Why Dormant Oil Sprays Need to Happen Before Spring

Early spring is just around the corner and that means it’s time for Safari Tree to apply the first round of dormant oil spray to trees. Why now, you ask? The reason is simple.

The Importance of Applying a Dormant Oil Spray Before Spring

As the first round in our spring tree treatments, the dormant oil spray application prevents early spring damage from insects. During the winter months, a variety of insects — a list that includes aphids, mealybug, thrips, whiteflies, adelgids, caterpillar eggs, leafhoppers, scale and mites — will take shelter in the cracks and crevices of tree bark to weather the cold temperatures and snowy conditions. When the temperature begins to warm and springtime arrives, these insects will emerge from their hiding places and leave trees susceptible to infestation that can cause thinning, discoloration and other issues.

Applying a dormant oil spray to trees before spring shields trees from pest infestations. When a spray is applied, it plugs the pores through which “overwinter” insects breathe and in doing so causes them to suffocate. While the timing of the application itself helps eliminate insects before they have a chance to migrate, the fact that this occurs before the “buds break” makes it easier to provide the tree with the appropriate spray coverage.

What’s also beneficial about dormant oils is the fact they do not leave behind a toxic residue and dissipate quickly. This makes them ideal for use on blooming plants and safe for pollinators, such as bees and hummingbirds, arriving later during the growing season. Dormant oils are also considered safe to use around humans and pets.

The Second Round in Spring Treatments: A Deep Root Feeding

While we’re on the topic of spring tree care treatments, it’s worthwhile to note the follow-up step to dormant oil spray: a spring deep root feeding. As the dormant oil spray lays the foundation for keeping trees pest-free, this fertilizer application delivers nutrients to trees to help them flourish throughout the late spring and summer months.

For more information about our year-round tree health care programs, click here.

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