Citrus Tree Care – Copper Sulphate


Tuesday 03 March, 2015 by Uncle Spike

With the citrus trees afflicted with a fair degree of moss, lichen crustaceans, and general leaf decay, the best treatment by far is to spray with Bordo Bulamaci (that’s the Turkish name). This is more commonly known as Bordeaux mixture, which is copper sulphate (CuSO4) and slaked lime (Ca(OH)2). It is used as a preventative fungicide in fruit-farms to control infestations of downy mildew, powdery mildew and other fungi. In our case, it will halt much of the damage and prevent further degradation that would likely occur should no action be taken.

In small quantities, it is not harmful and is actually approved for farms operating as ‘organic’. The chemical started to be used by the United Fruit Company throughout Latin America around 1922. The mixture was nicknamed perico, or “parakeet”, because it would turn workers completely blue. Yes, you do get a bit ‘blue’ after a while 🙂

I don’t have a tractor, so normally for me, tree spraying is an arduous task, stumbling around the rocky orchard with a 35kg (77 lb) petrol/gas engine backpack sprayer. It does the job eventually, but each 25 litre (5.5 Imp Gall or 6.6 US Gall) tank full only covers 4-7 trees, so that means walking back and forth to reload some 30-35 times. Good exercise perhaps, but exhausting in this rocky terrain.

This year I hired the tractor and pump – well worth it as my ageing body would definitely agree 🙂






Talk about making light work of it – the whole place done in half an hour. That’s compared to a whole day on my own, usually over a two day period. The coverage is also much better than I can achieve, so I know the trees will be better treated too, which is especially important this year.






Once dried, the whole place has a blue tinge, including myself.







10 thoughts on “Citrus Tree Care – Copper Sulphate

  1. […] this year I hired the tractor and pump for the main orchard copper sulphate tree spraying? Well it saved me a great amount of time, […]


  2. Yvonne says:

    I hope those citrus trees are strong and healthy after this treat!


  3. That looks a fearsome beast. how did you stop it from taking off?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. fredrieka says:

    keep that air moving

    Liked by 1 person

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