Fruit Tree Care: Spraying Dormant Oil

One effective method of protecting fruit trees from overwintering pests and their eggs is spraying dormant oil in late winter or early spring.

When it comes to encouraging a healthy and productive fruit tree, there are two big things you can do to help. One is to select and maintain a clean and ideal growing site. Remove any weeds and debris regularly to avoid nutrient competition and contamination of pests and diseases. Another way is to provide proactive care, like spraying dormant oil.

The best time to spray fruit trees with a preventative dormant oil is in late winter or early spring. This effort helps to protect trees from overwintering pests, larvae and eggs, which improves success with controlling pests during the growing season.


  • Avoid spraying dormant oil when temperatures are below 40ºF
  • Shake well before adding dormant oil to desired water amount. Mix thoroughly*.
  • Make sure the application covers the entire surface of branches and trunk (don't miss the undersides of branches!)

*Mixture ratios and dilution will vary depending on the types of trees you're spraying. It is essential to read and follow all printed instructions for specific information.

Find more pest- and disease-prevention tips from the horticulture experts at OSU »

Dormant Oil Spray and Applicator Pump

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*Protects trees (Almond, Apple, Apricot, Avocado, Banana, Cherry, Citrus, Fig, Nectarine, Olive, Papaya, Peach, Pear, Pecan, Plum, Walnut, and more), roses, and shrubs (including bush berries like Blueberry, caneberries like raspberry and blackberry, and vines like grape and kiwi) from San Jose scale, bud moth, leaf roller, coddling moth larvae, whitefly larvae, mealybugs, European red mite, and other mites and aphids.

Watch, as Elmer demonstrates how to apply Dormant Oil to dormant fruit trees:

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