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Microbe
07-28-2006, 06:57 AM
A buddy of mine told me about Lime and Sulfur for fungus on tree's and shrubs. I have a peach tree that is damaged by leaf spot. The fruits are twisted and the leaves have many black spots all over them. The customer wants to save these tree's.
What is the best procedure to use when applying an organic fungicide such as Lime and Sulfur? Should it be applied with an organic oil such as Natur'l Oil or just alone? How many times should you apply a product like this to be most affective?

Also, I have seen a lot of apple tree's and other leafy bush's like Amelanchia Grandafloria "spelling," having like a blister. Looks red on one side and then almost like a pimple looking blister on the other side. These blister's are usually yellow. In general if the plant was planted correctly what could be done to help these plants using natural products? I have recently ordered from Groworganic.com, Neem soap, Hexan, Natur'l Oil, Cold pressed Kelp, Fossilized sea dust, Lime and Sulfur, and Hemp gloves :)~ Any techniques that can be shared to optimize the use of these products would help.

Neal Wolbert
07-29-2006, 02:25 AM
Lime sulfur is typically used in the dormant season and at early leafing for fungus prevention. The peach may have peach leaf curl fungus or brown rot or coryneum blight, and spraying lime/sulfur now would be ill advised. Dormant and delayed dormant applications of lime sulfur should do the job on peach leaf curl (if you can stand the smell...). Prevention is the key with fungus problems.
The blisters may be blister mites and once you see them there is nothing that can be done to repair the damage. I'd get a positive ID first and then search for recs. from Universities for control. Although this pest is a real tough one to control, the damage is usually mostly asthetic. Happy hunting!
Neal

Microbe
07-29-2006, 07:45 AM
What else can I use? You think an application of compost tea or kelp would help at this time of year? If lime/sulfur is a preventative then what could I offer in terms of service to help these tree's? I'm gona buy a digital camera... Also, on pear trees, if the fruits are twisted and are covered in black spots along with the leaves, what do you think it could be? I"ve found that during my career in this industry that I find the same types of fungus or disease. I keep seeing the same damage on these tree's all over the place. I"m taking a course at the University of Cornell this september but its so far away. THanks Neal!

Microbe
07-29-2006, 07:54 AM
What do you mean by dormant and delayed dormant spraying? When spraying natural control's for disease how should you spray, or what else can you add to you mixture for better results? I read that adding a product that was mostly sesame oil with neem soap helps the product work better and prevents evaporation. When spraying lime/sulfur should you apply alone or with another product to be more effective?

Neal, what would you use as a program for lets say an apple tree? If you don't mind me asking. I know natural control works if done correctly, it just seems that nobody is educated enough to really know how to work with mother nature using mother nature.

NattyLawn
07-29-2006, 09:14 AM
You can use fish, seaweed and compost tea before fungal diseases hit. Spray or inject in the dormant period and do a few more "stress reducers" throughout the season.

muddstopper
07-29-2006, 10:41 PM
I am not up to snuff on fungal diseases, treatments or cures. But if you believe in feeding the soil and letting the soil feed the plants, this might help you prevent the diseases from occuring in the first place. Test the soil and check for micro nutrients as well as NPK. Copper, Boron, Melybdium, cholrine, zinc, all play a roll in preventing plant diseases. It doesnt take very much of either of these nutrients to make a big difference. You soils could be low in these micro nutrients or these nutrients could simply be bound up by excesses of the major nutrients. Folar sprays such as copper sulfate, zinc sulfate, etc are often used to try an remedy various fungal disease. They work because the materials are absorbed by the plants. They also seldom provide a long term cure. When these same materials are contained in the soil, the effect is the disease doesnt occur in the first place. The diseases will always be there and you will never completely eradicate them, but proper soil fertility can prevent them from becoming a problem.

Neal Wolbert
07-30-2006, 01:52 AM
Also, on pear trees, if the fruits are twisted and are covered in black spots along with the leaves, what do you think it could be? I"ve found that during my career in this industry that I find the same types of fungus or disease. I keep seeing the same damage on these tree's all over the place. I"m taking a course at the University of Cornell this september but its so far away. THanks Neal!

Microbe
It's great to hear you are taking the college course, I'm sure you will find it helpful. As far as the pear problem, I would venture a guess that it might be pear scab, especially if you had a rainy spring. Scab and other canopy fungus problems are transported upwards when the spores pop open in the spring and then can travel with the wind. If they land on wet leaves and the temp. is right infection can begin. I believe it takes about 9 hours of wetness before infection takes place, so long wet spells can mean trouble. Raking up leaves in the fall and disposing of them off site can delay infection for several days the following spring, giving a chance for preventive treatments to be made.

I am a firm believer in proper providing proper nutrition and biological support to the roots, but I do not believe fertilizing alone will control wind and rain spread canopy diseases. Of course healthy trees will recover from damage faster than nutrient poor or rot rotted trees, that goes without saying. Preventive cover sprays, timed right, are the best approach in my opinion. We have seen some pretty severe damage on pear from other fungal diseases and blister mites in the Northwest this spring, so pear scab is not the only possibility.

As far as a spray program goes, I would check with your local Dept. of Ag. crop specialists to see what their recommendation for control using organic compounds after you get a positive ID. I wouldn't guess if I were you, especially if you are going to recommend a program of treatments. There are only a few effective organic or naturally occuring fungicides available for canopy diseases. One of the most promising newer ones are the many phosphites liquids available now. We have tested a product called Agri-fos and found it moderately effective on scab. It is applied as a cover spray or trunk spray with a penatrating oil in the early spring. It is not as effective as synthetic fungicides, but does qualify as organic. It brings a very nice response in vigor and color to the plant leaves and for that reason alone has value. The most positive results relative to fungus were on holly leaf and twig problems applied as a preventive trunk application in the spring. Contact Larry Durant, Target Specalties in Oregon at 503-272-2732 for more info.

I'm sure you are aware that all pesticides whether they are organic or synthetic are legally regulated on the State level. As far as I know there are no compost teas registered in Washington State for disease prevention sprays. We have no experience with teas or seaweed foliar treatments for disease control.

Neal

NattyLawn
07-30-2006, 08:46 AM
As far as I know there are no compost teas registered in Washington State for disease prevention sprays. We have no experience with teas or seaweed foliar treatments for disease control.

Neal

Using the fish, seaweed, and compost tea builds up the trees immunity to disease. It might not be registered in your state, but it's been used for about 10 years here in PA and it works.

A lot of research and trial and error are behind the findings. It's been said before but with a lot of the disagreements in the organic industry you have to get out and apply the products and take a look at your results. Much like the endo mych. debate, someone's going to have to get out there and test the methods and come up with their own conclusions.

Neal Wolbert
08-02-2006, 01:17 AM
I am not up to snuff on fungal diseases, treatments or cures. But if you believe in feeding the soil and letting the soil feed the plants, this might help you prevent the diseases from occuring in the first place. When these same materials are contained in the soil, the effect is the disease doesnt occur in the first place. The diseases will always be there and you will never completely eradicate them, but proper soil fertility can prevent them from becoming a problem.

The last two sentences are pretty confusing. If adequate macro and micro elements present in the soil will prevent disease, or as you say, "the disease doesn't occur in the first place", why do you then say "you will never eradicate them"? If we take your first statement as true can the second be true? If there is any relationship to canopy diseases and soil fertility, we should see never see disease in healthy, well fertilized plants. We have not found that to be true even though we apply macro and fulvic acid based micro nutrients, mycorrhizae and microbes by soil injection to many of the trees that struggle with fungus problems.

I believe it is more an issue of susceptible varieties and weather conditions leading to fungal infection, not soil fertility. Like I said in an earlier post, plants blessed with adequate fertility and vigor are likely to recover from pest damage more quickly, but they are not immmune to canopy fungal problems if conditions are conducive to infection. Without timely fungicide treatments by spray or soil injection with systemic phosphites, etc., susceptible plants suffer the consequences.
Neal

muddstopper
08-02-2006, 05:46 PM
I am going to try to explain the best way I can. The plant diseases are always present in the soil, unless you completely sterilize the soil, you are never going to get rid of them, and even then, the fungi and bacteria are carried on the wind, the neighbors pets, your pets, ect, etc. So you really never can get rid of them. Now my beliefs are that when spraying a fungicide or pesticide to cure a problem, you are really only treating the symptoms and not really curing anything. You might suppress the problems but you never really make the problem go away.

A properly balanced fertile soil will contain all the necessary minerals, gases and nutrients to support the biology of the soil. As long as all the microbes have the correct amount of food that they like, no single microbe will out compete the rest of the microbes in the soil, therefore, that particular microbe wont ever become a problem. Its only when conditions are more favorable to a certain type of microbe, be it a disease or beneficial, that you start having disease or nutrition problems with your plants.

Supposed you treated a fungal disease with copper sulfate to cure a certain disease. That copper sulfate is absorbed into the plants where the copper and sulfur are used to suppress the fungal disease you wish to treat. The disease goes away but, next year the disease returns. Now if you apply the same material to the soil, it is taken up by the roots of the plant and a natural disease suppression occurs and the fungus doesn't return next year. Now whats the difference, why does a soil applied material last longer than a folar applied one. While the folar applied material might work faster than the soil applied one, it also is lost thru the respiration process of the tree. It ends up in the atmosphere so very little, if any, is left in the tree to combat the next infection of the disease it was meant to cure. The soil treatment might take longer to work, but the materials stay inside the plant after it is absorbed by the roots. The material is returned to the soil at leaf drop and recycled as it is broken down by the microbes and made available to be re-used by the plants. Of course, if you are not mulching the leaves but removing them instead, you lose the benefit of the recyclable material and disease fighting nutrients. Everytime you do a leaf cleanup that involves removing the leafs from the property, you are also removing lots of necessary plant nutrients which have to be replaced.

If copper sulfate ,or whatever material, is the limiting factor in your soil and you need to apply that material to your plants for disease suppression now, by all means fight the disease with the folar application, but follow it up with a soil application of the proper nutrients to help prevent the disease from re-occuring next year.

Neal Wolbert
08-09-2006, 12:44 AM
Muddstopper,
I ran a few questions relative to the subject by a well known and well respected Plant Pathologist in this area and his answers are copied below following my questions. It appears he doesn't agree that organic compounds like copper sulfate enter the plant through the roots. He does recommend spraying leaves to prevent fungus from spreading from old leaves. Please see below...


(Neal)
What is the mode of action of copper sulfate, elemental sulfur and other organic forms of fungicide on the leaves or needles?

(Dr.)
These are contact fungicides and have no long term residual activity nor do they have any effect on mycelium that has already penetrated under the leaf epidermis.

(Neal)
and/or would they have any long term effect on canopy fungus, i.e., pear scab or brown rot if applied to the soil beneath the tree?

(Dr.)
Yes, soil applications will help prevent the overwintering stage of the fungus from germinating and producing spores that then splash up into the tree canopy.

(Neal)
Is it simply the protective coating preventing infection or do the compound actually enter the leaf or needle?

(Dr.)
Protective only.

Hope this helps.

Dr. ---------

Your thoughts Mudstopper?
Neal

muddstopper
08-09-2006, 06:55 PM
I think I agreed exactly with what he said. Leaf applications dont really get inside the tree. Oxidation occurs and the material eventually ends up in the atmosphere. Of course, i am not taking about applying copper sulfate fungicides to the soil as a treatment for fungus. Copper and sulfur are both taken up into the tree from the soil and are both necessary plant nutrients. Copper and sulfur are both easily leachable from the soil and in most areas already extremely deficient. To much of either, especially copper, can kill the plants. Adding copper and sulfur to your fertilizer treatments will make both nutrients available to the plants and result in a disease defense, maybe not completely eliminating the disease, which isnt really possible anyway, but at least it builds up the plant immunity to the fungus and can help prevent the disease from becoming a major problem. You can also have plenty of copper and sulfur and still get fungal problems, they are just 2 out of about 92 elements that can be found in the soil. Having deficiencies in other nutrients can lead to similar disease problems.

The soil food web is made up of chemical as well as biological agents. Neither can replace the other in terms of providing necessary nutrients and disease fighting properties to the plants. Plants can grow in a wide range of soil fertility, as well as survive without the benefitual microbes, the plants just wont be as healthy. There is a difference in surviving and thriving.

My biggest rant with biological and or fertilizer companies stems more from those companies concentrateing on just on particular aspect of the soil food web. Some companies will promote biological stimulants and think just restoreing microbes will make a plant healty. Not true. Other companies promote chemicals, notably, NPK, and forget about the rest of the nutrients necessary for plant growth, or for biological activity. Personally, I think Melendreze is way ahead of every other organic company I have seen, He is the only one I know of that combines a nutrient balance, as well as biology to his products. He concentrates on restoreing the soil, not just feeding the plants. I dont use his products simply because of limited availability, but I think if one is truely interested in going fully organic, they should probably take a long look at Melendreze's products. I do know of a few people that are using his products that swear by the stuff, but I cant give any personal testimonies since I havent used them.

Disclaimer
I am just baseing my opinons on what I have read and believe to be true in terms of soil fertility and soil health. My reading sources come from several different soil biologists, soil scientists, as well as agronomist's, some with Phd's and some without. Almost all available on the World Wide Web. I am not a representive for Melendrezes products or products from any other company.

Neal Wolbert
08-10-2006, 12:41 AM
Muddstopper,
We are in complete agreement regarding a balanced view of soil and plant health care. If you haven't already, please take a minute and look up our treatment companies website at www.wolberts.com I think you will see we are walking a similar path.
Regards,
Neal

Tipar
08-10-2006, 05:24 PM
Using the fish, seaweed, and compost tea builds up the trees immunity to disease. It might not be registered in your state, but it's been used for about 10 years here in PA and it works.

A lot of research and trial and error are behind the findings. It's been said before but with a lot of the disagreements in the organic industry you have to get out and apply the products and take a look at your results. Much like the endo mych. debate, someone's going to have to get out there and test the methods and come up with their own conclusions.


he's right, I've used that type of compost many times with great success.

muddstopper
08-11-2006, 02:50 PM
Neal, Good looking website's.

Right now I am strictly a chemical company. I have experimented with some organic products, but only on my own property. Product availability is a big hold back in my area, buying small amounts mail order is just cost prohibiting. UPS or FEX cost are usually more than the cost of the materials. We just dont have the dealer networks in my area to be able to walk in and buy what we need when we need it. We dont even have a Lesco close, that leaves me to the Homedepots and Lowes type stores. The local home and garden centers wont stock anything but the cheap stuff, that usually isnt worth the effort to even apply. I figure if I ever find the right product, I will probably just become a distributor myself. Which is a something I have set a goal to try to do already. Dont know which company I will go with yet, so I just keep researching the products. Like I said before, I think Soil Secrets is ahead of most of the companies I have looked at, but as far as i know, they dont even have a distributor on the eastcoast. That makes getting my hands on enough of their product to even experiment with, a costly venture. There may be a few people here that have tried the products that can tell us about them. No salemen please, (and one in particular knows who I am talking about) I want to hear from people that have used the product, not those that sell the product.

Neal Wolbert
08-11-2006, 11:44 PM
Muddstopper,
What exactly would you like to buy locally if you could? I have a Canadian contact that is in touch with east coast suppliers. Maybe we could help you.
Neal

muddstopper
08-12-2006, 09:57 AM
The biggest thing I would like to find locally is a real good compost. Most everything available here isn't even completely composted. Even the $5 a bag stuff still has a lot of recognizable material left in it. This isn't a real good organic additive since the material will still have a high carbon/nitrogen ratio which robs nitrogen away from the plants. I can buy the microbes to add to the compost, they ain't cheap, but a lb of microbes goes a long ways. I would also like to find a good source of humate, preferrably micronized leanordite, and not the humic acids that have been created using potassium hydroxide or other strong acids.

I can find all this stuff already, its the shipping that kills you. Buying by the ton, shipping cost can add $9 a bag to these products. Freight gets cheaper the more you buy, but the freight for 8 pallets is the same as if you bought a whole truck load of 22 pallets. Truck load freight to my area is about $2200, or $100 per pallet or ton. (shipping from western states) This comes out to about $2 per 40# bag. $2 a bag isnt hard to pass on to the customer, but $9 a bag is, especially when you are dealing with a product with a wholesale cost of $5. But to reduce shipping charges you have to buy tractor trailer loads of mixed product, which might mean tieing up $30,000 +/- for long periods of time. This is one reason I am thinking about becoming a distributor. The demand for organics is growing, it probably isnt as great in my area as it is in others, but then again, nobody here really has access to really good products, except for the stuff they can buy at Wally World or HomeDepot. If I could find a good solution to the freight issues, I could probably just forget about the organics, because everybody would be beating my door down to find out how I beat the freight cost.:drinkup:

Neal Wolbert
08-12-2006, 12:08 PM
Dry compost will always be expensive to ship for obvious reasons. I know of a very reliable source for humic from lenordite processed with gentle organic acids fairly close to you. It is in liquid form and may be available in dry form as well by now. I can vouch for the purity and processing. The manufacturer is a friend of mine and he may know of a source of dry compost close by as well. Best to email or pm me for that info if you plan on becoming a distributor.

Neal

Prolawnservice
08-13-2006, 10:47 AM
The biggest thing I would like to find locally is a real good compost. Most everything available here isn't even completely composted.
What do you mean by that, its still hot, or was never composted correctly to begin with? There is a good source for screened compost in NJ. I don't believe they bag it but I'm sure there is someone around that could. When you say dried do you mean dehydrated?

muddstopper
08-13-2006, 11:46 AM
Pro. Any compost that contains reconizeable material isnt completely composted. In landscape situations where you are applying the material dry, this isnt a real big problem. But in spray in applications, uncomposted material quickly cloggs nozzels. I can buy compost just about everywhere, as cheap as $1 per 40lb bag, finding a good quality compost, that doesnt contain reconizeable organic material is a real challenge.

Besides the problems with clogging nozzles, the un-decomposed chunks of organic material will have a high carbon to nitrogen ratio, and will rob nitrogen from the landscape as they finish decomposeing. Most of the compost I find locally is made from wood chips and manures, or straw and manures, or combinations of straw, wood and manures. Most will have a NPK content of .5/.5/.5 and donot list any micro nutrient content. None of my local compost sources screen their compost to a specific partical size, which in my operation is critical simply because of my method of application. I have found one source of screened compost that has a NPK of 2/7/1, altho the NPK content is not listed on the packages because of fertilizer laws. The material is made from all plant materials, and I believe earthworm castings, with no manures added and little to no reconizable organic material. The material is screened to 1/8 or 1/4 partical size and pretty much dissolves in a water solution. Bulk cost are around $5 per bag, but shipping is $9 per bag for a total cost of $14 per 40 lb bag. Add benefical microbes to this compost at application and you can quickly get up to $20 perM in material cost. Only certain customers are willing to pay such a high price for a chemically free lawn. This particular compost would replace my current chemical fertilizer I use on a ratio of 7 bags of compost to 1 bag of fertilizer and still provide the same or similar amounts of NPK, as well as organic matter and micro nutrients. A win/win situation if I can reduce the freight cost just to get it. Only way to reduce the freight is to have a manufacturering facility build near me, (which aint going to happen), or buy in truck load quantities. If I am going to buy in truck loads, I might as well become a distributor.

Your compost supplier in NJ might or might not have a similar product, but even so, freight would still be the big killer. Its great if you can buy a good product locally, this really reduces priceing.

Prolawnservice
08-14-2006, 08:05 PM
How far away is your compost source, what about picking up several pallets as needed. Or buying a trailer load to store and use as needed?