We are very excited to now offer 100% organic tree and shrub spray programs as an alternative to our traditional spray programs for our customers in Clark County, Portland Oregon and beyond.

This is an idea we have thought about for some time, but have been hesitant to implement due to the extremely high cost of most organic insect and disease control materials and our concerns over how effective they would be compared to traditional control materials.

So why start now? The answer is, honestly, we sort of discovered affordable organic options accidentally.

We have a long-time customer in Hazel Dell who had recently added a back-yard garden to his landscape. Around this new garden were a variety of ornamental trees and shrubs we had always sprayed. Because of label restrictions on many of the control products we all use in the industry, we could no longer spray these trees with several commonly used insecticides and fungicides without getting drift material on the garden, a violation of the label i.e. a violation of the law.

There are good, effective products labeled for backyard fruits, but the diversity of them is very limited. The key to truly effective pest control and responsible stewardship is constant rotation of chemical classes to avoid disease pathogens and insects building up resistance to them due to over use.

So, we couldn’t effectively spray the trees and our customer didn’t want us to stop spraying, an obvious problem.

Then one of our arborists, Jim, came up with an ingenious solution. Why not try doing all of this client’s applications with only all organic horticultural oils and soaps? The material costs were pretty close to our non-organic materials and there were no issues with getting spray on the garden. And, because the primary mode of action with soaps and oils is to smother disease pathogens and insects, there is no danger of them building up resistance to these products.

We weren’t sure this would be as effective as using the non-organic materials (every product claims they are the best thing since sliced bread, but we want field evidence before using any new product), but our customer was willing to try, so we did.

After more than a year of using only organic soaps and oils,we were, frankly, amazed to see even better results than we had achieved with the traditional, non-organic insect and disease control materials. We kept a good, long-time customer and compiled good, practical field research showing affordable, effective organic programs were possible.

We now offer only all organic programs for fruit trees. This provides the safest possible control of disease and insects and eliminates any harvest interval, meaning ripe fruit can be sprayed and picked the same day!

Full disclosure; these organic programs are not right for every landscape. Some plants and evergreens can be photosensitive to organic soaps and oils, especially in hot temperatures and additional applications may be needed for serious insect infestation or especially disease susceptible plants.

Also, organic materials cannot take the place of traditional materials for control of such things as lace bug, various boring insects, and root rots.

But, they could be right for you.

Give us a call or shoot us an email, ask some questions.We’ll have the answers.

Let’s go green!