A thin, highly refined petroleum may be just the thing to get a jump on growing season. We’re talking Dormant oil.
Plant Health Care Manager Paul Crenshaw gives us the lowdown: Dormant oil is most often applied during winter – he recommends December to February – to help reduce the population of insects and eggs. You want to wait until the temperature is at least 40 degrees for at least 24 hours to keep the oil from freezing. Spraying on a dry, sunny morning facilitates fast drying. So watch the weather forecast and hold off in case of rain. Dormant oil can also reduce potential spider mite problems. Spider mites generally live on the underside of leaves and plants and cause damage by puncturing the plants’ cells to feed.
Paul says this horticultural oil is mixed with water and applied to evergreens – trees (holly) and shrubs (boxwoods). It suffocates the insect by blocking the breathing pore or penetrates and destroys the cells of insects and mites that are exposed to it. It helps keep plants from drying out so easily, and also helps them hold their color in winter.
Will it hurt your dog?
(or cat for that matter)? No, Paul says, employing this analogy to help us visualize the process: “It’s like putting Vaseline on your lips,” he says. Effective and simple.
And we’re not talking someone with a little spray bottle, especially when it is applies to larger trees. Arborscapes uses high-pressure, high-volume trucks to spread gallons and gallons of the stuff.
A word of comfort, we hope. Not everyone out there is an expert on lawn, garden and tree care. Here at Arborscapes, we know this can be tricky, complicated stuff. Googling doesn’t always do the trick. That’s why we’re here – to answer your questions (we speak horticultural English!), address your fears, solve your issues and make your life that much more pleasurable.