Fall and Winter is your opportunity to

prepare for pest season....Spring!

Even during the fall and dormant season, your trees are

still susceptible to pest and disease. Dormant sprays are

your best option to protect your trees during winter as

well as prepare them for spring. 


What is a dormant spray?


A dormant spray is a spray applied to trees and shrubs

when they are in an inactive state at any time between

leaf fall and the beginning of bud swelling at the start of

the next growing season. Treatments are usually applied

topically and can use horticultural oils, lime-sulfur, or


Why do my trees still need treatments during nature's sleepy season?


During the cold winter, organisms use this opportune time to hide in cracks and crevices of your trees. As the weather warms up, they begin feeding on new growth before their presence is even noticed. Fungal diseases such as anthracnose and powdery mildew thrive during wet weather but won't show fruiting bodies until spring. By then, the damage has already been done. 


What about beneficial insect? Can't they help keep the bad pest population down?


Just like the trees, most beneficial insects go dormant as well as do most other pests. However, there are some pests, such as aphids, that will wake up earlier than beneficial insects and feed on the new growth. By the time the beneficial insects wake up, bad pests already have full bellies and signs of damage have been made. 


Do all of the leaves need to be off of the trees in order for the treatment to be performed?


No. In fact, the dormant spray can help your tree go into dormancy faster and help it get more rest. This can help boost immunity for the upcoming spring season. 


Is it safe for wildlife?


Fall and winter is the best time to treat in regards to wildlife safety. Treatments are performed during non nesting seasons for birds so as to not disturb them. The materials used are organic. In fact, our main material, horticultural oil, is comparable to the oil used on a baby's bottom. For special problems, additives may need to be combined with the oil to provide the best option for suppression and protection. Your Sims Arborist can go over those details with you during your consultation. Although considered safe, you should keep your pets away from treated areas until dripping of materials is done and puddles dried. All of Sims arborists are Wildlife Aware Graduates, a program that teaches tree care professionals about safety when working with nature and wildlife.