What is Horticultural Oil?

As you're preparing your yard and garden for warmer weather, it's important to protect them from unwanted pests. While there are a great many insects that are vital to the success of your yard (i.e. bees), there are some that are detrimental to your plant and grass growth. That's why it's important to take proactive measures and look into having oils applied to your trees and shrubs. However, there are many questions that come with the use of horticultural oils. See below for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the use of horticultural oil in your yard. 

So, what is horticultural oil? This product is a lightweight oil that helps fend off overwintering insects such as aphids, mites, and scales. Other non-oil-based pest control can be too harsh on plants, whereas horticultural oil is a much gentler solution. The ultimate goal with this oil is to fend off unwanted pests while promoting an environment that allows your plants to grow. 

When Should Horticultural Oil be Applied?

If you're doing some research into horticultural oil, you may see the phrase "dormant oil" used here and there. It can be confusing as it appears to be a totally different product. However, horticultural oil is the product, and dormant oil describes when the product should be applied. It's referred to as "dormant oil" because it should be applied when the plant is still dormant, which is typically November - February. The ideal temperature range to spray the horticultural oil is between 40 and 70 degrees. It's important to try not to spray the oil on sunny days as this can actually burn the leaves of the tree or shrub.

What Happens if You Don't Apply Oil? 

Why is horticultural oil important for the health of your plants? Overwintering insects can literally suck the life out of your plants if not addressed. For example, aphids feed on plant sap. If the plant is heavily infested, you may start to notice that leaves are wilting or turning yellow. The same Is true with mites and scale. Due to their long, needle-like mouths, they can wreak havoc on your plants. By spraying horticultural oil, you can control your pest issue before they kill your plants.

Which Trees are Sensitive to Horticultural Oils? 

Much like how some humans are sensitive to certain products, there are certain trees and plants that are sensitive to horticultural oils. These include Japanese maples, Red maples. Sugar maples, Hickory, Eastern redbud, Smokebush, Japanese cedar, Beech, Japanese holly, Walnut, Blue Junipers, Norway spruce, Dwarf Alberta spruce, Eastern white pine, Douglas fir, Red oak, Yew, and Cedar. If you have any questions about what trees or plants can withstand horticultural oils, contact us. 

What Next? 

Horticultural oils pose little risk to humans and animals. This product has been carefully formed to reduce the negative effects of mites, scales, and aphids, but not harm the plant when applied properly. It's our goal to help you make your yard as beautiful and healthy as possible. Don't wait any longer to schedule horticultural oil treatment! If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, click below! 

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