If you’re taking a wait and see attitude about Plant Health Care, the results could be very costly. We recommend that you have a professional Plant Health Care strategy in place before your plants show symptoms of any insect infestations or diseases this spring.
Waiting gives pests an opportunity to gain a foothold. Active planning will allow us to take early, pre-emptive action. Soon, our Plant Health Care professionals will be applying dormant oil to trees. This very thin petroleum product, much like an extremely diluted form of the petroleum jelly we put on burns, coats the tree surface and the dormant, overwintering target insects. This coating smothers insects like aphids, scale and spider mites while they sleep.
As good as dormant oil is, it has a very small window of opportunity. It must be applied after temperatures rise above freezing and into the 40s but before the insects wake up or the tree’s flower and leaf buds break. The required paperwork will have to be in place before we can apply this, or any treatment.
A number of other insects overwinter in the egg stage and hatch in spring. Gypsy moth is one of them. Treatment is most effective if applied while the larvae are still small, young and weak. At that time, treatment can also be less aggressive than when the larvae are older and stronger.
If you didn’t have your ash trees treated for emerald ash borer in the fall, you should have them treated in the early spring. That’s when the adults emerge, mate and lay their eggs.
It appears that the list of pests eyeing your valuable trees is endless and continually changing. That’s why a professional Plant Health Care program is much more cost effective than calling for treatment when you see a pest on your trees.