Includes link to our Dormant Spray Cocktail. This post pertains to what we call “Stone fruits” like Peaches, Plums, Prunes, Nectarines, Cherries, Apricots, etc.



If you haven’t already it is time to prune your fruit trees. Once the leaves have fallen off it allows us to see the framework of the tree so we can make the best pruning selections. This is a practice used in conjunction with Backyard Orchard Culture which is a method of summer pruning to keep your trees small. For more information on Backyard Orchard Culture click  see Dave Wilson Nursery’s website. If you only prune one time of year then this is the time to do it. Kyle recommends pruning as early in the winter as possible for the most flower buds next year. For more tips see Notes from Kyle’s Winter Fruit Tree Seminar or our Timely Tips for Fruit Trees article.

If you missed our seminar about Fruit trees you can check out a few of our YouTube videos for some pruning tips. If you still have questions you may ask them here to drop by the nursery and our staff can assist you! Don’t forget to use clean, sharp pruners and don’t prune on a wet day. If you would like to read further about pruning fruit trees, drop by and ask for our favorite book!


The popcorn stage in fruit trees. Photo by New York’s Food and Life Sciences Bulletin.

This is also the time of year that we need to dormant spray stone fruit trees to prevent peach leaf curl. Dormant spray is typically done three times during the dormant season: around Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentines Day. There is no exact dates just as long as the applications are about 3-4 weeks apart. If you have missed the first spraying then don’t stress, spray as soon as you can. The last spraying is the most important. It’s important to spray before the “popcorn” stage, also called white bud, which is just before the buds break open to flower and you can see the white petals (which looks like popcorn). So ideally, you want to spray before you start to see the color of the petals.


Not sure what to spray? You will need to use a mixture of copper, oil and insecticide. Dormant Spray Cocktail...available at the nursery too!


If you have questions about anything I have discussed or not discussed here, please leave a comment!

Happy Dormant Season!



December 11, 2013

Thank you so much! I have been so obsessed with getting ready for Christmas, I completely forgot about spraying. (Old age might also have been a factor.) I can’t do it yet but at least it’s in my list of things to do. I really appreciate your message.

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