Plant Health Care, Fertilization, Insect and Disease Control

Welcome to the new age of scientific tree and plant maintenance. Our Plant Health Care programs incorporate the principals of Integrated Pest Management, proper planning and maintenance, and the latest developments in the science of arboriculture. We will work cooperatively with your current lawn maintenance, landscape, or tree service companies to provide you with a complete plant management service.

Plant Health Care Program

Welcome to the new age of scientific tree health care. The Arbor Care Resources Plant Health Care Program incorporates the principles of Integrated Pest Management, proper planning & maintenance, and the latest developments in the science of arboriculture to provide you with a comprehensive tree and landscape management program.

The best method of maintaining healthy trees is to maximize the environmental conditions that promote healthy development and then monitor the condition of the trees through the seasons to detect and correct any problems that develop. Preventing a problem is much less costly and time-consuming than curing one once it has caused obvious damage. We don’t wait until tree health problems cause obvious decline and permanent damage to make corrections or treatments. We work proactively to correct problems as they begin to develop.

Some of the conditions that we monitor for determining plant health include; foliage color, annual twig elongation, stored starch levels, root hair development, insect and disease development, and soil conditions. Monitoring these indicators and maintaining an inventory record for each tree can result in a realistic level of plant health care.

This program includes up to 6 monitoring visits per year, insect & disease control pesticide applications, fertilization, recommendations for pruning, irrigation, site enhancement, and a tree-monitoring inventory for the key trees on the property. Diagnostic analysis, including 1 soil analysis, up to 3-laboratory analysis, and installation of pheromone-baited insect monitoring traps may also be included at no additional charge.

We cooperate with your current landscape, lawn, and tree service to provide you with a complete landscape maintenance service. All Mechanical Control recommendations can be referred to your designated service company.

Our complete Plant Health Care Program is normally offered to current clients that have high regard for the condition of their landscape. We prefer to develop this program after we have become familiar with the trees in the site for a few seasons. This process allows us to better assess the actual condition and development of the trees so that we all have a similar expectation for the long-term development of the property.

Plant Health Care Monitoring

Monitoring is a process of gathering and compiling site-specific information for evaluating plant condition, environmental stress insect & disease problems, and beneficial biological or natural controls to determine a comprehensive plant management strategy. The monitoring record includes date, plant, location, condition, symptoms, moisture concerns, root problems, insects, diseases, severity, treatment, pesticides used, recommendations, and the referral contact if recommendations are to be forwarded to a specific lawn, landscape, or tree service company. All plants that are evaluated or treated during a monitoring visit will be included in the monitoring record.

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Fertilization and Invigoration

Proper fertilization is one of several cultural practices that may improve plant vigor and increase the development of trees and shrubs. The keyword in this is “Proper” fertilization. Treatments with excessive nitrogen that is used for lawn fertilization can cause more problems to a mature tree than it solves. Proper fertilization is the method of replacing nutrients and essential elements that are deficient in the soil in the proper proportions for the variety of plants, their soil, and the growing conditions. The soil must contain living microorganisms along with minerals, air, and water. All these components are of equal value in the function of a good living soil. Corrections in soil pH, irrigation, drainage, soil porosity, and mulching may be as beneficial as adding nutrients.

Proper fertilization and invigoration can be performed through liquid soil injection of fertilizer and the inclusion of organic material and biostimulants that can change the organic composition of the soil and increase the biological activity. Mycorrhizal or microbial inoculants can be added into the soil to increase the nutrient and water uptake of the roots that are deficient or under stress that is caused by poor soil conditions. Soil evaluation and analysis is usually necessary to determine the specific macronutrient, micronutrient, and organic qualities of the soil compared to the particular requirements of the variety of plants growing in it.

We offer an array of Fertilization Plans to choose from:

  • LIQUID SOIL INJECTION with nitrogen and macronutrients
  • BIOSTIMULANT Application
  • MYCORIZA INOCCULANT Treatment
  • HUMATES Application
  • SYSTEMIC BARK INJECTION
  • VERTICAL MULCHING
  • RADIAL MULCHING
  • TREE GROTH REGULATOR Treatment

Integrated Pest Management

Insect and disease control is accomplished in our Integrated Pest Management program by improving the vitality of the plants, increasing the environmental conditions for the development of beneficial insects, and reducing the environmental conditions for the development of pest insects and diseases. Choosing the right plant for the right location, proper irrigation and drainage, mulching, pruning, and removal of diseased or severely infested plants are all part of a good pest management program. Pesticide applications are made to keep insects and diseases below an acceptable threshold. Pesticides of the lowest toxicity and the highest effectiveness are used during the most sensitive stage of the life cycle. All applications are made according to the latest research and recommendations in the industry. All applications will be made by trained and licensed operators and in accordance with all regulations of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Insects and Disease Problems
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Insect and Disease Control

Pesticide applications are made to keep insects and diseases below an acceptable threshold. Pesticides of the lowest toxicity and the highest effectiveness are used during the most sensitive stage of the life cycle. All applications are made according to the latest research and recommendations in the industry. All applications will be made by trained and licensed operators and in accordance with all regulations of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Insect and Disease Control Treatments

Listed below is a general overview of some of our pesticide treatments. The actual pesticide application is determined during the monitoring phase of the treatment.

Dormant Application

Horticultural Oil spray to suffocate egg masses before hatching and systemic injection of insecticides and fungicides.

Early Spring Application

Protects plants in the first stages of growth from insects such as Leafminor, Sawfly, Weevil, Scale, Borer, Aphid, and Adelgid, and fungi such as Anthracnose, Leaf blight, Canker, and Needle cast.

Late Spring Application

Prevents infestation and damage caused by insects such as Leafminor, Sawfly, Weevil, Scale, Mite, Beetle, Borer, Aphid, Adelgid, and fungi such as Anthracnose, Leaf blight, Canker, and Needle cast,, rust, and wilt.

Summer Application

Further protects fully developed leaves and controls all leaf-eating insects, Bagworm, borers, and fungi.

Late Summer Application

Protects evergreens, fruit trees, and shrubs from Red Spider mite, Aphid, Hemlock Scale & Woolly Adelgid which occur during the hot summer months.

Soil Drench Application

Several fungicides are developed for soil drench application.

Systemic Soil Injection Application

Several insecticides and Tree Growth Regulators are applied as a systemic soil application.

Systemic Bark Injection

Many fungicides and insecticides can be injected directly into the trunk of the tree.

Granular Application

Granular materials are spread throughout the tree root zone.

Radial Trench Mulching

A silent killer and the cause of many tree problems is soil compaction. Construction, re-landscaping, or even heavy foot traffic can collapse air passages and compact soils, thereby reducing their porosity (A simple test for soil compaction is to try to push a pencil into the soil. If you can’t push a pencil through it, roots can’t grow in it!). Without sufficient oxygen and water the entire soil system slows down and trees will begin to decline. These trees may become nutrient deficient, not for lack of elements in the soil but because important micro-organisms have been disturbed which would normally facilitate the absorption of these elements into the tree. Likewise, the addition of fertilizers may be of little or no benefit to the soil or the tree.

One of the methods we use for soil modification is Radial Trench Mulching. This is a process of using a supersonic air excavator to dig trenches throughout the root zone of the tree without cutting the roots. These trenches are then filled with soil, organic material, and biological stimulants. The soil is modified to allow for optimum root development of a particular species of tree and the existing growing conditions. This method of treatment has been proven to be one of the most effective methods of soil modification for compacted soils over tree roots.

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Tree Inventory

The Tree Monitoring Inventory is a database of compiled information for key trees on the property that is gathered on every monitoring visit by our team from Abor Care Resources to the property and maintained in a permanent record of development for each key tree. The purpose of this information is to monitor the long-term development or decline of important trees on the property, determine the effects of insect & disease control, fertilization, pruning, root disturbance, or environmental changes. By assessing the detailed development or decline, more accurate projections can be made for the management of the trees individually and collectively.

Each tree will be initially evaluated and information will be recorded on the tree’s location, importance in the landscape, trunk diameter, root zone, soil, compaction, drainage, pH, and the date last fertilized. This information will be updated through the season as needed. The following information will be collected during each monitoring visit; date, weather, changes on-site, overall condition, environmental factors, foliage condition, twig condition, bark condition, roots condition, insects, diseases, severity, injuries, beneficial insects, the treatment necessary, pesticides used, recommendations, and notes.

Diagnostic Analysis

Diagnostic analysis is necessary when a visual analysis will not reveal the cause of a problem. Many funguses can only be identified when they are in a fruiting spore stage or through a laboratory analysis. Pheromone traps are used to catch adult insects to determine their presence or monitor their population. Root diseases may require excavation to gather a sample to examine, and climbing the tree may be required to gather samples of bark or foliage in the canopy. Insect, disease, and nematode samples are usually sent to the diagnostic laboratory at Rutgers University and soil samples are sent to soil laboratories in New Jersey or Virginia.

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Consultation

Professional assessments are necessary when a complete analysis of a situation or problem by a certified arborist (NJ CTE) is necessary or when complete documentation of a situation or problem is required. Plant health evaluations, hazard evaluations, tree value assessments, cost of cure assessments, and legal briefs are considered professional assessments.

Our team of certified arborists (NJ CTE) at Arbor Care Resources are ready to advise, document, and provide a professional assessment regarding any problem or situation you have or find yourself in that involves the trees on your property.

Buried Root Collar Damage

Planting a tree too deep, burying the trunk and root collar, having more than four inches of mulch over the root zone, or making a mound of mulch around the trunk of a tree can needlessly stress and often kill a healthy tree. The root collar (the base of the trunk and root flair) and the trunk have a different outer tissue than the roots. Roots have evolved many mechanisms to survive in continually moist environments while the trunks of most woody plants have not. Constant moisture on the bark can reduce the respiration in the bark tissue, which will slow down the sap flow for the entire tree. The moist tissue also becomes more susceptible to several serious diseases.

A root collar excavation can be performed by your Abor Care Resource professionals to remove the soil and mulch from the root collar and trunk. If the root collar is below the soil line then the hole can be welled or filled with drainage stone. Over mulching is also a serious problem in landscape beds. More than four inches of mulch can reduce the oxygen in the soil, create a waterlogging effect, and force the tree to develop a surface root system that is susceptible to drought damage or uprooting.

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Soil Modification

Soil is a natural complex of organic minerals, inorganic minerals, air, water, and living organisms supplying nutrients, moisture, and anchorage for plants. All these components are of equal value in the function of a good living soil. The soil must contain living organisms along with minerals, air, and water. The living organisms in the soil have specific functions and although microscopic, they are essential to plant life. The soil must have oxygen and the oxygen is moved through the soil by the water. This is a very balanced and fragile system that must be protected to allow for healthy tree growth.

Undisturbed soil is not a solid mass. A well-drained soil is composed of fifty percent air space and half of that is taken up by water when available. Undisturbed forest soil usually has an oxygen concentration of 16-22 percent (22 percent is the concentration in the atmosphere). Roots and microorganisms grow and thrive within this soil system and the need for additional treatment or modification is minimal.

A silent killer and the cause of many problems is soil compaction. Construction, re-landscaping, or even heavy foot traffic can collapse air passages and compact soils, thereby reducing their porosity (A simple test is to try to push a pencil into the soil. If you can’t push a pencil through it, roots can’t grow in it!). Without sufficient oxygen and water the entire soil system slows down and trees will begin to decline. These trees may become nutrient deficient, not for lack of elements in the soil but important micro-organisms have been disturbed which would normally facilitate the absorption of these elements into the tree. Likewise, the addition of fertilizers may be of little or no benefit to the soil or the tree.

The Arbor Care Resources treatments to reverse soil problems involve radial trench mulching, soil replacement, soil injections of biostimulants, and treatment with organic materials containing live microorganisms.