A well-maintained tree in the right location is usually a healthy tree. Disease and pest infestations tend to occur when a tree is already stressed due to damage, extreme weather, compacted or toxic soil, under or over-watering, or plant pathogens. The best way to avoid disease and pests is to give your plants what they need. But sometimes, despite your best efforts, a tree will start to show signs of disease, or an insect population will start to cause damage.
The first step that a certified arborist such as Capital Tree Service will take is an attempt to diagnose the problem. We’ll identify the type of tree and check for any plant-specific illnesses or insects. We’ll examine the type of damage to the plant, check for wounds in the trunk or branches that may have provided an entry point for insects and disease, and examine the surroundings for further clues.
Most insects are beneficial, providing pollination and acting as predators of more harmful species. For this reason, a broad-spectrum pest killer is not the right solution in most cases. Instead, we target the treatment to the type of insect that is causing the damage. Treatments can include insect barriers or traps, physical removal of an insect colony, or applications of naturally-based materials such as Bt, and reduced-risk products.
Diagnosing a diseased tree or shrub takes an expert eye, modern diagnostic methods and deep knowledge of plant-specific pathogens. Some diseases are caused by microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. Most are opportunistic, taking advantage of stressed trees. Treatment varies, depending on both the tree species and the disease.