Will Neem Oil Work On Fruit Trees? The Full Guide

Are you tired of pests and diseases ruining your fruit trees? Have you tried countless remedies with no success?

Look no further than neem oil. This all-natural solution has been proven effective in controlling fungal issues, disease, and pests on fruit trees.

Not only is it safe for beneficial insects, but it can also be used to control nematodes and grub worms in the soil. Neem oil can even help rid your yard of pesky ground moles.

But when is the best time to apply it? How much should you use? And what pests can it protect against? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about using neem oil on your fruit trees.

Will Neem Oil Work On Fruit Trees?

Yes, neem oil can work wonders on fruit trees. It is particularly effective in suppressing common pests such as mealworms and coddling moths that can seriously damage fruit trees. By spraying your plants early in the year, you can prevent these pests from developing and protect your trees.

In addition to controlling pests, neem oil can also prevent fungus infestations on your fruit trees. It has a broad spectrum of benefits that can help your trees thrive. While it isn’t a perfect solution for all problems, it can make your life easier by controlling the pests that are attacking your trees.

It is important to note that neem oil should be applied when the fruit trees are dormant. It is recommended to apply neem oil twice a year, in the spring and fall. While neem oil can be sprayed on fruit trees during the summer months, it is important to use it with care because if you spray it too much, you can kill the fruit trees.

What Is Neem Oil And How Does It Work?

Neem oil is an all-natural, non-toxic product that functions as both an insecticide and fungicide for all living plants. It is derived from the seeds of the neem tree, which is native to India and other parts of Southeast Asia. Neem oil contains a compound called azadirachtin, which is responsible for its insecticidal and fungicidal properties.

When neem oil is sprayed on fruit trees, it is absorbed through the roots along with the water, making its way to every part of the plant. This means that when a pest comes along to try to feed on the plant, they will be greeted with the unpleasant and ultimately deadly surprise of neem oil. Neem oil changes the behaviors of pests by essentially making their hormones go on the fritz, which interrupts their development and appetite, quickly leading to their demise.

Not only does neem oil solve problems that plants may face, but it can also prevent them as well. When used on a regular basis, every few weeks or so, neem oil can keep pests, fungus, and bacteria at bay. This makes it an excellent all-natural solution for those looking to rid their yards of ground moles, nematodes, and grub worms.

When To Apply Neem Oil On Fruit Trees

When it comes to applying neem oil on fruit trees, timing is crucial. The best time to apply neem oil to your fruit trees is when they are dormant, which is typically in late winter or early spring. Dormant sprays are designed to kill overwintering insect pests on fruit trees. It is important to note that unless pest populations spike, it is not necessary to spray dormant oil every year. Every 3 to 5 years is typical.

It is important to complete dormant spraying before buds begin to swell. This ensures that the oil has enough time to dry and will not damage the developing buds. Additionally, apply the dormant spray only when the temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure that the oil dries properly and does not cause any damage to the tree.

When applying neem oil on fruit trees, it is important to fully coat all surfaces, paying close attention to undersides of branches and branch crotches. This ensures that all pests are exposed to the oil and will be killed. It is also recommended to spray the neem oil all over the tree, including the undersides of leaves, bark crevices, and cracks where insects may hide.

It is important to note that neem oil can also harm good bugs such as ladybugs. To avoid this, it is recommended to spray neem oil in the late evening, early morning or night when honeybees are not active and when the plant is not wet.

How Much Neem Oil To Use On Fruit Trees

When it comes to using neem oil on fruit trees, it is important to use the correct amount of oil. The amount of neem oil you use will depend on the size of your fruit trees and the severity of the pest or fungus problem.

As a general rule, you can mix one ounce of neem oil per gallon of water in a garden sprayer. Make sure to mix the solution well before spraying it on all plant surfaces, including undersides of leaves, until completely wet.

When applying neem oil as a preventative measure, it should be applied on a 7- to 14-day schedule, according to the manufacturers of 70% neem oil. To control a pest or disease that is already present, they recommend an application on a 7-day schedule.

Keep in mind that an acre of fruit trees treated under a full holistic program (through the summer months) can require as much as 6-8 gallons of pure neem oil per season. The “four spring sprays” along with that decisive fall application require a minimum of 3 gallons of neem oil per acre per season.

It is important to note that neem oil is safe for plants and is generally recognized as a safe insecticide. It is okay to spray fruit and vegetables with neem oil, but make sure to wash your produce thoroughly before eating. While it kills most insects, it is particularly effective against immature insects. Adults may continue to feed on your fruit trees, so you will need to monitor their lifecycles carefully to know when to apply neem oil to your tree.

Common Pests And Diseases Neem Oil Can Control

Neem oil is effective in controlling a wide range of pests and diseases that commonly affect fruit trees. Some of the pests that neem oil can control include aphids, beetle larvae, caterpillars, lacebugs, leaf hoppers, leafminers, mealy bugs, thrips, spider mites, and whiteflies. These pests can cause significant damage to fruit trees by feeding on the leaves and fruits, leading to stunted growth and reduced yields.

Neem oil can also be used to manage fungal diseases such as powdery mildew, black spot, and rust. It works by preventing the germination and penetration of fungal spores into the leaf tissue. By applying neem oil regularly, you can prevent fungal infections from spreading and protect your fruit trees from damage.

It is important to note that neem oil should be used with care as it can harm beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies. Therefore, it is important to accurately identify the pests and diseases affecting your fruit trees and only apply neem oil if they are listed on the product label. Additionally, neem oil should be applied according to label instructions to avoid damaging the foliage of the fruit trees.

Using Neem Oil To Control Nematodes And Grub Worms In Soil

In addition to controlling pests on fruit trees, neem oil can also be used to control nematodes and grub worms in soil. These pests can be particularly damaging to plants and can lead to stunted growth, yellowing leaves, and even death.

To use neem oil to control nematodes and grub worms in soil, mix the oil with water as directed and spray it onto the affected areas. It is important to note that neem oil works best when mixed with a soapy surfactant, but care should be taken as soap can negatively impact some beneficial nematodes.

Studies have shown that neem oil is safe for beneficial nematodes and can even enhance their effectiveness in controlling pests. However, it is important to apply neem oil when the soil is moist and avoid spraying it during the hottest part of the day.

Other natural options for controlling nematodes and grub worms in soil include milky spore disease and beneficial nematodes. These options are also considered safe and effective for controlling these pests.

Neem Oil For Ground Mole Control

Neem oil can also be used as a natural deterrent for ground moles. These pests can cause extensive damage to lawns and gardens, and neem oil can help keep them at bay. By reducing the population of grubs, which are the primary food source for moles, neem oil indirectly deters moles from your yard.

To use neem oil for ground mole control, mix it with water and spray it over your lawn and into tunnels. It is recommended to use neem oil at dusk or dawn to avoid harming beneficial insects such as bumblebees. Neem oil suffocates insects, so it is important to cover all parts of the plant when spraying.

While neem oil is effective for ground mole control, it is important to note that it may take some time to see results. It is a natural solution and may not work as quickly as chemical pesticides. Additionally, it is important to follow all label directions for application and use caution when handling neem oil around pets and children.

In addition to neem oil, castor oil can also be used as a natural deterrent for ground moles. A combination of castor oil and liquid soap added to water makes an excellent natural deterrent for moles and gophers. However, it is important to use caution when handling castor seeds as they contain ricin, an extremely toxic poison. If you have pets or children, you may wish to avoid using castor seeds altogether.