Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fruit Tree Trauma

So I learned a hard, but valuable lesson this week. I went out as usual yesterday to check on the fruit on my 5 fruit trees that were planted last fall. Last Wednesday I sprayed all the trees with the appropriate spray to protect from pests. I was a bit nervous doing so, as I have never had fruit trees and wanted to do everything right. I carefully measured, mixed and sprayed the recommended amount on each tree. I even added spreader sticker so the pesticide would really stick to each leaf and fruit.

You can imagine my shock as I went out yesterday and all the leaves were falling off my trees! The leaves were turning brown and crunchy, curling lengthwise and into the letter "C". Panicked, I called the USU Extension Master Gardeners. The first question they asked me was if I had ever had any other type of chemical in my sprayer. Uh-Oh! Last year I used the same sprayer to spray dandelions with 2-4-d Amine, a broadleaf weed killer. Although I rinsed the canister very well, and even sprayed water through it, I guess there were chemicals still in the plastic. They said it doesn't take much of the weed killer to really damage the tree.

So, the lesson I learned: Never use the same sprayer for fruit trees and weed killer. I wish I would have learned that lesson the easy way. I am hoping that the trees will not completely die. USU said I won't know for about a month. If all the leaves fall, the fruit cannot mature. The leaves give the fruit the starch it needs to grow and develop. So, if they do pull through, I will buy a new sprayer that will only be used to spray my trees.

Related Posts by Categories

Widget by Hoctro | DreamyDonkey


  1. So how are your trees doing? That is something I would have done by mistake too. Thanks for learning the lesson for me. :)

  2. Here is the update: The first two trees I sprayed were the most damaged by far. The peach lost over 1/2 of its leaves, and the rest of the leaves look terrible. I thinned most of the fruit off (that is what the extension recommended) and now the tree is looking much better. I am keeping my eye out for any new growth! I am also praying and keeping my fingers crossed.... :)