How to winter wash trees

How to winter wash trees

Winter washing trees helps to control pests and diseases – we show you how to do it.

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To do
To do

Do To do in January

Do To do in February

Do not To do in March

Do not To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do To do in December

Winter washing fruit trees involves spraying them with a mixture of plant oils diluted with water – you’ll find the concentrated solution in garden centres.

Spraying in this way can help control pests and diseases by knocking out overwintering eggs, removing debris and reducing fungal spores. It’s especially useful for controlling aphids and woolly aphids on fruit trees like apples, cherries and plums. However you may also remove overwintering aphid predators such as queen wasps, as well as other hibernating wildlife.

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Follow our guide to winter washing trees, below.

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You Will Need

  • Winter wash solution
  • Measuring jug
  • Pressure sprayer
  • Soft brush

Total time:

Step 1

Read the directions for use to get the measurement for the concentrate right, and pour it into the sprayer.

Diluting the winter wash solution
Diluting the winter wash solution

Step 2

Add the right amount of water to dilute the concentrate and shake to mix it well. Wipe up any drips from the outside of the sprayer. Prepare to spray on a dry, still day.

Adding the solution to the pressure sprayer
Adding the solution to the pressure sprayer

Step 3

Spray the wash into all the bark crevices around buds and the joints of branches. If necessary, use a soft brush.

Spraying the wash into bark crevices
Spraying the wash into bark crevices
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Safety first

Wear protective gloves and goggles winter washing your trees, and avoid breathing in the spray. 

Photo: Getty Images.

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Plants to winter wash