Plant Health Care

Arboriculture is founded on the principles of Plant Health Care (PHC) which is a total health approach to landscape and plant health. PHC recognizes that trees and woody plants are part of a greater landscape ecosystem and proactively addresses all aspects of landscape stewardship.

Essentially, PHC is an active early approach to a homeowner’s landscape, as opposed to a panicked reaction to a pest problem. So why not prevent problems before they start?

A plant health care technician is a specialized tree care worker who can help you avoid these problems by considering the whole landscape when deciding how to best care for plants. PHC technicians control plant problems through careful monitoring of the landscape environment. Because of this, every PHC program is “customized” to fit the homeowner’s property and expectations.

PHC technicians maintain landscape trees and plants by:

  • Evaluating the landscape’s environment
  • Noting causes of plant stress
  • Maintaining plant health through cultural practices
  • Investigating the landscape through monitoring
  • Identifying and treating problems as they occur

The following are examples of some common problems that PHC technicians work to solve:

  • Many plant problems are related to improper matching of the plant’s requirements to the landscape site.
  • Plants may have been improperly planted.
  • Plants may be subjected to improper maintenance techniques.
  • Often a combination of improper plant sighting (wrong plant / wrong site), improper planting and improper maintenance techniques can cause plant stress and decline.

A PHC technician also will consider your expectations when deciding how to implement a PHC treatment program. One important question is when do you, the homeowner, want to resort to chemical control of problems. Some clients will tolerate a greater percentage of plant damage before requiring action. Some clients will tolerate very little plant damage.

Treatment recommendations are then made to the client based on that client’s expectations. The key to a successful plant health care program is communication between the client and PHC technician. To learn more about implementing PHC, consult a professional tree care company or arborist in your area.


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