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Is Copper Spray Safe For Fruit Trees? [Tips For 100% Effective Use]

Diseases often attack fruit trees seasonally, but the best way to deter them is by using copper spray, which provides all-around protection against intruders.

Some of the best copper sprays for fruit trees are basic copper sulfate powder, copper octanoate, and copper diammonium diacetate complex. But ready-to-use copper sprays are also available in the online forums.

If you want to learn more about using some recommended premium copper sprays for your fruit trees, stick to the article!

Why Applying Copper Fungicide Sprays Is Important?

Do you know fungal pathogens contribute to 85% of all plant diseases? The rest of the disease-contributing pathogens in fruit trees come from bacteria and algae.

The spores of these pathogens are present in the soil and sneak into the plant when the environmental condition favors them the most.

Some of the common bacterial fruit diseases include cankers, blights, leaf spots, shothole diseases, and fruit rots. Likewise, common fungal fruit diseases comprise fruit and root rots, mildews, scabs, and leaf molds.

Image represents blight disease in tomato plant
Many fungal and bacterial diseases in plants have similar symptoms.

Since these bacterial and fungal pathogens attack the fruit trees after the conditions favor them, they can be arrested by applying chemical control agents before they attack the plant.

It has been evident that copper-based fungicides and bactericides can control their spread, as copper (as an element) causes severe membrane and DNA damage, inhibiting their growth.

Hence, copper fungicide sprays can immediately kill bacterial and fungal pathogens, known as “contact killing.”

How To Spray Copper Fungicides & Bactericides On Fruit Trees?

Copper-based fungicides and bactericides are available in various forms, such as liquid, granules, wettable powders, and dispersible formulations.

Hence, you can apply them in various ways. However, the most important thing to consider is the time of application, which is during the fall.

Furthermore, remember that copper fungicidal and bactericidal sprays can damage young leaves, flowers, and fruits. So, spraying your fruit trees before the emergence of new foliage is advisable.

Additionally, you can spray these fungicides and bactericides before pathogens attack the plant and infect the host.

Steps To Use Copper Sprays On Fruit Trees

You can prepare the fungicides forehand as instructed on the pack and begin the spraying process.

Moreover,  you can apply the copper sprays on fruit trees every 7-10 days until the symptoms subside. 

Further, it’s crucial to know that the products must be applied after 12 hours of dry weather. 

Here are a few tips on protecting your fruit trees by spraying the fungicides and bactericides correctly.

  • First, remove the infected plant parts using sterilized pruners. Clean your tools after each cut using isopropyl alcohol to prevent the spread.
  • Let your fruit tree dry under the sun in an open space to remove all the moisture and allow good air circulation between the plants.
  • Spray the prepared fungicide or bactericide all over the plant and let it dry again.
  • If possible, keep the outdoor plant covered using transparent plastic or keep the indoor fruit tree isolated from other plants.

However, you must be careful while considering the amount of fungicide to use, as large amounts can potentially harm humans also.

Pro Tip!

It’s always considerable to use masks and gloves while spraying your fruit trees with chemical control measures.

Similarly, using copper-based chemical sprays during flowering seasons is not advisable as it may hurt native pollinators, such as bees, birds, and butterflies.

Copper Sprays Vs. Neem Oil – Who Wins?

Neem oil is a naturally occurring fungicide and bactericide that occurs in the seeds of Azadirachta indica (Neem).

Image illustrates copper-based and neem oil-based fungicides and bactericides
Neem oil has bactericidal and fungicidal properties.

Although neem oil and copper sprays share similarities, they both retain their trademarks in use and applicability.

Copper SpraysNeem Oil
Effective on sap-sucking insects onlyEffective on wide range of insects
Works only as a preventiveWorks both as a killer and preventive
Harmful for soil in excess useSafe for soil even in excess use

Best Copper Sprays For Fruit Trees [2024 Edition]

Below is the list of excellent on-hand copper spray products you can buy for fruit trees.

Copper SpraysSpecifications
Bonide Captain Jack's Copper Fungicide

Product Use: Bacteria & Fungi
Cures blights, spots, curls, mildews, etc.

Long-lasting efficacy
Liquid Copper Fungicide

Product Use: Bacteria & Fungi
Works with manual sprayers

Applicable for controlling moss & algae
Liqui-Cop Copper Garden Spray Fungicide

Product Use: Fungi
Cures wide range of mildews, blights, spots, rots, etc.

Prolonged coverage
Bonide Copper Fungicide

Product Use: Fungi
Applicable for fruits, trees, shrubs, vegetables, ornamentals, etc.

Available in 2 forms: Liquid & Dust
Monterey Liqui-Cop Fungicides

Product Use: Fungi
Works on vegetables and fruits

Safe for use in both dormant and growing seasons
Fertilome Copper Fungicide

Product Use: Fungi
Can prevent & treat the disease

Works for active & dormant diseases

From Editorial Team


Although copper spray fungicides and bactericides work on many diseases and plants, you should never apply them during hot or rainy days.

Also, one should understand that copper spray for fruit trees is preventive but not curative and may not free the plant entirely from the disease.