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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:34 pm 
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My live oaks have spider mite infestation. A reputable arborist company has suggested treating them with Avid Spray and with Root Fertilizaiton with Orthene for mites. I would like to try something more organic than either of these treatments if that would be effective. Can anyone recommend treatments that can be used in temperatures over 90 degrees F (I am in Texas).
Thank you.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:11 pm 
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No Ortho products! Orthene is not part of an organic program.

As Howard has said many times, you can treat spider mites with just about anything (orange oil, insecticidal soap, etc.) every three days for nine days and that will kill them off. If you have them in large trees, use the hose end sprayer and point it up as far as you can. Spider mites appear when a plant is already in a weakened condition, so the usual advice applies: look at your trees - can you see the root flare? If not, they're planted too deep, they can't "breathe" like they should, and this is enough to cause the distress that attracts the mites. Pull back the grass, carefully scrape the dirt away from the base until the flare is well-exposed. This alone will help trees, and yes, if you have to pull so much back that the tree appears to be standing in a shallow dish, that's okay.

Other problems - how much water is the tree getting? Are you watering too much, is the drainage poor, is there too little water? If they are well-established, chances are they get too much rather than too little water.

Avid Spray is Abemactin, which is acceptable in an organic program. Take a look at the price, see how much you would need, and choose if you want to try the orange oil or other home remedy treatments first or go to the abamectin.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:42 pm 
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Thanks for the information. I had read that one had to be careful about applying soaps or oils when it it as hot as it is now, but I will try one of these.

The trees are well established, probably 25-30 yrs old and the one with the worst infestation is huge in diameter. I am assuming they did not get enough water last year with the drought; we also had a burst water line in the front yard last year and although we ran the new line as far away from the trunk as possible (rather than near the tree where it ran originally), we did have to sever roots (about 12 feet from trunk).


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:31 pm 
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There are hose-end sprayers made for shooting streams high up into trees. The normal ones won't do that.

I would spray molasses, milk, and/or liquid seaweed up into the tree. The idea being to improve the health of the microbes living on the tree bark, branches, and leaves. Those healthy microbes will help keep the sucking pests off the plants and trees.

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