Q: How can I avoid an outbreak of pests?
It’s impossible to guarantee that pests won’t become a problem on your property. But there are some proactive measures to keep in mind:
Many property owners have lots with just a single or a few trees. Others have small backyard woods, which have become an important component of the urban environment. Small woodlands with a mix of tree species are often less susceptible to pest outbreaks than woods with a single species.
A diversity of tree ages also reduces the risk of pest outbreaks. As with species diversity, age diversity increases the complexity and stability of the ecosystem. A natural balance of organisms is more likely to develop as age diversity increases. For example, potential pests of young trees could be regulated by parasites and predators already well-established on older trees.
A healthy landscape is less susceptible to pest outbreaks and is more resilient if an outbreak does occur. When trees are overcrowded in your landscape, competition for light, water, and nutrients results in increased stress. Trees under stress are more likely to be attacked by pests.
Q: Why should I consider tree and shrub treatments if they appear to be doing fine?
You have your maintenance done on your car, right? It’s essentially the same. Think of it as preventative maintenance on your plants. Additionally, the cost of PHC is typically less expensive than trying to rid your landscape of diseases and pests once they’ve taken root, or to remove trees and shrubs killed by pests.
Don’t forget: trees, shrubs and other ornamental plantings represent a sizeable investment and asset to most homeowners. It’s worthwhile, aesthetically and financially, to keep them healthy.
Use TCIA’s search tool to hire a professional arborist or tree care company.