Dormant oil spray now?

highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)March 16, 2011

Last year, even though I had tons of blooms on one of my apple trees, it only produced one small apple. Several folks recommended a dormant oil in the spring. Not exactly sure what that is though. Can someone give me an actual product name? Is there an organic option? And is now the time to spray? My trees aren't leafing out yet, but the leaf buds are starting to swell a bit. Hope I haven't waited too late ...

Bonnie

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treebarb Z5 Denver

Yes, Bonnie it's time to spray. I have been hunting for my dormant oil, but not found it. It was in a green bottle, got it at HD, but can't remember the name of it. I have a bottle of Green Light fruit tree spray that I'm going to use this weekend if it's not too windy. It kills eggs, larvae and adult insects. It also prevents powdery and downy mildew, anthracnose, rust, leaf spot, botrytis, scab and tip blight. You're supposed to apply at first sign of spring budding, so it sounds like you're right on schedule.
I either got it and HD or Lowes.
I think I only sprayed twice last year, once at bud swell and again once fruit set and had nice apples last year. They recommend spraying once a week or every two weeks depending on how bad the bugs are.
Do wear a hat and use a bandana or something over your face, wear long sleeves and wash the clothes you wear by themselves when you're done.
Sounds really safe, doesn't it?
It's 70% Neem oil extract with .25% Pyrethrin and 2.5% Piperonyl Butoxide. Haven't a clue about the chemistry.
Hope this helps.
Barb

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 9:36PM
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Dan Staley

First, yes dormant oil window application is nearing closing, depending where you are. But just because you got one apple doesn't mean dormant oil is the answer. It may be. But so may be cleaning litter. Or weather. Just saying. Do it, but not necessarily the answer.

Dan

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 11:10PM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

Glad someone posted this 'cause I've been wondering when to do this myself for our peach, pear and apple trees (1 of each). I don't really see any leaf bud swell yet, though. Should I wait a bit?

Marj

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 12:00PM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

No Marj, don't wait. Get r done!

Barb

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 9:49PM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

:^D Thanks Barb!!! Will do!

Thanks!!
Marj

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 9:53PM
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Dan Staley

Whut barb said. Before bud break is your target. Better is two applications - one in November-ish with some sort of additive and one now-ish.

Dan

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 11:44PM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

Dan, I didn't know about the November application, so I've learned something new, thanks! I was thinking that I wished I had a dollar for every time I've thought, "What Dan said"!
And I apologize for the incorrect Larry the Cable Guy reference. I believe it's actually Git r done. I'm actually more of a Ron White fan, so forgive me.
Barb

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 8:01AM
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Dan Staley

I note the CU Extension doesn't have an easily findable handout on timing, but here's an easy thread in the orchards forum about the two applications. Almost essential if you had a crop failure due to blight/fungal causes (not weather), and blowing snow/ice crystals several times in winter.

Dan

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 9:01AM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

So any recommendations on where to buy it online? Remember, I'm pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 2:46PM
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horse1234massage(5)

Hi Bonnie
Thanks for the post, it reminded me to spray. Found the site below last year but never got around to spraying with oil. Used essential oils and had great fruit production. But now have scales on blue spruce so will try this homemade today.

5 T. Hydrogen Peroxide
1 T. baking soda
2 T. rice oil (just what i have on hand)
1 T. liquid soap
1 gallon water

Will let you know how it works....

By the way this is luckybottom, had to sign up with new username, would not let me login under luckybottom

Bonnie

Here is a link that might be useful: CSU Horticultural Oils

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 11:36AM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

Ok, I sprayed my trees today - so now I'm expecting (hoping) for lots of new growth and fruit!!! ;^)

I picked up some dormant spray from Home Depot last fall, but didn't use till now. Guess I could've sprayed then as well, from what I'm reading now. I'll do that this year. I used it in one of those sprayers you attach to your garden hose. I followed the directions on the bottle, so hopefully it's done right. My trees are little, so it only took the 5 1/3 oz of solution to cover them - I mean, I went around to each (about 3 times) until there wasn't any more of the solution in the sprayer bottle.

Would love to hear how your solution works, Bonnie!

Marj

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 2:57PM
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windwhipped(Z4 WY)

I use Pyola oil that I got online from Gardens Alive.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 7:58PM
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Dan Staley

I've never heard of satisfactory application of horticultural oil with a hose-end sprayer. The application should be done with a tank sprayer containing good pressure to allow emulsion to mix and suspend, and having a wand tip that both allows fine droplets to be created and that can take oil.

Dan

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 8:27PM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

I found a gallon sprayer at Big Lots today for only $9, so I picked that up and resprayed my trees. They should be good to go now 'cause I got them good and coated for sure this time!

Thanks,
Marj

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 9:50PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Well, I had to run to the "big city" this week, so I stopped at Lowe's and bought some dormant oil spray, but the weather has been either ridiculously windy, or rain/snowing, so haven't been able to get it done yet. Hopefully, one day this week ...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 10:16PM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

So I've been watching my peach, apple and pear trees to see signs of leaves before spraying, and although close, no leaves out yet. However, just noticed the peach has already just started to blossom! Can I spray it with the dormant spray now? I've also heard of Neem oil, which I believe can be used anytime. Should I use that instead?

Still learning about fruit trees!

Marj

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 7:38PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

My understanding is it should be done when the tree is dormant, so before any flowering or leafing out occurs. I would so do it as soon as possible, Marj.

Last year, I couldn't find our tank sprayer, so used a hose end one, and Dan was right, it was ineffective. Even though we had over a dozen decent sized apples, every single one of them had worm holes. Picked up another tank sprayer, and sprayed the trees about a week ago. I kind of wanted to hit them again to be extra sure, but I see my peach tree is very close to budding out, so I might be too late.

Bonnie

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 8:34PM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

Marj,

I don't have peaches, just apples, pears and cherries. I've not sprayed my trees yet and didn't get it done in November either. It was too cold then and lately it's been too windy on my day's off. I planted 2 new pears and an apple today. I checked the other apples and cherries. Some bud swell, but not even close to leafing yet so I have a little time.

If the tree is already blooming, don't spray. You'll knock down the bees as they're trying to do their work. Some of the newer oils are lighter and can probably be used after, but not during flowering. Have you checked out the CSU extension site? If you go to the yard and garden section, then do a search on spraying you'll find lots of good info. It's past my bed time and I don't want to misquote anything, lol!
I wouldn't fret that you missed the peaches. I really think you'll be able to spray after flowering, depending on what you're spraying for. You may have to get a different product to spray though.

Barb

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 1:24AM
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gjmancini

I just sprayed yesterday with a homemade concoction I found on line using vinegar, murphy oil soap, seaweed extract, compost tea. I havent had much luck with fruit trees, but these babies are alive so Im very excited. I have a fugi and red delicious. Can someone tell me if i will get positive results with cross polination, i have one in the front yard and one in the back, or are they supposed to be planted right next to each other?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 9:18AM
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david52 Zone 6

I sprayed mine 10 days ago.

There is a huge price difference in dormant oil sprays, spring of 2011, I found, at the local IFA farm supply store, gallons of 'Hi Yield' dormant spray for around $7 a gallon - so I bought two, which will last years.

Today, however, looking online, it would seem that the store had seriously under-priced the stuff.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 10:34AM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

I sprayed the apple and pear, as they only have signs of leaf bud swell. Although most of the flower buds on the peach have not opened, I won't spray it with the dormant oil spray. Think I'll check into the Neem oil spray, and may use that and/or I may just keep a close watch on it for any signs or bugs, etc. and then spray later should the need arise.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 12:42PM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

Marj,

I missed the "just started blooming" part. I still think I'd not use dormant oil on the peaches, but use a a growing season product when flowering stops.

I caught Rob Proctor's segment on 9 news this morning and he said once flowering stops you have fruit set and any frost from here on out will damage or destroy the fruit. That's not great news. This early warmth is getting the trees going early and I'm pretty sure there will be frosts between now and May.

I noticed this morning My Thunderchild crabapple started leafing, so I missed my window on that one. I'm not concerned about that as I don't plan to eat them!

Thanks all for nudging me. I got the rest of my trees sprayed this morning.

gjmancini, I think a pollinator within a 100 feet is recommended, but closer is probably better. I've much to learn so I hope a more experienced person chimes in!

David, Good score on the dormant spray. Prices certainly aren't coming down an anything!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 1:14PM
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gardenbutt(rocky mt 4-5)

Bonnie,
Just getting set to do this today as a matter of fact..Running a couple of weeks behind Pending the weather we usually spray the first week or two of March..We do spray about two weeks after the trees drop leaves as well in the fall..
We use a home made spray with Kelp,Neem, hort oil and water.Used the same recipe for about 15 years now..
I also spray the kelp with a soap and water base in the summer for fungal prevention and foliage feeding on some of the trees here..
Like Dan said above you cannot get a good application unless you use a pressure sprayer..Very important the finer mist allows for the spray to settle onto the trees whereas the hose method is way to strong and washes it away..
Years ago on this site we had a pretty long post about some of this.In our area we are dealing with peaches, plums, sweet cherries, pie cherries, apples,apricots,pears,etc,,
If I had to take a guess it actually sounds like your apple tree either did not get proper pollination or could be a bi-annual producer..Most of the time when there is a ton of blooms a little fruit it is one or the other..If you know what the name is on it check to see if you have proper pollinators for it close enough..Or the type of producer it may be..
Mary in MT

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 2:23PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Hi Mary!

I have a Stark Golden Delicious, and a Honeycrisp. According to Stark Bros. the Golden Delicious is supposed to be one of the most universal pollinators, and my trees are probably not more than 30' apart. Last year, we did get a lot more fruit set on the Golden Delicious than the previous year, it's just that they all had worm holes. I also discovered that the paper wasps would use that entry point and gorge themselves on the flesh. Between the apples and the grapes, we kept the wasps well fed last year! The Honeycrisp has yet to even bloom, even though it was planted the same year as the other tree. I'm hoping this is the year we'll see at least some flowers, if not fruit.

Bonnie

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 3:01PM
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