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· Registered
675 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just had an arborist out to look at my diseased apricot tree and found out it isn't diseased after all-- it has chemical burns!!

He asked what we are spraying and when I told him nothing, he said we must have a neighbor who is overspraying- A LOT.

Has anyone else delt with this? To make matters worse, they aren't the friendliest neighbors in the world either. If it comes down to it, do I have any legal recourse? My yard is(was) organic.

· Premium Member
2,489 Posts
I don't know what state you're in, but in NY you have to be a licensed chemical applicator in order to apply pesticides--homeowners can do their own with over the counter stuff (often worse then what the applicators will use), but companies have to be licensed.

For the licensed people, it's illegal to spray on windy days (over a certain MPH) due to overspray, etc. They also have to put up flags or notice on the property they're spraying. Usually this consists of the smallest possible flag near the sidewalk or road around here. If the damage is far inside your yard, at a minimum you have to notify the company that you'll be watching them in the future. You can sue them and probably have their licensed revoked if you can prove it.

If you think your neighbor won't cooperate...go next door and say you have an insect problem and ask who they use. Then call the company and tell them what happened and that you'll be watching them in the future. Start out nice... your cooperative extension agent first to see what they have to say. You may need a second opinion or some testing done for residue on the leaves to prove it's really chemical burn. I believe that fireblight--a natural fungus disease--causes a chemical-looking burn and is a problem on all apple relatives (Malus sp.). I'm not sure if it affects Prunus (apricots, cherries, etc) or not, but I'll go look it up... It's very prevalent in warmer climates (rare here), and when I went camping this summer in VA I could see signs of it all along the highways...
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