How to Spray Organic Apple Trees for Pests

Overview

When growing organic apple trees, good cultural practices can go a long way toward avoiding the use of fungicides in particular. Pests, however, are another matter. When you detect pest infestations in your apple orchard, adopt a spray schedule that includes several organic and natural sprays, depending on the types of inspects.

Step 1

Spray apple trees with a biological soap to treat rosy apply aphids, apple aphids and apple grain aphids. Spray in summer but before petals fall.

Step 2

Spray dormant oil during winter or early spring to treat aphids, mites and scale. Do not mix the dormant oil with sulfur or lime sulfur.

Step 3

Get rid of the tentiform leaf miner with Pyrethrum or Sabadilla sprays between bud-break and apple harvest. Rake up and remove all dead leaves in the fall to eliminate leaf miner pupae.

Step 4

Treat leaf roller infestations by spraying with Bacillus thuringiensis once in June and again between mid-July and mid-September.

Step 5

Treat codling moth infestations with Bacillus thuringiensis as well. Perform two spray applications in June and two more between August and mid-September.

Tips and Warnings

  • No good organic controls exist for two major apple tree pests, the plum curculio and apple maggot. You can reduce these in your orchard, however, by removing and destroying all apples that drop in June.

Things You'll Need

  • Biological soap
  • Dormant oil
  • Pyrethrum or Sabadilla
  • Bacillus thuringiensis
  • Ladybugs
  • Summer oils (optional)

References

  • Michigan State University Extension: Organic Apple Spray Program

Who Can Help

  • Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada: Organic Apple Production Guide for Nova Scotia
Keywords: grow organic apple trees, organic pest spray, natural apple tree insect control

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.