Two Common Species Recommended for Dormant Oil Treatments
Coming up in late winter/early spring, many of our Castle Rock clients schedule dormant oil treatment on their aspen or pine trees.
Given these are two key species in our area, dormant oil treatments are key in preventing needle scale on pine trees and oyster shell scale on aspens.
Needle scale on pine trees
This scale is more easily controlled in early spring than any other time of the year.
Typically a dormant oil treatment is done in mild, late winter weather (40 to 60 degrees) because discoloration and staining can occur on nearby trees when temperatures are higher.
“Pine needle scale is an elongate, white insect that attaches itself to the needles of several pines, notably mugo,” according to CSU.
Premature or abnormally large needle drops on your pines, especially mugo pines, may indicate its presence.
Our staff sees this most commonly on aspens, but have also observed the telltale oyster shell pattern on stems and branches of ash trees. Oystershell scale is regarded as a tree killer, due to the aspens’ susceptibility to disease once the scale has sapped the tree’s vigor.
Dormant oil is also effective in preventing elm scale on elm trees
More common to our clients along the elm-lined streets in Denver, the elm scale will leave a sticky honeydew that drips down from the elm onto you and your neighbors’ parked cars and decks.