With all of us now using organic and non-chemical techniques for pest control – this becomes a critical time of year if you have not yet applied dormant oil and lime sulphur. Dormant oil controls aphids, scale, spider mites, and many other insects by desiccating or smothering eggs and larvae on deciduous trees, shrubs, roses and fruit trees. Lime Sulphur battles overwintering fungus and diseases on all of these as well! (Remember how your Crabapple tree looked by July last year?) These sprays are applied usually between late March or early April …but this year.. you still have time! If your trees or shrubs have not yet leafed out then there is still a little time (but not much). Do not apply if the tree or shrub has new leaves. Most trees and shrubs will benefit from dormant spray. Fruit trees, raspberries, junipers, roses, and many flowering shrubs probably benefit the most. The main insects you can control with dormant spray are; aphids, blister mites, bud mites, scale, pear psylla, peach twig borers, lygus bugs, and many other insect’s eggs. Spider mite is controlled with dormant oil sprays, because they overwinter as exposed eggs on plants. Spray the upper branches, twigs and trunks of trees with dormant spray. Try not to not to spray the lower trunks with dormant spray because many beneficial insects lay their eggs in the lower parts of the tree. Apply only when trees are dormant, you can also apply in the fall after all the leaves have fallen. Mix with water as directed and spray to all surfaces of the trunk, branches and twigs. Apply when the temperature is expected to rise during the day in the dormant period, Dormant Oil and Lime Sulphur may be sprayed before the buds open and when there is no chance of rain or frost in the 24 hours following application. For the most effective results, it is preferable to wait until the daytime temperature reaches above 5 degrees Celsius for two or three days in a row. (Hope that’s soon!) Applying too early will not produce satisfactory results. However, applying too late (when the buds have started opening or are already open) may cause damage.. Spray the branches thoroughly; to the point of dripping. You may need 4 or 5 gallons of dormant oil and lime sulphur spray (mixed together) to completely cover a large tree. Instructions are very clear on the box, and we are always here to help! Applying now will have your trees and shrubs and you very happy later.