Spraying, Tree Care

Orchard Spraying Facts: Orchard spraying falls into two classes:

  • tree spraying for disease and pest control, nutrition, growth regulation, and chemical thinning
  • ground spraying for weed control, including discouraging mice, insects and disease by keeping vegetation away from the tree trunk; also not traumatizing tree roots as mechanical methods of weeding does

Major components:

  • Depending on the operation, a farmworker may do:
    • spraying
    • assist with the mixing, application or storage
    • simply work in where spraying has recently taken place
  • Regardless of which role the farmworker plays, all of activities are legally regulated:
    • Chemical application
      • Must be certified as an applicator
      • Must be fit tested with a respirator
      • Must wear other personal protective equipment specific instruction to handlers
      • Trained about label information safe operation of application equipment
    • Chemical mixing, handling or storage
      • Should only be performed by worker who is a certified applicator
      • All chemicals must be clearly labeled, dated
      • Chemicals can only be disposed of at designated waste sites
    • Working on a farm where chemicals are applied
      • Must receive EPA Worker Protection Standard training, which includes how to recognize a newly sprayed area
      • How to minimize personal exposure
      • Understanding of worker rights with regard to protection
      • First aid and emergency response instructions
    Clinical Key Point: Understanding the extent of adherence to regulations at the worker’s farm may help determine whether symptoms may be related to pesticide exposure.

    Common Hazards and Conditions