Facilities Management (FM) Outdoor Services will conduct a broadcast spray application of a dormant oil insecticide to as many as 25 oak trees on Main Campus during winter break. These trees are infested with Allokermes scale, which affects the trees’ health and makes them susceptible to other secondary diseases.
Weather permitting, between the dates of Dec. 27 and Jan. 15, FM staff will facilitate applications of the following insecticide: Golden Pest Spray Oil, EPA Reg. No. 57538-11. The active ingredient is food-grade soybean oil.
It is important to address this outbreak because the health and appearance of these trees are being negatively impacted to a significant degree, and there is risk of losing several mature oak trees on campus. FM Outdoor Services also hopes to hinder any further establishment of this pest. Campus arborists conducted this treatment on nine oak trees last winter, and control results on the scale insects were encouraging.
Taddiken Tree Co. has been hired to conduct the applications. FM staff will accompany Taddiken to ensure only predetermined locations receive treatments, applications are stopped during high-wind gusts and/or sustained wind events, applications are halted as pedestrians pass by and that all necessary precautions are taken to avoid non-target impacts.
Guidelines for pesticide use are described in the campus Pest Control Policy. This application is just one of many tools used as part of an integrated approach to landscape management. These trees will continue to receive supplemental watering and cultural care and will be monitored closely for secondary pest or health problems. Many of the trees to be treated were pruned over the last year to remove dead and dying wood in an attempt to limit the spread of the secondary bacterial infections that frequently accompany infestations of this insect.
Staff will also be placing yellow application notice flags that will indicate where the application was made. Law requires these flags remain in place for 24 hours after an application has been made. In the interest of keeping the campus community informed, staff will leave these flags in place for one full week after the application occurs.