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Why Is the Dormant/Delayed Dormant Season Important to IPM?

Dormant buds on spur of French prune. Prune fruiting spur with dormant bud and two beginning to swell. Prune fruiting spur with buds at the green tip stage.
Dormant spur
Bud swell
Green tip
Dormancy is generally defined as the period from leaf fall until growth resumes in spring. Delayed dormancy is the period from the resumption of growth, indicated by bud swell until green tip.

The dormant season is a critical period for certain pest management activities:

  • Several key insect and mite pests overwinter in orchards and are vulnerable to sprays at this time.
  • Because leaves are off the tree, good spray coverage is easier to obtain than during the growing season.
  • Dormant applications can start as early as November 1; these early applications of insecticides will control the key pests of prunes and reduce the impact of dormant insecticides in runoff and surface water.
  • Beneficial insects and mites are less affected by sprays during dormancy than during the growing season.
  • Dormant season is an excellent time for monitoring and assessing pest populations because several pests are concentrated on the twigs and spurs at this time of year.

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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