Plant Health Care

The how’s and why’s of pest management have become a more important part of our lives. We have switched our focus away from simply controlling the pest and directed our attention toward managing the trees and shrubs themselves. Preventive tree health procedures have taken center stage over curative ones.

Our objective is to approach pest management with a rational attitude. We must consider all of our options and recommend those that are the safest and most effective. The recommendations made on your proposal are an effort to help manage insect or disease situations observed in your area during previous years. They are made to help improve the overall health of your trees. To help explain the recommendations made in your proposal, we have provided the following information.

Mulching and Fertilization - Keys to Plant Health

Urban trees are often under considerable stress simply because they are growing under artificial conditions. The trees and shrubs growing in our lawns are not benefiting from Nature’s recycling process. Under natural forest conditions, the organic materials that fall to the forest floor decompose and replenish the nutrients in the soil. We, on the other hand, rake up and discard the leaves, grass clippings, and other litter. We seldom allow the natural recycling process to take place unless the plants are properly mulched. Fertilization can be defined as the addition of required nutrients to the soil to improve plant health.

Our varied methods of fertilizer applications can help your trees, shrubs and evergreens maintain their vitality and beauty. When combined with proper mulching practices, fertilization can help your trees resist, tolerate, and recover from stress caused by many types of insects, diseases, or weather extremes.

A mulching program is also an integral part of caring for tree roots. To be effective, mulching must be implemented properly. Your arborist will present recommendations or answer any questions you may have. If fertilization and mulching are not a part of your annual program, we would like the opportunity to discuss this consideration with you.

Early Spring Application of Horticultural Oils

The horticultural oil treatment is a superb and time tested management procedure that is safe and effective. It is applied to all bark surfaces prior to or during early leaf emergence to help manage certain scale, aphids, adelgid and spider mites. This treatment utilizes a highly refined oil that can both smother the pests and disrupt normal metabolic functions. It is very safe and has little impact on the environment and can be applied to a variety of woody plants.

PHC Inspections and Treatments

This program establishes a series of inspections to monitor pest populations on your property as specified by your arborist. Our plant health care technician will inspect and apply only those treatments needed at his/her professional discretion.

Spring/Early Summer Fungicidal Treatments

These are applied to the foliage of hawthorn, dogwood and ornamental fruit trees (crabapple, etc.) to help manage diseases such as apple scab, cedar rusts (apple, hawthorn, crabapple, and quince), certain fruit rots, and anthracnose. At least two applications should be made; the first as new leaves are unfolding and the second application timed as needed during the current growing season. Timing will vary from season to season depending on weather conditions. A third fungicidal application is often recommended for some treatment programs.

Borer Treatments

Borer treatments are directed at such pests as Zimmerman pine moth, ash/lilac borer, peach tree borer, and viburnum borer. Recent chemistry advances have provided us with new materials to treat certain borer species without spraying. Placed in the soil next to a tree’s trunk, the materials are absorbed by the roots. A single soil application can replace several spray applications, saving time and money as well as being more environmentally friendly. Not all borer species can be treated in this way, so your proposal may have different application methods listed.

Foliar Treatments

These treatments are applied directly onto the foliage of trees and shrubs when needed to help control many insect/disease pests. Certain aphids, mites, inchworms, scale insects, and caterpillars are but a few of the pest problems managed by foliar applications. Some foliar pests can be treated with soil applied materials. These may be listed on your proposal.

Systemic Injections for High Value Elms

Systemic fungicides have been used by our arborists with considerable success to protect elm trees from Dutch Elm Disease. The process involves drilling holes at or below the soil line into the buttress roots of the trees and injecting the fungicide into the tree’s trunk. Simply write a note at the bottom of the proposal if you would like one of our arborists to explain the process to you.

General Comments/Our Proposal

Whenever plant protectants are warranted, we select the safest and most effective materials available. We rely heavily on university research to provide the information we need to make the best decisions. Plant health care crews are licensed by the state and many are certified arborists as well.

To ensure timely, quality service, we will schedule the work at the appropriate time(s). Any exceptions must be approved by our staff in advance and confirmed in writing prior to crew arrival. Because of the uncertainty of weather conditions, our crew (unless otherwise arranged) will present itself unannounced to perform the approved work. If present, residents will be notified. The crew will move or cover any necessary property such as lawn furniture or vehicles.

The treatments will dry in about 25 minutes and will be resistant to rain after that period. We will reapply if it rains within 25 minutes of application.

Specialty treatments are available to help control many other insects and diseases, too.

We want your trees and plants to receive the best attention all year round. Contact your local certified Davey office with any questions or concerns about your landscaping. 

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