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What Category for Fruit Trees in Landscape Settings

Occasionally, a client of a Commercial Pesticide Operator may ask for the additional service of applying pesticides to a fruit tree when an applicator is out applying pesticides to an ornamental area. It may make sense for the applicator to perform the application while they are on the site, but it is critical to make sure that the applicator has the correct license category and is using a product that is labeled correctly for the crop being treated.

The following indicates the appropriate category of licensing for a Commercial Pesticide Operator/Applicator/Trainee when making insecticide and/or fungicide applications to trees or gardens that produce edible fruits, nuts, or vegetables.

  • Either the Ornamental and Turf: Insecticide/Fungicide or the Agriculture: Insecticide/ Fungicide category is acceptable when a landscaped area associated with a residence includes trees or gardens that produce edible fruits, nuts or vegetables for the intended personal use of the owner/renter of the residence.
  • Only the Agriculture: Insecticide/Fungicide category is acceptable when trees or gardens that produce edible fruits, nuts, or vegetables are grown as a commercial crop. A commercial crop includes edible fruits, nuts and vegetables distributed to the public through on-farm sales, including “you-pick” operations, farmer’s markets, donations to food banks and other charitable organizations, and community/neighborhood gardens when the crop is distributed to persons other than the person(s) who grew the crop.

All pesticide applications must be made with pesticide products that have the specific crop on the label. This ensures that adequate food residue tolerances are established for the protection of human health. Lawn care and ornamental products may not have appropriate label language that would allow use on fruit trees or vegetable gardens. Make sure to double check the label before applying any pesticide to these plants.