too soon to spray?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by maplesandpaws, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    KS -> northern AL, USA
    I've been keeping my smaller (2-5g) potted maples, and other trees, in the garage for not quite 2 months now. My hope has been that the fairly consistent low temps, as well as minimal light (one small window with a blind), in the garage will help to delay budding of the trees. Well, after taking all the trees outside today for a shower and soaking (had rain overnight and off and on today), I've noticed that there are several whose buds are fairly swollen. A little concerning, but last year, my first maple leafed out mid-February, so I guess not all that surprising. Obviously some trees are not as far along as these ones, but I would say about half are at this stage.

    Typically, one would spray with dormant oil just before bud-break, which normally would be further down the road. Given the stage a lot of these trees are at, would you advise spraying now already? If not now, how should the buds look so that I do know when to spray? Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer (I think upper 50s to low 60s) and windy, followed by at least a few days of colder temps, hovering around freezing or just below. If I should spray 'now', I'd probably wait until we have another warmer spell... How cold is too cold to spray? This will be the first year I've done the preventative spraying. Any dormant/horticultural oil works, right?


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  2. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member 10 Years

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    Greater Toronto Area
    I am new to most things JM as I have only one in the ground, put in last November. Is the use of dormant oil on JM common practice?
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  3. prairiestyle

    prairiestyle Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Omaha, NE, USA
    I'd take them outside, somewhere in the shade, and leave them. I overwinter all but my most tender potted trees outside all winter long. Just make sure the roots/pots are somewhat sheltered, and keep them out of the wind. It will stop the buds swelling, and will let the trees leaf out at a time which coincides with the other vegetation in your area.

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