I completely missed oil/copper application:early spring and busy life crept in on me

Like most of you, my trees bloomed MUCH MUCH earlier this year (3 weeks in most cases). Between the early blooming and me being busy dealing with life’s little problems, I’ve totally blown it this year…I didn’t do my dorman oil and copper spray. I know- its shameful and the first time I have completely missed these sprays in 7 years.

To be honest, I’m much more worried about missing the copper than the oil. I’ve never had much of a problem with some of the things oils are designed to kill/smother. But missing the copper is very worrisome. In the past it has helped with peach leaf curl and, at least I think, with several other things.

There may be others in a similar situation this year since most of us got surprised early. So my question is, what now? BTW…I’m mostly talking about stone fruits. Apples and some pears I can still get to because they are just waking up.

I will still have a (sort of) window between petal fall and leaves. SHould I still try to put copper on my stone fruits? THey may have the very very start of leaves in most cases, but not much at all. BUt of course they will have tiny tiny fruitlets at petal fall. What can I do now and when should I do it? SHould I use maybe a 1/2 strength copper? Should I just do an earlier spray of captan or Myclobutinyl (I have both) to try and stop the things copper would have? Perhaps I should even use imidan immediately after petal drop/end of bee interest to make up for the oil I didn’t spray. If so, what stage and which of those 2 should I use?

The answers here may benefit more than just me, if not this year than in future years. Either way, it would be very helpful to know exactly what do do when/if someone completely misses the oil/copper window?

Thanks all.


I got copper in when it was so warm and wet and I was really worried. Like you, however, I missed my second oil spray just prior to bloom. They are blooming now and I dont want to disturb what little bees I might have.

You can spray Kocide after bud break. You just have to follow the label for the correct stages.


I’m so glad that you posted this. Not so much that you missed the days for spraying. But thank you for posting this.

I planted my trees last year and didn’t did anything to them. This year I was going to find out what to spray and when to spray, I had never done it and I had no idea what to use for Apples, Pears, Plums, Peaches, Sweet cherries, Persimmons and Pomegranates.

Can I still have time to spray them? What to use ? And can I use the same product for all my fruit trees?

Any help, tips and/or comments would be gratefully appreciated.

Here’s Kocide 3000 label. You need to convert the amount to per gallon.

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Missing copper one year might not be so bad… you may have had very low levels of disease due to sprays last year. That said as Tippy mentions there is a lower rate you can spray on up through shuck split. It won’t help with curl as it needs to be on at dormant but if you had none last year you will likely have little or none this year.

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