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Tree Chatting and Dormant Spraying


Every Tuesday at 2pm EST we participate in #treechat over on Twitter. Twitter chats are a great way to connect with expects and novices with your same interests. On #treechat, monitored by Corona Tools, we discuss everything to do with trees, from the best time to prune, to diseases, to which tree is best for your space.

This week #treechat was hosted by Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards Co. and they delivered great information on dormant spraying. The info was so great I decided to pass some along to all of you!

Here is some helpful tips and information on dormant spraying from Stark Bro’s and #treechat participants.


Why spray when a tree is dormant?

@Stark_Bros: A dormant tree is “asleep”- best time to both plant & spray. Planting=less transplant shock, spraying=most preventative/proactive.

@natlarb: We winterize our gardens, homes, yards, sprinklers. Don’t forget to winterize your #trees


Why dormant spraying is important?

@StarkBrosCares Pests/insects do more damage than just boring into the trunk or eating the leaves, they may also carry disease to trees

@Stark_Bros Dormant spraying can be applied to any tree with scale or crawler insects (or funky diseases).

@VoiceOfTreeCare Dormant sprays are used for leaf feeders. Not EAB (emerald ash borer) because EAB is bark feeder.

  • While dormant spraying can help rid your trees of many pests it won’t help with the emerald ash borer.

@natlarb Dormant oil controls insects and their eggs. You just may need several types of sprays and oils to be effective.

@BG_garden fruit trees in our orchard always need sprayed or you don’t get fruit!


Helpful Tip:

@natlarb Keep in mind when using the dormant spraying method, prune first, then spray.

  • By pruning first you have fewer leaves on the tree, which in turn saves you money and time!


When Not to Spray

@StarkBrosCares: ***Note: Do not use dormant oil on plants with winter or drought injury!

@CristinaGardens: Sensitive plants include Black walnut, Douglas-fir Hickories Junipers & cedars, Maples (particularly Japanese and red maple) etc

Also, you while is helpful to spray while the plant is dormant don’t wait to late in the fall. You never want to spray when temperatures drop below 40 degrees.


What is a dormant spray?

@natlarb Dormant sprays include lime, copper and sulfur combinations to kill overwintering microorganisms.

Stark Bros. recommends using all-natural dormant horticulture oil after your trees have been in ground for 1 year. So if you are planting this season, you will want to spray next fall. Our favorite spray is the Bonide All Seasons. All Seasons Dormant Spray Oil® is used to treat for various pests, smothering over wintering eggs. Perfect for the fruit trees and great for organic gardening!

If you are not sure what is hurting your trees, disease or pests, consult an Arborist for a professional opinion, before spraying.

Thanks for a great chat  Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards Co.! -If you are in the market for new fruit or nut trees I highly recommend taking a look at Stark Bro’s selection.

If you are an expert on trees or interested in learning more about trees, join us for #treechat every Tuesday at 2pm EST.


Do you spray your trees each fall?