Dormant season oil - when to spray? Good idea?


5 year old buck +
Questions for the apple veterans - Is dormant oil a good idea for deer apples? If so, what month would you apply it in northern Pa. area? Any specifics for spraying ( temp. )? Is it a blanket treatment for ALL bugs or just certain ones?
If you are having bad problems with mites aphids or scale it will help. You need to put it on heavy but evenly on the trees. I use a 2% or so solution. You should do it before bud break but when temps get a little warmer, over 35-40 degrees.
I was using Sevin last year on the trees and didn't notice any insect damage except for 6 or 7 leaves chewed by a gypsy moth cat. He was mashed under boot. The gypsy cat. got to the tree before I sprayed the first time. After that - no probs. I'll have to look up pests you mentioned to see what their damage looks like. I didn't see anything that looked out of sorts on the trees though. Lucky so far! Thanks for the info.
I would think you are fine at this point then. How old are the trees, are they bearing yet? Do you have any other apple trees/orchards near by? Old abandoned orchards or wild trees may have problems with mites or maybe aphids and sooner or later you could get them, but I wouldn't bother with dormant oil now if you didn't have problems last year. ....Wait, you are out west, right? E. Red Mites are only out here, so that's one less pest to worry about. It is good to use but a waste if you didn't have a problem the season before with aphids then. Have you noticed any egg clusters in the bark of any of the trees? They would be tiny. If you do see one cluster there is probably more and the oil will help. It smothers the eggs and kills the future pests.

I had quite a few aphids last year and I'm going to spray oil. It's a good reason to get the sprayer out and test/calibrate it before I start spraying anything else.
The newer trees are 1, 2, & 3 yrs. in the ground this coming spring. Not bearing yet - maybe some this year? My camp is in northern - central Pa. where the apple trees are planted.
We do have a few older apple trees ( 40 yrs. + ) of unknown variety. The closest one to any new apple tree is about 40 yds. The older ones are about 35 ft. tall and have had bears climb them numerous times. One is in some pines and we started to release it last spring - the others are out in the open. They are deer apples and have not had a spray regimen that I know of. Only the new trees have been sprayed with Sevin every 14 days last year up to Labor Day.

I didn't notice any egg clusters , but I may not have known what they were if they were tiny. I plan to study up on the common pests so I know what I'm looking at if I see something. I should say that these trees won't be babied as a home orchard or commercial grower would, just because they're at hunting camp. The guys who are there every week all year long are older and in not-so-great-shape, so they can't tend to them even though they're there a lot. I've read that the first 5 yrs. are the most critical to get the trees established so they can fight off diseases and insect pests better than if they were young. Being for the deer, we don't have the time or able manpower to be able to baby them & give them " 4-star " treatment like I wish we could.

The new trees are all planted in the open and get plenty of sun. They're on higher ground for air movement & not in low frost pockets. That's our situation, Maya.
If you do start seeing LOTS of aphids (most of the terminal leaves) or mite damage on apples, oil will help nock them back some, and is an easy one time a year spray, so that may help some with what you are doing. Oil, proper training and pruning, give as much light and airflow as possible, and keep weeds down and you can do ok, especially if you plant DR trees.
Thanks for the advice Maya. Very much appreciated. I'll study up on pests and keep an eye on the trees this spring/summer.