Are you concerned about invasive insect species or tree disease on your property? Have our Plant Health Care technicians inspect your trees and devise the best plan for their long-term health.
In the past, identification of an insect or disease pest on a property resulted in an immediate application of a pesticide to control the pest. Times have changed. We now recognize the need to understand the conditions that allow pests to proliferate and eliminate these conditions as part of the solution to pest control. Our Plant Health Care Program parallels advances in human health maintenance: preventive care, frequent monitoring, early detection of problems, and use of integrated treatments to provide long term solutions. Simple steps like mulching and watering, coupled with judicious pruning and fertilizing increase your trees’ resistance to insects and disease. When control measures are needed, we can select the most environmentally friendly options.
Monitoring is the backbone of any pest control program. We rarely find a landscape with no pest species present. Most of these populations are naturally controlled below the damage threshold, the point where they cause unacceptable aesthetic or economic damage. Predators keep insect populations in check. Applying pesticides to a naturally controlled population can actually cause a pest outbreak by unintentionally killing off the predators. Many diseases can be controlled with sound cultural practices or by planting resistant varieties. Control measures should be taken when pest populations exceed damage thresholds.
Most people associate pest control with spray operations where materials are applied hydraulically over the top of the plant. While this is still the most commonly used approach, it is not the only option.
The advantages of systemic applications are elimination of off-target drift, reduced effect on predator species, and extended control. Some applications are effective for the entire season or longer. These materials are applied to the soil around the tree or directly injected into the trunk and are transported by the trees’ vascular system to where insects are feeding or diseases are infecting the plant.
In some instances, mechanical controls may be recommended. On smaller, individual trees, hand picking or pruning can provide pesticide free control. We commonly employ this method to remove nesting caterpillars from crabapple trees. Other options include trunk banding and trapping.