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How do I protect my trees from invasive species like winter moths? What about once I’ve spotted them? Unfortunately, once you have seen winter moth damage, it’s generally too late to get …

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How do I protect my trees from invasive species like winter moths? What about once I’ve spotted them?
Unfortunately, once you have seen winter moth damage, it’s generally too late to get acceptable results. Preventive measures for winter moths do exist, but they typically involve toxic pesticides; the preferable treatment is an organic chemical spray called Spinosad, derived from bacteria. The best course of action is to get on our list for treatment. Our Plant Health Care program (PHC) also includes treatment for hemlock woolly adelgid, Dutch Elm disease, mites, scale insects and many other invasive pests.

What’s the best way to maintain proper tree health? Don’t older trees take care of themselves?
As trees mature, they do become more self reliant, but landscape trees often do not have the correct soil conditions, and have limited access to water and organic material. Additionally, many of the products used by homeowners and landscapers for lawn care conflict directly with tree health. Creating large mulch beds, even for mature trees, is a great start. We offer organic fertilization options as well, which the trees really appreciate. Organic fertilizers and compost are more easily taken up by the tree’s roots system, providing rapid and substantial results.

What about taking care of younger trees? Should I prune them myself?
Pruning young trees can really help with the development of good structure, so I would recommend that homeowners limit pruning to low limbs. Structural pruning, as well as anything requiring working aloft, should be left to the experts. Mulch beds and organic fertilization are also beneficial for young tree development.

How often should I have a tree expert treat my yard?
Generally, structural tree pruning, canopy raising, and clearance pruning should give about three to five years of benefit. PHC, fertilization, and soil treatment options differ, in some cases annual or even multiple treatments are required, in other cases we can treat and monitor as needed.

Optimal tree health is the key goal, as healthy trees with healthy soil are able to thrive even under some of the worst conditions. Our PHC program, which includes soil aeration, soil amendment with organic compost, organic fertilization, and preventive and targeted treatments, is a holistic approach to tree health. Combined with proper pruning and maintenance, we work literally from the ground up in caring for trees.