Dormant Season Insect Control
Well most people say, "What in the world are you doing spraying your trees? There's not a leaf on it." This is maybe one of the most important sprays that you put on your tree at this time of the year because it's what we call a dormant oil spray. It gets rid of some of these insects that you can't see, and not only that but some of the insects that you can't control after this tree leafs out.
If you look on the bottom of this thing it looks like it snowed on the bottom of this plum tree. What this is, is scale, and it's one of the hardest to control insects that we get on our fruit trees and all sorts of shrubs and trees that we have. We talked about citrus last week. This gets on citrus as well, and the only way to control it is with dormant oil spray.
Now the way this dormant oil spray works, and that's the way it's sold in the local nurseries is it's got dormant oil written on it. If you want to add a little bactericide to spice it up you can buy a little kocide and put it in there with it. The way it works is it just covers these scales that you on the bottom of these branches and suffocates them. So it's really an organic way to control insects that you're going to have trouble with this spring and summer if you don't. So take care of it now. You have to do it while it's not freezing yet before it gets too hot.
This is Jerry Parsons Vegetable Specialist for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service the Weekend Gardener.
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