, or fruits being full of holes, and worms. Ive seen some pear trees in the areas, that are scab ridden, have holes, just hate to have the same results. Most of the chemicals have a cut off time period of use before harvest (generally 21 days). That being said, I totally respect the organic methods, and will look into it as well. Thanks for your post!
by peppereater on January 14, 2006 04:06 AM
I can't blame you for wanting quality fruit...sounds like you have a lot to deal with. Some things you might try are Neem oil sprays, there's a brand I've seen at Wal-Mart called something like 3-in-1 fungicide plus (that might be wrong). You'd need to read the label to see if it's the Neem or not, but it works for fungi, insects and everything, and is VERY safe. Copper fungicides are fairly safe, I'm not sure if they're labeled for pears or not, but probably. Bordeau mix is copper sulfate, used for at least a century, I think, and fairly safe. (These are all considered organic.) Lime sulfur, I think, prevents peach leaf curl and scab (I'm rusty on fruit tree spraying, I used to know all this stuff.) There's even a new product called Surround that you can get at Garden's Alive and other places that is a fine clay emulsion that provides a physical barrier on the fruit against insects, and even deters birds. It and the Neem will be a little pricy, you'd have to weigh the benefits. As I said before, though, the dormant oil will be the most important thing, and look into using it half strength in warmer weather,as well...you can do that, I have never heard how effective it is and for what.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by peppereater on January 14, 2006 04:08 AM
BTW DeepCreek, most all of these things will be available at any good feed and seed type store.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!

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