One of the saddest things we see as gardening professionals is when trees become overcome with pests and diseases. Due to the agriculture business in the San Joaquin Valley, there are plenty of bugs throughout the area. If you want to keep your trees healthy, you’ll need to protect them from bugs, pests and sickness. Here are four tree care tips to avoid tree disease:
Getting rid of harmful insects is an important first step
Way before they had houses to infest, bugs had already gotten used to living on and around plant life. Therefore, they’ll feel perfectly comfortable on one of your trees, or in some of your bushes.
However, you don’t have to worry about the pests that are common in your house, like ants on trees – they cause very small amounts, if any, damage. You need to worry about wilder, more rare pests like whiteflies, aphids and scales. These bugs will eat away at your trees, and some (like the whitefly) will even infect the tree itself. Look closely at your trees for signs of these critters, and if you spot any, you should spray wash the tree with a highly pressurized water hose, or use pesticides. Some pests, like scales, are large enough to notice and pick off by hand, although you should definitely wear a pair of gloves when doing so.
Be vigilant for warning signs
According to some experts, trees can actually take up to two years to start showing damage; your trees might be ill for a long time before you know it. That’s why it’s incredibly important to check for warning signs. For example, if your tree branches or leaves are growing smaller than they usually do, or if the leaves have brown spots near their veins, that’s a dead giveaway for disease.
Remove any dying trees right away
Once you’ve noticed that a tree is dying, you should cut it down and remove it from the property. Tree roots spread out far, so an infected tree could affect the other trees on your property. And even though you’ve just noticed the problem, you don’t know how long the tree has been affected with the disease.
Treat every tree in the yard
Prevention is always the best way to keep damage to a minimum. The more work you put into preventing pests and disease, the less damage your trees will sustain, and the longer they’re likely to live. There are a number of products you can treat your tree with, which will keep it free from any infections and help keep pest problems away. Products such as fungicide, which will prevent fungus from growing on the tree. Since fungus is one of the most common sources of tree disease (second to pest infestations), this will stop any fungal infections. If you’re worried about pest infestations, a pesticide will keep your tree bug-free.
If you’re worried about your trees, or need help with removal, call a professional gardening service to help you, rather than trying to tackle it on your own.