Your Guide to Easy Fruit Tree Care

Holistic Sprays for Fruit Trees

What Are Holistic Sprays for Fruit Trees? 

If you’re growing fruit trees organically, and you want to prevent fruit tree pests and diseases, you may consider using holistic sprays for fruit trees.

We explored the topic in a recent webinar interview with orchardist and author Michael Phillips, author of The Holistic Orchard and The Apple Grower. When it comes to holistic sprays for fruit trees, he has developed a unique approach.

Phillips grows organic fruit at his Lost Nation farm in New Hampshire. He avoids toxic conventional sprays that treat the symptoms of pests and disease problems. Instead his approach is to use holistic sprays that support your fruit trees nutritionally and biologically.

Three Perfect Pears - Perhaps grown with the assistance of holistic sprays for fruit trees? (photo credit: Shumilov Ludmila)

What Do Holistic Sprays For Fruit Trees Do? 

Michael Phillips, award-winning author and organic orchardist.

For trees to be healthy and able to fight off the scourges of pests and diseases, they need access to key nutrients like trace minerals and nitrogen. His goal is also to support the microbial populations on the plant surface.

So Phillips has devised a foliar spray, which he calls his “Core Holistic Recipe”, that when applied to your tree’s leaves and branches will help boost tree health and its ability to fight off pest and disease problems.

This mix includes:

  • Liquid fish, a fertilizer which is packed with nutrients
  • Neem oil which is said to be a pest repellent but is also high in nutrients
  • Blackstrap molasses which helps activate beneficial microorganisms on the leaf surface.
  • Mother culture of effective microbes, a liquid bacterial product that contains microbes that will enhance plant health

When to Apply Holistic Sprays for Fruit Trees?

Phillips uses this spray liberally in the spring, but for him, timing is key.

First application – Early green growth: Spray the trunk and branches of the tree on a warm day in early spring when the buds have “popped” and green tissue starts to show.

Second application – Just before blossoms are revealed: At this point, pink blossom buds are revealed just prior to the blossoms actually opening.

Third application – After petal fall: Drench your tree, it’s leaves and baby fruitlets with the spray just after petal fall until the point of runoff.

Fourth Application – 7 to 10 days after petal fall. Again drench your tree, its leaves and baby fruitlets with this solution.

Holistic Sprays For Fruit Trees: Michael Phillips Core Holistic Spray Recipe

(Creates enough to spray a backyard orchard)

THIS IS IMPORTANT: ALL ELSE GOES IN TANK BEFORE NEEM OIL, THEN THAT MIX GETS ADDED LAST.

In a 4-gallon sprayer mix:

  • 1 teaspoon of soap emulsifier (dishwashing liquid like "Seventh Generation" or "Ecover" or "Dr Bronners"
  •  With just under 4 gallons of water (leaving room for the additional ingredients below)

Then add..

Shake your sprayer to mix this up and use the spray on your trees until it is used up. When you reapply, you’ll need to mix another batch.

A chart from Michael Phillip's new book.

Learn About Holistic Sprays From Michael Phillips By Watching the Webinar


Blog continues below. You may also be interested in:


Susan Poizner

Director, OrchardPeople.com Fruit Tree Care Education Online

Susan Poizner is an urban orchardist and the author of the award-winning fruit tree care book Growing Urban Orchards. She is the creator of the award-winning online fruit tree care training program at www.orchardpeople.com and the host of The Urban Forestry Radio Show and Podcast.  She is also an ISA Certified Arborist..

YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN
Growing Apple Trees - The Easy Way

When it comes to growing apple trees, there is a hard way and an easy way. Learn all about it Read more

When to prune fruit trees

Wondering when to prune fruit trees? In this blog we explore which trees benefit most from winter pruning and when Read more

Fertilizer Focus: Is Chicken Manure Good For Fruit Trees

Is chicken manure good for fruit trees? Not always. Read this blog to find on when to use this popular Read more

Dwarf cherry tree or cherry shrub? Which is better for your garden?

Dwarf cherry tree? Or cherry shrub? Which is a better choice for your small garden?

SIGN UP FOR OUR FREE MONTHLY FRUIT TREE CARE NEWSLETTER

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.
Learn More About
Speaking engagements

COURSES AVAILABLE ON
HOW TO GROW FRUIT
TREES

Learn more

SPONSORS

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"
https://earthalivect.com/

WhiffleTree Nursery, Canada
"Cold Hardy, Disease Resistant Fruit Trees, Shrubs and More"
https://www.whiffletreefarmandnursery.ca/

Peaceful Heritage, USA
"Pawpaws and Superior Hardy Edible Plants"
https://peacefulheritage.com/

Mark's Choice
"Garden Products Approved by Gardening Guru Mark Cullen"
https://www.homehardware.ca/

twitterfacebookgoogle-plusenvelopelinkedinyoutube-play