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Diseases & Pests FAQs

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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.


3 Comments on Diseases & Pests FAQs

  1. Gail McNiven // June 19, 2016 at 4:36 pm // Reply

    My Manitoba maple trees have lost almost all their leaves just in the past week to 10 days. The leaves are chewed, brown and curled and then drop. Have not been able to find the pest. Is anyone else having this problem I. Southern Alberta? Any ideas?

  2. My wife and I just added nearly 50 ornamental trees to our landscape, and we just want to make sure that we take care of them properly since we invested so much into them. I hadn’t realized that a healthy landscape is less susceptible to pest outbreaks, and since we put a lot of work into our landscape, hopefully pests won’t be as much of a problem. Thanks for sharing this with us, and we’ll be sure to perform regular treatments to our trees in the yard.

  3. bennie washington // September 15, 2015 at 8:06 pm // Reply

    my trees have been losing leaves all summer they have this meal like substance at the roots and the leaves have black spots,what can i do?

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