Organic Fungicides for Oak Trees
(New Port Richey, FL)
Does anyone have a recipe for a homemade organic fungicide for oak trees?
This site is great, lots of information, keep up the good work.
As you don't give any specifics as to what is wrong with your oak trees it is difficult to even begin to offer advice.
However, what I can say is that there are a number of organic fungicides that have proven useful in the past.
Copper, baking powder, tea tree oil, sulphur and neem oil are all good for fighting fungi. However, just because these are organic and natural in their origin doesn't mean that they are not poisonous.
Neem oil is one of my favorite sprays as an insecticide and a pesticide. Neem oil will fight black spot on roses, rust fungus and powdery mildew.
Sulfur is one of the oldest fungicides around and is good for any fungus that affects the leaves and stems of plants. You can either apply the dust directly to the plant, or in the case of tall oak trees it is best to mix it with water and a small amount of washing up liquid to act as a wetting agent and then spray this onto the tree. Sulfur can affect beneficial insects and is deadly to the lungs if inhaled, so use with caution.
Copper sulfate is not something I would advocate, despite it being organic. It is toxic to mammals, including humans and fish. It also builds up in the soil and is harmful to the soil and micro-organisms.
A simple recipe for an organic fungicide to use is as follows:
1 teaspoon oil (sunflower oil, coconut oil, castor oil or any other plant-based oil)
1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid
1 gallon compost tea or plain water
Use this to spray on plant to retard fungus. In addition take a bottle of liquid seaweed and place in a wide circle around the trunk and water in well. The seaweed will help feed the roots and make your trees more resistant to fungi.
Avoid applying the oil-based liquid to your plants if temperatures are above 85 degrees Fahrenheit or below freezing.
For powdery mildew here is another organic fungicide recipe:
1 gallon warm water
3 tablespoons baking soda
1 tablespoon Murphy's oil soap
Mix well and spray both sides of the leaves if possible. Use early spring as a preventative and then every 7-10 days if mildew appears. Complete the program with liquid seaweed to the trunk of the tree applied in a wide cicle and watered in well.
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