What Do I Spray My Apple Tree With

The question of what to spray apple trees with will depend on the specific pests infesting the tree and the location of the tree. Generally, the most effective and safest way to protect an apple tree is by using an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. IPM is a program of preventive integrated pest management techniques that seeks to reduce the use of chemical pesticides. As part of an IPM program, homeowners should consider a number of cultural, mechanical, and biological controls to minimize the need for chemical spraying. Homeowners also should use labeled pesticides only when absolutely necessary.

Biating Insects

Biating insects, like aphids and codling moths, can cause substantial damage to apple trees if left unchecked. To keep biating pests in check, use a Summer oil spray. Summer oils are natural pest control products derived from petroleum and vegetable oil that smother the body of insects, causing them to die. Summer oil should be applied to the infested apple tree during the summer months, when the tree is actively growing. For optimal protection, mix the oil with an insecticidal soap or horticultural soap.

Fungal Diseases

Apple trees are susceptible to various fungal diseases that can cause significant damage if left untreated. To reduce the risk of infection, it is important to spray the trees with a fungicide. Fungicides are chemical agents that help prevent or reduce the spread of fungal diseases. The most effective fungicide for apple trees is a mixture of wettable sulfur and horticultural oil. This mixture should be applied to the apple tree at the recommended rate, usually twice a year during the growing season.

Oyster Shell Scale

Oyster Shell Scale is a pest that can cause significant damage to apple trees due to its ability to feed on the tree’s foliage and fruit. To control Oyster Shell scale, homeowners should spray the affected tree with a dormant oil spray. Dormant oil sprays are petroleum-based products that are applied to the tree in the late winter before bud break. The dormant oil spray helps smother the scale insects and will help reduce the population of Oyster Shell scale on the tree.


Deer can cause significant damage to apple trees by eating the tree’s leaves, twigs, and fruit. To keep deer away from the tree, homeowners should consider installing a fence around the tree or erecting a tall bush to act as a physical barrier. Additionally, homeowners can spray the tree with a product like Deer Pro, which is a natural repellent containing garlic and other ingredients that help deter deer from eating the tree’s leaves and fruit.

Environmental Factors

Homeowners must also consider environmental factors when determining what to spray apple trees with. For example, if the tree is planted in an area that is prone to winds and heavy rains, it may be beneficial to use a product that helps reduce the amount of water and wind damage the tree could incur. Products like Liquid Tree Protector and Fruit Tree Protector help protect the tree from wind and water damage and should be applied to the tree on a regular basis.


Finally, regular pruning is important in maintaining the health of an apple tree. Pruning helps remove dead or diseased branches and allows the tree to focus its energy towards producing healthy fruit. Pruning should be done in the winter when the tree is dormant, and homeowners should only prune the tree when absolutely necessary.

Organic Sprays

Organic sprays are an alternative to traditional chemical pesticides and can be effective in controlling various pests that can infest apple trees. Popular organic sprays include neem oil, pyrethrin, and horticultural oils which can effectively control aphids, mites, and other pests. Organic sprays can be applied on a regular basis to help reduce pest populations, but should be used sparingly, as some organic sprays can be harmful to beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.

Beneficial Predators

Beneficial predators such as ladybugs and lacewings can help keep pest populations under control. Homeowners can purchase beneficial predators such as ladybugs and lacewings to release in the area around the tree. These beneficial predators help control and reduce the number of pests that can infest the apple tree. However, if the pest population is too large for beneficial predators to control, then the use of chemical pesticides may be necessary.

Pesticide Resistance

Pesticides can be effective in controlling pests, but pests can become resistant to certain pesticides over time. Homeowners should be mindful of this and should rotate the pesticides they use on their apple trees so as to avoid pests becoming resistant to a specific pesticide. Rotating the pesticides also helps ensure that any beneficial insects that may be present are not negatively impacted by any one pesticide.

Soil Health

It is also important to consider the health of the soil when determining what to spray apple trees with. Poor soil conditions can affect the growth and productivity of the tree and can make the tree more susceptible to pests and diseases. Homeowners should ensure their soil is properly fertilized and amended, as this will help keep the soil healthy and reduce the need for pest and disease control.

Gordon Wesson is an environmentalist and author who lives in the Pacific Northwest. He has been writing for many years about topics related to trees, the environment, and sustainability. In particular, he is passionate about educating people on the importance of living in harmony with the environment and preserving natural spaces. He often speaks at conferences and events around the country to share his knowledge with others. His dedication to protecting our planet makes him one of the leading voices in his field today.

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