Applying a winter wash to a tree

How to winter wash trees

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

Do it:

Jan, Feb, Dec

Takes just:

45 minutes

Before fruit trees show any sign of spring growth, it's a good idea to give them a winter wash.

This involves spraying your trees with a winter wash that contains a mixture of plant oils, diluted with water – you'll find the concentrated solution in garden centres.

Spraying in this way will help control pests and diseases by knocking out overwintering eggs, removing debris and reducing fungal spores. 

Winter washes are especially useful at controlling aphids and woolly aphids on fruit trees like apples, cherries and plums.

Related content:

Discover how to winter wash trees, below. 

You will need

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


Read the directions for use to get the measurement for the concentrate right, and pour it into the sprayer.
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. 
Spray the wash into all the bark crevices around buds and the joints of branches. If necessary, use a soft brush.


Safety first

Wear protective gloves and goggles winter washing your trees, and avoid breathing in the spray. Tar oil wash isn't available for domestic use anymore.

Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

What are the blue tits pecking on my fruit tree?

Apple sooty blotch

Brown rot

Related offers


Blooming Direct Buy One Get One Free Duo Fruit Trees

Buy one get one free on duo fruit trees

These specially 'double-grafted' duo fruit trees have two varieties on each tree. Choose from apple, pear or cherry tree options, plus receive a free planting kit worth £3.99 for each £19.99 tree you purchase.

Use code: RGW131

Order now


Subscriber only content

Two free wine tumblers

As a subscriber, not only will you save over £50 on Spanish Reserva (plus free delivery), but you'll also receive two free Dartington wine tumbers, worth £15, with your order.

Unlock now


Heather offer

Save on heathers

Inject some colour into your winter and spring planting schemes with this beautiful collection of hardy heathers from only £2.55 per plant. These ericaceous plants make brilliant weed-suppressing ground cover and look fantastic with spring bulbs. Order now and your plants will be despatched from February 2018.

Order now