Protect your trees during the cold winter months. Horticultural oils, otherwise known as dormant oils, are an ideal preventative measure to take in winter. Oils work by suffocating insects and larvae. The sprayed oil clogs their spiracles (i.e., breathing pores). Also, the oil dries out their exoskeletons. To note oil only affects the development process of certain insects. They are environmentally friendly and less harmful to predators than other techniques.
Horticultural oils are sprayed on ornamental plants in the late fall, winter, and early spring to control overwintering pests. The oils prepare trees and plants for the blossoming season to come. Certified Arborist Rick Pearce, Carolina Tree Care's Greensboro and Raleigh arborist, states, "these oils work by covering the plants and the insect eggs in a thin film of oil. This film clogs up the pores of the eggs and suffocates the embryo before it can hatch." Several Insects controlled by this treatment include soft-bodied scales, mites, aphids, lace bugs, whiteflies, adelgids, and some caterpillars.
Click below to read more on how to care for your trees & plants this winter in our Winter Tree & Pest Manual.
Healthy plants are more able to defend themselves from pests. Reducing pest populations before they become a problem reduces stress on the plants. These two factors combined help us reduce the use of insecticides that can be harmful to pollinators and other beneficial insects. An added benefit to the oils is they can help the plants retain moisture during dry spells during the winter; retaining moisture is an important factor in overall tree health.
Are you interested in learning more about treatments that can take place during a tree's dormant season? Our certified arborists are here to discuss all your tree care needs. Don't miss out on scheduling your arborist consultation and Horticultural oil treatment today.