apple organic dormant spray

Asked January 26, 2017, 1:18 PM EST

What is the best organic dormant spray for young apple trees in the Willamette valley? And where can you acquire it in mid-valley [Lebanon, Oregon]

Linn County Oregon

1 Response

Diseases and insect pests of apple trees in the Willamette Valley can be managed by a combination of cultural practices and a well-timed spray schedule. Did you have particular pest in mind that you want to target or are you looking for general recommendations?

A good place to start is the OSU Extension publication called 'Managing Diseases and Insects in Home Orchards'. Page 4 has a list of the steps to take broken down by the time of year. The management steps recommended for this time of year (late winter) are to prune for better airflow in the canopy, clean up the orchard and apply a dormant oil if scale, aphids or mites need to be managed.

There are several types of oils sold for home orchards-you will want to look for one labeled 'dormant oil' as it is more viscous and suited for our rainy winter environment. Dormant oils are usually available at local farm stores or garden centers. You can also mail order from garden supply companies if your local store doesn't carry it. (Extension isn't able to recommend specific businesses, but you should be able to find your local stores through a web search.) Other oils labeled 'horticultural oils' are lighter and may not have the longevity when exposed to the weather. If you specifically want a dormant oil that is certified organic, then look for the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) logo on the packaging.

Hope this helps and thanks for using Ask An Expert!