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What are Horticultural Oils?

Horticultural Oils are lightweight oils with either a petroleum or vegetable base that have been manufactured specifically for agricultural and horticultural uses. These oils have been highly refined to remove any and all impurities and toxins and then combined with an emulsifier so they can be mixed with water and easily applied with a sprayer.

What are they used for?

The primary use of horticultural oils is to control insects and mites on plants, especially trees and shrubs.  Common insects that can be effectively treated with horticultural oils are typically soft-bodied and include:

  • Woolly adelgid on hemlocks
  • Spider Mites
  • White Flies
  • Scales
  • Aphids
  • Mites

How do they work?

The most prevalent way that horticultural oils work is by smothering any pests present on a plant along with their eggs.  The oil literally blocks the air holes that pests use to breath, causing them to die almost instantly.  They are completely safe to use on fruits and vegetables because the oils can easily be washed off.


Two other ways that they sometimes work is by acting as a poison to the mite or by interfering with their feeding process.  Horticultural Oils are safe to use, effective, and have limited effects on beneficial insects.  One known downfall is that the oils can sometimes injure a plant, therefore they should be used intermittently and with careful selection to which plants or trees they're applied to.  Horticultural Oils are constantly improving and becoming more refined making them safer to both plants and beneficial insects.  


Overall, Horticultural Oils are a great option to keep your trees and shrubs

safe from insects and disease while also protecting the environment.  

To learn more, or to see if your property could benefit from an application,

call us at 914-725-0441.

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Steve Farrelly

As a lifelong Westchester resident, Steve Farrelly serves as the founder and President of Emerald Tree and Shrub Care Company. As an avid sportsman who enjoys fishing, swimming and more, he was inspired to start Emerald after witnessing various irresponsible acts taking place throughout the Long Island Sound.

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Emerald provides excellent customer service. Really good pricing and they always treat my trees like their own.Jason T.
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With accreditations by ISA, the Tree Care Industry Association, and an impressive roster of master arborists and ISA-certified tree care professionals, Emerald is the most accredited company of its kind in New York and Connecticut.

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