The Q&A Archives: Dormant Spray

Question: I live 50 miles north of Indianapolis in zone 5. Is it too late to use dormant spray on our fruit trees?

Answer: No, it's not too late. Dormant oil sprays help control aphids, mites, and scale (and other insects) by suffocating their eggs. In the past, dormant oil was a fairly heavy, petroleum-based spray that could be used only when trees were fully dormant--if sprayed once the trees had broken dormancy, the oil could damage new growth. However, there are lots of new, lightweight horticultural oils available, and it's safe to spray these even after bud break. I would guess that your trees haven't broken dormancy yet--but even if they have, you would be safe using one of these lightweight oils.<br><br>One new spray, called Oil-Away, is made from cottonseed oil rather than petroleum. It can be used throughout the season, and is available from Garden's Alive, 812-537-8650, 5100 Schenley Pl., Lawrenceburg, IN 47025.<br>

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