Dormant Spray and Copper Spray

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


in winter we should do 2 treatments in fruit trees.
it is important to treat the fruit trees in winter for 2 reasons (we’re going to eliminate 80% of insects and this makes spring have to act less, when we have fruit on the tree while trying on a time where the insecticide leaves no residue on fruits).

Treatment consists of copper oxychloride 50%, but the paraffin oil 83% (a petroleum derivative used in agriculture) and an insecticide (either is valid, the oldest we have at home, its function is to promote more even paraffin oil)

a proper mix of serious product, for a backpack 20 liters of water, using 200 cubic centimeters of liquid paraffin, 80 g of copper and 40 cc of venom

when we made the treatments?
the first treatment to do when our trees have dropped between 60% and 80% of the leaf, must remember that copper is a “preventive” product and you have to use it before fungal attack, then it no longer serves .
falling leaves of our trees in the tree are small wounds on the junction of the petiole of the leaf and the tree, trying to protect fallen leaf those wounds with copper and fungi avoid entering there.
oil parafilm, it is clear to use, its function is to surround insects and eggs and drown because they can not breathe, it is important to wet the entire tree, including the trunk and the base of the trunk (some insecticide will enhancing the action of paraffin oil).

the second treatment must be done in early spring, when the tree is awakening, when the flowers are close to exit from the phenological stage B to E can try

from this point we must not use copper because it can be very toxic to our fruit (especially apples, pears and fig is also a very persistent product if applied on fruit, this will be on the fruit all the year and will never go away) in spring as systemic fungicides can use with preventivar, curative and eradicant functions on fungi and their persistence on the fruits is limited (about 14 or 21 days, these fungicides can be DIFENOCONAZOL 25%,TEBUCONAZOL 25%,DODINA 40% and many more)

dose-term safety of the product (are highly concentrated and have to use very little product, 2 or 3 cubic centimeters mixed in 20 liters of water

formerly in post flowering fungicides captan, thiram or ziram were used, but these are being or have already been banned in many countries by different studies say can cause cancer.

a little trick:if we live in a climate zone where we have few hours of cold, in the first winter treatment can also take a bit of nitrogen (high biuret), this will cause burns on the leaves and the leaves will fall well before entering our tree 2 or 3 weeks before the recess or winter break and will start accumulating hours with cold long before what we will be more and better sprouting buds for spring

(sorry for my bad language)


Fruiters, so you are a legitimate poster! You set off a real flurry of spam alert in a recent post. The fault of the system and not you.

You seem to be making spray recommendations for your own region and I wonder where that is. We certainly can’t eliminate 80% of our insect pests in any area of the U. S. with any combination of pesticides with a dormant spray- unless maybe someone has an old cannister of DDT.

Scale, mites and aphids are all that might be vulnerable at that time, but are more so just as trees begin to bud out.

At any rate, welcome to our forum!

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For the homeowner Bonide’s Liquid copper has the copper soap. What I use right now.

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Actually, your posts are still throwing the system out of whack. Have to ask Scott about this.

Hi Alan, I’m from Europe.
it is true that sometimes we can confuse and US law may be different in terms of European plant protection products and in an area may be prohibited from using an insecticide and the other zone (at least in Europe, both copper such as paraffin oil are authorized in organic farming) products.
ummmmm, is there a list of approved in the United States? (vademecum) insecticides, I would like to see
so if we have to be clear is one thing we can treat our trees in winter or spring-summer and is preferable to treat the trees in winter because they have no fruit and will never be this fruit waste It allows us to use higher doses that will make our treatments are most effective in spring … however we use the lowest dose and siemple run the risk of being poisoned our fruit

en europa se suele vender algunos prodroductos para el tratamiento invernal donde ya va mezclado a su dosis exacta el aceite de parafina ,el cobre y el insecticida.
(Sorry, the system does not let me use google translator to put the page in English, should put you in English)

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What I’m saying is our worst fruit pests in the East U.S. are a weevil called plum curculio and for much of the U.S. coddling moth. There are lots of other fruit insect pests and none that attack fruit are affected by dormant or delayed dormant sprays. Even fungus are controlled only when trees are in leaf. Dormant sprays are often optional.


this pest is unknown to me (Conotrachelus nenuphar), I’ve never seen this bug in my garden, I think it’s an insect that is not yet in Europe

As dormant spray it is fine.



Yep. I was surprised to find the same product in Bonide Liquid Coppper as Cueva. Have you found this to be less destructive to plant tissue than metallic copper?

This is not a very concentrated product and even a small orchard might be better served with the purchase of Cueva in a 2.5 gallon jug once they have mature trees. I suspect it keeps for a very long time.

I’ve never used metallic copper, but I can’t imagine anything safer to foliage than Cueva, which doesn’t burn tomato leaves at all.

I’m new to copper fungicide and just picked up some Southern Ag Liquid Copper. My peach and nectarine have not bloomed yet but buds are swelling. My plums blossoms are almost open. Probably in the next day or two.

Reading the label suggests that delayed dormant is a good time to spray which is now for my peach. I guess it’s too late for my plums.

What I don’t really understand is that the instructions say to mix 4-6 teaspoons in a gallon of water but then is says " 3 gallons of mixed solution to a small tree or bush, 6 gallons of mined solution to a medium size
tree, or 9 gallons of mixed solution to a large tree." What the heck? Am I reading that right? 3 Gallons of worth of spray per small tree! How wet do I have to saturate these things. lol

Maybe they mean total amounts you can spray for a season? It is weird! It should have read do not apply more than 3 gallons a season to small bush.


Usually they list maximum rates in tbsp/acre. I’d start off with a gallon of mixed solution and spray the trees till it drips off every branch. If needed, mix some more but not more than you need. Then mark on the sprayer with a sharpie how much was needed for next time.


Should I spray this copper with a sticker and/dormant oil? Also, any reason to spray this on my dormant apples and pears? I was mainly concerned with peach leaf curl.