Tree and Shrub Care
Understanding the needs of each individual tree or shrub present on your property are vastly different from one another is the first key to maintaining a beautiful, sustainable landscape. A successful plant health care program starts with comprehensive knowledge of your plants and the problems they may encounter. Abiotic factors such as; plant selection, site drainage, soil conditions, improper planting, poor pruning practices and physical condition of your plants’ root system must first be identified before the start of any program. Poor plant health typically stems from these abiotic issues. Once stressed out by environmental factors, trees and shrubs become significantly more prone to biotic factors; such as insect and mite infestation along with bacterial and fungal infections. While there are a wide variety of effective treatments we can utilize to help relieve stress present on mature trees, effective monitoring begins when the plants are young. This allows us to address problems with your plants before they sustain too much damage and are unable to recover without added costs. We design each program based solely on the needs of your plants and only treat for insect and disease issues if they are present at the time of each visit.
Our Healthy Tree and Shrub Care division offers the following services:
Prior to starting any fertilization program it is highly recommended that soil samples from throughout the landscape are taken and sent out to be analyzed. By accurately determining the soil pH and nutrient levels present, we can design a program based on the needs of your plants.
Tree and Shrub Fertilization
Our tree and shrub fertilization programs consist of 2 deep root fertilizer applications, one in the spring, and one in the fall. Spacing out the fertilizer injections allows for consistent nutrient availability at the times when your plants expend the most energy and need it most. We utilize a high quality, complete fertilizer containing all the macronutrients utilized by your plant material. By injecting the fertilizer directly into the trees’ root zone, we ensure the nutrients will be taken in efficiently. Maintaining strong and vigorous plants through fertilization and proper cultural practices is the key to reducing infection and infestation from opportunistic pests.
Insect and Mite Control
As landscape plant material ages, they will inevitably become stressed which will allow opportunistic pests to take hold and begin feeding and reproducing on your valuable trees and shrubs. As there are a wide spectrum of insects and mites active at many different times of the season, one treatment is typically not enough to effectively suppress these pests throughout the growing season. Because no single landscapes are alike, we will determine exactly what is needed to manage the problems specific to your plants and only apply treatments as needed.
Unlike your lawn, where a single fungicide treatment can be applied to halt the progress of a fungus and allow for quick recovery, ornamental disease is much more complex. Knowledge of pathogens as well as the host plant is key to diagnosing and managing disease activity within your landscaping. Once we identify the issue we can proceed with determining the number of treatments necessary and how to properly time them to effectively suppress disease symptoms. It should be known, there are many diseases that have no effective chemical control such as root diseases and wood decaying fungi.
Winter burn can be devastating to your costly broadleaf evergreens such as boxwoods, hollies, cherry laurels and rhododendrons. This treatment is applied in the late fall/early winter and forms a thin film over the foliage susceptible plants. Anti-desiccant treatments will help to prevent moisture loss from the foliage, in turn helping the prevention of winter damage and wind burn.
Certain insects that attack your ornamentals are difficult to control with traditional spray treatments and are better handled by using soil injected systemic insecticides. This is true for pests such as boxwood leaf miner, certain soft scales, lace bug and hemlock wooly adelgid which are more effectively controlled in via injection. A metered amount of the insecticide is injected into the soil around the base of the plant. When the insects continue to feed, they will ingest the chemical and control will be obtained.
This type of application will treat for ornamental pest problems such as Scale, Aphids and fall Web Worms and control of diseases such as Blight, Rust and Powdery Mildew.
Plant Pathogen Testing
Certain types of diseases can be very difficult to diagnose through visual inspection alone. When plant diseases such as these are suspected we recommend sending out samples the lab to have them accurately diagnosed. This ensures proper measures can be taken to treat the fungus or prevent the spread to other susceptible plants in the landscape.