We are having a warm spell. Perfect time to get work done in the orchard and yard and enjoy the sunshine. Right now you should be focusing on two things:
1. Pruning peaches, apricots, and sweet cherry (if needed). It is OK to prune them up to pre-bloom. You have a little more time with apples and pears but they should be pruned also.
2. Apply horticultural oil and/or copper now, or in the next few weeks to all woody plants including perennials, ornamentals, berries, shade and fruit trees.
Horticulture oil is the proper term for the oil. It can be used as a dormant oil or a light summer oil.
|A young apple tree pruned and ready to spray. This is a heritage variety: Ashamed Kernel a cooking apple.|
When to Spray
|Peach blossoms at pink tip stage.|
Bud Stages(Information from USU Extension)
Here is a link to pictures of the bud stages to help you identify what stage your buds are in. It also includes information on critical temperatures for frost damage.
|Plum tree blossoms already opening do not spray when flowers are blooming.|
When using horticulture oil, the air temperature is important. Horticultural oil should on be applied when the night time temperature will not be dropping below 45 degrees F. This gives a 24 hours period of appropriate temperatures.
|After pruning these blackberries,|
I will spray them with dormant oil.
Types of Horticulture Oil
The active ingredient in organic dormant spray or horticulture oil is cotton seed oil. When the oil is dry it does not harm beneficial insects.
Non organic sprays may be petroluem based.
|This is a nanking cherry I pruned as a small tree. |
Beautiful in full bloom.
Summary of Horticultural Oil Application
- Trees need to be in the proper bud stages before spraying. This is when the sap begins to flow and buds swell.
- The temperature will stay above 45F for 24 hours
- Horticulture oil can be used as a light summer spray directly on foliage or as a dormant oil on the bark of ornamentals, berries, shade, and fruit trees. The application rate is different for each use so follow manufactures instructions.
|Apricots are always to impatient to bloom and usually freeze.|