Your Guide to Easy Fruit Tree Care

Episode 52: Developing a Fruit Tree Spray Schedule

Developing a Fruit Tree Spray Schedule

If you’re growing your fruit trees organically, it’s important to protect them from pests and diseases and having a fruit tree spray schedule can make that much easier. In this episode we speak to orchard consultant Mike Biltonen from Trumansburg, N.Y, about organic fruit tree sprays that you can use throughout the year.

Mike has farmed his entire professional career. He has horticulture degrees from Virginia Tech (BS ’86) and Cornell (MS ’92), as well as over 35 years of practical farming experience. He has a passion for sustainable orcharding and helps orchardists transition from conventional to organic practices with Know Your Roots, a small holistic company he owns and operates with his wife Debbie.

What you will Learn about Developing a Fruit Tree Spray Schedule

  • 5.56 When mike is working with his clients, how important is it for him to help his client to develop a fruit tree spray schedule?
  • 6.30 Why is not spraying your fruit tree “not an option”? What would happen if you don’t use protective organic sprays on your trees?
  • 8.25 Why is researching important before buying organic fruit tree sprays for your trees?
  • 10.26 When does the dormant season begin and end?
  • 12.08 What role does bud swelling play in terms of knowing when the dormant season is over?
  • 13.52 What is the purpose of fruit tree sprays during the dormant season?
  • 15.05 What types of organic fruit tree sprays are available for the dormant season?
  • 16.46 How do you know which organic dormant fruit tree spray to use?
  • 18.20 What is fire blight (Erwinia amylovora)?
  • 21.38 What are the benefits of neem oil as a fruit tree spray and can you buy it from a grocery store rather than from the garden centre?
  • 23.46 When would you use neem oil during the dormant season?
  • 24.12 What are the three benefits of neem oil?
  • 26.06 Does timing matter when carrying out your fruit tree spray schedule?
  • 29.45 Why do you need to do research before mixing any chemical sprays together?
  • 38.26 Are any of the dormant sprays relevant for apricot trees?
  • 39.20 How do we define when blossom time begins and ends?
  • 42.59 When the blossoms are open do we spray? Or are they too delicate? When you see open blossoms should you avoid spraying at all?
  • 45.30 What do you spray when you are protecting your trees from fireblight?
  • 48.29 How can people learn more from Mike? Does he have a website with resources about organic fruit tree spray schedules and more?
  • 50.22 Why you shouldn’t wait until your tree is sick before you start to implement a fruit tree spray schedule.
  • 58.09 If you spray during the growing season and it rains, do you need to respray after the rainfall?
  • 1.00.00 Are these sprays available in Canada? What about antibiotics for fruit trees?
  • 1.02.18 What would you spray for black knot in a stone fruit tree.
  • 1.04.07 Why are antibiotics not the best idea in terms of fruit tree sprays. What are the safest ones to use for fruit trees?
  • 1.05.45 What are good summer pesticide sprays that you can integrate into your fruit tree spray schedule?
  • 1.08.34 What sprays to you use to protect your fruit trees from disease?
  • 1.09.58 In this show we’ve been able to cover some useful sprays but there is so much more to learn. What other resources would you suggest if people want to develop their own fruit tree spray schedule?

Download More Information about Fruit Tree Spray Schedules Here

For more information on fruit tree spray schedules, you can download Mike’s Biointensive Orchard Guidelines PDF here.

More Information about The Urban Forestry Radio Show and Podcast

The host of the Urban Forestry Radio Show and Podcast is Susan Poizner of the award-winning fruit tree care education website (GWA Silver Award of Achievement 2016) and the author of the award-winning fruit tree care book Growing Urban Orchards (GWA Silver Award of Achievement 2014).  Susan is an urban orchardist and an ISA Certified Arborist. You can listen to previous episodes of The Urban Forestry Radio Show and Podcast at and you can subscribe to the iTunes podcast. 

Tune into The Urban Forestry Radio Show LIVE by going to on the last Tuesday of every month at 1.00 pm Eastern Time and email your questions in during the show to [email protected] This show covers fruit trees, food forests, permaculture and arboriculture.

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Susan Poizner of Orchard People

Speaks at conferences and symposiums across North America about fruit tree care, urban orchard design, fruit tree cultivars and more.
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At Orchard People we are careful to select sponsors who offer quality products and services for fruit tree growers. Click their logo to learn more about them!

Earth Alive
"Microbial Technology-based Products for Your Growing Needs"

WhiffleTree Nursery, Canada
"Cold Hardy, Disease Resistant Fruit Trees, Shrubs and More"

Peaceful Heritage, USA
"Pawpaws and Superior Hardy Edible Plants"

Mark's Choice
"Garden Products Approved by Gardening Guru Mark Cullen"