Plant Health Care

Custom programs to care for the trees, shrubs and flowers on your property.

Plant Health Care is a termed coined by the International Society of Arboriculture (Link:   http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/resources/PlantHealthCare.pdf) Monitoring the health of your ornamental trees and shrubs is the first step. Monitoring is generally a free service for customers, though in some situations, such as large sites, monitoring fees may apply. A plant health care program is developed as a customized solution for an individual property.

Our plant care applications can include the following treatments and tactics:

Plant Health Care Applications

  • Anti-Transpirant (Anti-Dessicant programs to reduce winter burn).
  • Compost Tea
  • Deep Root Zone Fertilization
  • Deer Repellent
  • Dormant Oil
  • Micronutrient Supplements
  • Mycorrhizal Fungi Applications
  • Organic Insecticide
  • Organic Fertilization & Plant Nutrition
  • Soil Testing
  • Tree Injection Service

Other Services

  • Poison Ivy & Vegetation Management
  • Tick Control with our Vector Control Applications
  • Weed Management

Anti-Transpirant

An anti transpirant application to your plants has many benefits. It reduces winter burn. This is one of the final plant health care applications of the year. Winter burn is not a burn at all, but a common name for what happens when a plant loses its moisture over the winter and, due to frozen and dry ground, cannot replace the moisture due to frozen winter hardened stems, roots and soil. During the cold winter days some plants may lose moisture through leaves. Evergreen plants are the most vulnerable to this transpiration water loss. Factors affecting the potential severity of winter burn damage include plant site exposure to winter wind and sun, size and age of the plant, plant vigor and growing conditions, and the plant species. Unprotected plants may end up with brown, burned looking leaves as spring growth begins.

The anti transpirant blocks water molecules from leaving the foliage, keeping it in the leaf.

To help minimize winter burn, also give your plants a big watering before the ground freezes. If weather permits, we will be back for a second application in late January or early February.

Root Zone Fertilization

Root zone fertilization is the best way to get the plants fertility needs right where they can be used. This application is done in the spring and fall. We use high quality nutrients combined with mychorizae to get the nutrients in the root zone and give the plant the best routes to use them. High quality Spring plant fertilizer with humic acid and micronutrients copper, iron, manganese and zinc. These components provide important nutrition needs in a form readily available to the plant roots. Fertilization provides important benefits for landscape shrubs and trees. Your ornamental plants need to have nutrients and micronutrients available to them to produce healthy and attractive growth. Suburban and urban landscapes do not have natural cycling of nutrients available as would exist in a natural environment. We utilize the deep root soil injection method for fertilization which has been accepted as the most effective method. The fertilizer products used contain the needed nutrients to encourage plants to produce strong foliage, flowers and fruit. Stronger, more vigorous plants will have more resistance to injury or decline related to insect and disease pest problems and seasonal environmental stresses. Regular fertilization distributed in spring and fall applications is recommended for most landscapes.

Deer Repellent

Deer cause millions of dollars in landscape damage each year. If your property has been damaged by deer browsing and feeding you know how long it takes for plant material to recover from this unwanted pruning service. We offer a deer repellent service.

Our primary deer repellent for trees and plants has several benefits:

It is long lasting, requiring just one application in the fall to protect until early spring.

It does not need to be reapplied in the snow and ice of winter.

We think a deer fence is your best protection from deer, but after that our deer repellent is the second best thing to do to protect your plants.

Horticultural Oil

  • High quality horticultural oil. It is a very highly refined petroleum oil mixed with water.

A horticultural oil application to your plants has many benefits. For hemlocks, the oil application suffocates hemlock woolly adelgid.

  • Oils are effective controls of many plant pests.
  • Advantages of oils include safety, effectiveness and limited effects on beneficial insects.
  • Horticultural oil sprays are directed to specific targets and do not leave a residual impact on beneficial insects or other organisms.

Various oils have been used for centuries to control insect and mite pests. Oils are an important tool to manage certain pest problems (e.g., scales, aphids, mites) on fruit trees, shade trees and woody ornamental plants. Several recently developed oils extend this usefulness to flowers, vegetables and other herbaceous plants. Oils also can control some plant diseases, such as powdery mildew. Oils used to protect plants have been called by many names, but perhaps horticultural oils best describes them.

  • For spider mites – hemlock, euonymus, forsythia, privet and pine.
  • For scale – euonymus, cherry, magnolia, hemlock, pine, oak, taxus, rhododendron, fruit trees, blueberry.
  • For hemlock woolly adelgid.
  • For lace bugs – andromeda, azalea, rhododendron
  • For winter moth – maple, birch, oak, blueberry and fruit trees.

Oils have different effects on pest insects. The most important is that they block the air holes (spiracles) through which insects breathe, causing them to die from asphyxiation. In some cases, oils also may act as poisons, interacting with the fatty acids of the insect and interfering with normal metabolism. Oils also may disrupt how an insect feeds, a feature that is particularly important in the transmission of some plant viruses by aphids.

Oils pose few risks to people or to most desirable species, including beneficial natural enemies of insect pests. This allows oils to integrate well with biological controls. Toxicity is minimal, at least compared to alternative pesticides, and oils quickly dissipate through evaporation, leaving little residue.

Winter Moth Solutions

Winter moth is an invasive species found in Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington. The main complaints of winter moth are the leaf damage, droppings from larva, and chewing sounds. In November and December, the male adults which are attracted to light cause complaints. Trees and ornamentals that are valued and are desirable to protect, or are over driveways, patios or walkways where the droppings are unsightly and annoying, should be treated. The adults seen in November and December mated and the female laid her eggs in the cracks of tree bark. Early in spring, the eggs hatch and the larva stage climbs up the trunk and limbs and enters the tree buds. Since this caterpillar can actually begin feeding before buds open up and before leaf expansion there can be injury before pesticide sprays would be effective. This insect attacks many trees, usually maples and oak, but also many others such as apple, ash, blueberry, cherry, crabapple, linden and spruce.

Signs of Infestation

Winter moth causes complaints in the spring, when actively feeding due to the large amount of droppings from the larva (or caterpillar) and the chewing noise in some cases. The droppings and the larva are visible. The larva is a bright green caterpillar that resembles an inchworm. Larva dropping from the trees and causing damage to ornamentals on the way to spend the summer in the turf are another visible sign of infestation. Leaf damage or scarring is a common indication and is visible through the year, from spring until raking up the dropped leaves in the fall. In November and December, the male winter moth will be attracted to light, hovering around exterior lights, windows and often making it inside.

What to Expect

In the spring, treating ornamentals with an organic insecticide, such as spinosad or a low impact material such as Acelepryn is an effective way to protect plants from feeding larva. Acelepryn is preferred because it has very low toxicity to beneficial pollinators. A very early spring horticultural oil can reduce the impact of the pest by smothering eggs on trunks. This might be especially beneficial for blueberries and fruit trees. Winter moth caterpillars can severly reduce fruit production on affected trees. The goal of treatment is to protect treasured plants, not eliminate the insect from the wild. Two treatments occur each spring to control early and late feeding. Systemic insecticide trunk injection either annually in the spring or every other year in the fall is another effective method available for non fruit bearing trees.

Lawn and Plant Care Boston

Plant Health Problems

We can suppress diseases including:

AnthracnoseFireblight
Apple ScabLeaf Spot
Black SpotRoot Rot
ChlorosisRust
Dutch Elm DiseaseStem Cankers

We can control insects such as:

AphidsLeafminer
Bronze Birch BorerLonghorn Borer
Caterpillars (Including Tent)Mites
Emerald Ash BorerPine Tip Borer
Fall WebwormScales
Flathead BorerThrips
Hemlock Wooly AdelgidWhite Fly
Japanese BeetlesWhite Pine Weevil
Lace BugWinter Moth