Plant Health Care and Trees

As we are gearing up for the plant health care season, we thought we’d share this great article. Scroll to the bottom of the page for a list of some of the PHC services we offer!

Via the TCIA,

“Plant health care, also called PHC, offers a total health approach to landscape and plant health,” says Tchukki Andersen, BCMA and staff arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association. “Your arborist has recognized a potential or actual problem in your landscape that might be best avoided or treated by implementing a PHC treatment program.”

Traditional landscape pest control programs rely on what are called “cover sprays.” The pest control sprays offered to the client are based on the company’s knowledge of common pest problems and control measures in the service area. The cover-spray type, method and timing are pre-determined by the company. The homeowner may have the option to choose from a number of pest-control programs.
Traditional pest control programs are not necessarily obsolete or “bad” for the environment and may be the best option for clients who have overriding concerns about program cost or are only concerned about one specific pest problem.

In contrast, plant health care technicians consider the landscape as a whole when deciding how to best care for plants. PHC technicians manage plant problems through careful monitoring of the landscape environment. Chemical controls may be part of the treatment, but they are not necessarily used in every treatment. Because of this, every PHC program is “customized” to fit the client’s property and expectations.

The PHC technician maintains landscape plants by:
• evaluating the landscape’s environment
• noting causes of plant stress (stressors)
• maintaining plant performance through proper cultural practices
• investigating the landscape through monitoring
• identifying and treating problems as they occur

The following are examples of some common problems:
• 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 siting (wrong plant/wrong site), improper planting and improper maintenance techniques can cause plant stress and decline

Your expectations
“A PHC technician also will consider your expectations when deciding how to implement a PHC treatment program,” explains Andersen. One important question is just when do you, the client, want to resort to chemical control of pest problems. Some clients will tolerate a greater percentage of plant damage before requiring action. Some clients will tolerate very little plant damage. Often a client will tolerate less damage on a prized ornamental specimen tree located in the front yard as opposed to a group of shade trees growing in the back yard. This requires the PHC technician to apply a higher action threshold to some tress and/or sections of the landscape than others. “Here, communication and understanding between the client and plant health care technician are key!” says Andersen. 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.

What can you do?
A professional arborist can examine your trees to find the source of a problem and recommend what, if any, treatments are required, including thinning dense woods, planting new trees, correcting soil deficiencies, increasing water and nutrients, or managing pests.

Arbor Services is pleased to offer a variety of traditional and organic plant health care options. We can analyze and amend your soil (bio-remediation). We are now selling premium microinjection products to the trade on our shopping website.

Our technicians are licensed applicators in the state of Connecticut. We have two members of CT-NOFA (Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association) on staff.

Didn’t invite the deer to your orchard, the ticks to your lawn, or the mosquitoes to your party? We have a spray for that. Sprays that we use on our own properties, around our own children and pets. Sprays that we get great results from.

Is your tree simply not getting enough water? We provide deep-root watering.

Girdling roots? We can cut those out and air-spade to loosen impacted soil.

Not on your property with great frequency, yet concerned about your plant material? We can provide monitoring visits, where a PHC technician visits and inspects your trees and shrubs, and then sends you a report.

Curious? Sold? Call us at 800-690-2726. If you’re not in the area, head over to the TCIA’s site and use the zipcode search to find a company that provides these services in your area.

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