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Horticulture Oils For Insect Control

March 8, 2017 by John Griffiths, Master Arborist

During the early spring months, our team uses horticulture oils as a way to deter pests on certain woody ornamentals, namely magnolia, euonymus and maple tree varietals. The use of horticulture oils kills pests like scale, aphids, mites and other soft-bodied insects. Timing is especially important with this treatment, as it must be applied before trees and shrubs leaf out.

Horticulture oils originally gained popularity as a pest control measure for fruit trees. Fruit trees, with their edible fruit, are not candidates for many insecticides. They are prone to pest problems, however, and require a treatment that can remove unwanted pests, but keep the good pollinators alive for ample fruit production.

So what exactly is horticulture oil? It is a petroleum-based oil that is highly refined and emulsified so it can be mixed with water for spray treatment. Original oils were much heavier and could be used only during dormant season. The lighter oils used today are still often referred to as dormant oils, but only because they are often applied during the dormant months, typically November, December, March and April. Temperatures must be above 50 degrees Fahrenheit with no sign of freezing temperatures in the forecast for the three to four days following scheduled treatment.

Trees and shrubs add tremendous value to your property. Contact us today at 515.987.0800 or request a quote online to have one of our expert staff members help you protect these assets. Remember to always have your trees examined and worked on by an ISA Certified Arborist.

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