Dormant Spray and Copper Spray

I plan to do both dormant spray and copper spray this winter. We have a very mild winter and this looks more important now. I’m in Zone, NJ area.

I have various fruit trees, apricot, sweet cherry, peach, Asian pear, apple and jujube. It seems cherry, peach and Asian pear are prone to various bugs and diseases.

So what is the timing for both dormant spray and copper spray? I’m thinking dormant spray in early February and copper spray in early March. I do not know. So I’m asking for suggestions.

Delayed dormant is usually best - put it on as late as possible. This means buds are swelled and maybe even a touch of leaf is poking out. If you get it on when things are starting to wake up they are much more vulnerable. Even later would be better but the leaves would be damaged. I do both in one tank to make it less work. The only exception is scale I think, for it an earlier spray is better.

I could be doing my sprays on Christmas by the weather we are expecting - high 70’s, crazy weather. But I will be out pruning instead. Given all the warm weather we are having my pruning should be done soon.


Scott, what do you use to get rid of scales? I found scales on my grapes and peaches this year.

We had our first cold day last Saturday. Since then its back up into the 50’s and higher. We’re getting lots of rain these days. Isn’t this was happened last year at this time? I can’t spray because of rain!

I have had the best luck with soap. I never have a lot of them so I just put on some garden gloves and rub them off by hand before or after the spray for good measure. If they are rubbed off you know they are dead :smile:

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Do you recommend to do both dormant and copper spray? My Asian pears look like having some canker, even though it is old.

Spraying at Xmas time seems early. What is the outlook for later winter? I just do not want to see very mild first half of winter, then get very cold late winter. That is damaging to fruit trees.

I’ve been planting fruit trees. I’m not complaining the ground isn’t frozen. I’m then going to switch to pruning and by then it will be time for copper and dormant oil.

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If your area gets Peach Leaf Curl,spraying Copper will need to done for the Peaches before the leaves appear. Brady

Everybody has their own routines. I like to do a sulfur-dormant oil spray in the fall. To remove any insects and to attack any spores. In the spring I use copper once or twice. I like starting in fall as I don’t see how leaving spores on all winter is a good thing. Plus with this weather more spores could be forming. I don’t like to prune this time of year myself. The trees just went dormant, and I don’t want to stimulate them especially with this weather. Also making cuts if it becomes cold the open wounds could cause dieback.

If this is dormant oil + copper in later winter, how long should the gap be between the sprays?

I sprayed my all the assorted trees (apples, plums, peaches, nects, pears, apricots, cherries, pluots etc) in the entire orchard with a good solid spray of copper, hort oil and Lime-Sulfur (all in the same tank) on the December 5 right after Thanksgiving.

I plan to redo as delayed dormant in spring. But, in the spring I think I will have to do it on a more variety specific schedule. We shall see. C A N ’ T W A I T !!! … to be able to complain about my sore back.


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Mike, so I can do copper + dormant oil in one spray?

I would like to combine dormant oil/copper/sulfur into one tank and spray but the labels say to separate the oil and sulfur spray by 30 days. What is right? Can they all be mixed together in the dormant season only? Confused in central Alabama. Thanks, Bill

Oil and sulfur are phytotoxic in combination- at least when trees are growing. I don’t think it would be a problem when dormant, but I’m not sure.

Incidentally, there is Cueva, a copper formulation that can be sprayed on leaves. I use it for bac spot on apricots through spring and to slow early blight on tomatoes right through summer.


No it’s fine, but yes, you better not use with leaves! Directions for it can be found on the Lime-Sulfur label. Under combination winter spray

I just use the liquid coppers from Bonide and Monterrey for that. You probably could use the powder if you reduced amount. Also I like it for melons and cucumbers for powdery mildew.

I found where you have all been hiding!

I had just posted about this topic on GW because I just branched into fruit trees in a densely crowded backyard yesterday and was kind of surprised there were no comments or suggestions. I live in NC, where the environment hates fruit and wants to murder it all the time. I don’t know what to do with this funky weather. My apples haven’t even dropped their leaves, but the peaches and plums are showing signs of bud swell and and look like they are about to push leaves!

I feel like I should be spraying SOMETHING right now with these warm/cold/wet flippy floppy dippy conditions, but I’m not sure what or when. It looks like rain for this week, and then warm weather into next week. I had to trim a LOT of wood back due to unknown disease this year, and I want to set the stage for success next year. Should I just go ahead and wait for a dry day and hit them with copper/oil, or should I wait to see if the buds actually do emerge?

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If the buds do push out now, then it seems like a disaster to happen. A late frost will kill all the flowers…

I do not see anything happening with my trees. Even the daffodils just poked about 1" tall.

I’m kind of anticipating disaster for this year, honestly. We’ve already accumulated over 400 chill hours according to AgroClimate, and there’s what look like silver tips on a lot of the stone fruits. It’s possible I’m just being overly paranoid, but I don’t have the experience to know that! I’m just not sure what to make of a year where the cherries and almonds look ready to wake up, the peaches are half and half, and the apples haven’t even gone dormant.

Welcome to our secret hide-out :smile:

I think we still should be OK, cold weather is coming eventually I’m sure. As long as it doesn’t get too hot in this spell coming now…

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Cueva is a very interesting product and I plan to use some this year. The copper is in the form of a soap (Copper Octanoate) The product is ORMI approved. Some research trials indicated that Cueva did not russet apples as much as other coppers when applied later