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Prevention is vital in controlling insect pests and diseases on ornamental trees and shrubs as well as fruit trees. One of the most effective, proven methods is to treat woody ornamentals during the dormant season with horticultural oil to reduce over-wintering pest and disease organisms. Horticultural oil is considered a reduced-risk (or “organic”) treatment option.

Treating trees during the cool season in March can help control pests that lay eggs or reside in cracks and crevices. Dormant oil spraying can be very effective in reducing pest populations and may actually be more effective than waiting until the pests become active. Of course it is important to treat when temperatures during the day and at night are going to stay above 35 degrees to avoid damaging plant tissue. Dormant oil can reduce the populations of insects such as aphids, scale, spider mites, and many other insects by desiccating and/or smothering eggs and larvae.

If you have disease prone ornamentals such as fruit trees, shads, roses, sycamores, etc. it is often very useful to have a dormant fungicide (such as a copper based fungicide) applied during the same time period to reduce the disease inoculum that may have over-wintered on the plant. Cleaning up fallen leaves and fruit is also essential.

Call Fox Tree Service today to arrange to have your ornamentals inspected and to arrange dormant season treatments if needed.