Dormant Oil

1. Q: Can you use a hose end sprayer to apply dormant oil to fruit trees or must you use a pressure sprayer. Several of my fruit trees are a little large to reach the top with a pressure sprayer even on a ladder.. thanks for your help.

A: It is best to not use a hose on sprayer to apply dormant oil because of the possibility of concentrating the oil in one location. Dormant oil requires good agitation with water to keep it in solution so it does not become concentrated in one area. Such oil concentrations will normally cause damage to the tree. You might try experimenting with the hose on sprayer and oil to see how it will apply the mixture. Spray something like a fence which won't be damaged and see what kind of pattern you get. If it is similar to the pattern you get when you use a pressure sprayer, then I would say it is safe to go ahead and use it. If you do not have problems with scale or phylloxera, then you can get by without applying the oil.

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