Integrated Pest Management

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An Essential Guide to Maintaining Tree Health

 

If you believe the environment deserves proper care and consideration, you’ve probably wondered about alternative pest control methods to pesticides. In order for trees to keep our air cooler and cleaner—among many other benefitswe must find more natural, preventative pest control for trees. That’s where Integrated Pest Management (IPM) comes in. A more “organic” approach to preventing infestations, IPM only uses pesticides as a last resort. This method offers many benefits for our trees! Continue reading to learn key strategies for safe, holistic pest control.

What exactly is Integrated Pest Management?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines IPM as “an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on...current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment...in combination with available pest control methods.”

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How to Identify & Treat Common Tree Diseases

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A Guide for Central Virginia Tree Care

 

As living, organic things, trees grow and thrive. But, like any other living thing, they can acquire diseases, grow weak, and die. They must be taken care of to ensure that they’ll live healthy and long. Tree diseases do not only affect their aesthetic beauty and their value to a home or commercial space; they also negate the many benefits they provide. (See our last blog, 4 Reasons to Plant a Tree for Earth Day, to learn about these benefits). 4 tree diseases to look out for in Central Virginia include Black Knot Fungus, Seiridium Canker, Hypoxylon Canker, and Cedar Apple Rust, all of which can be exacerbated by tree stress, undermining tree vigor.

 

1. Black Knot Fungus

As its name suggests, black knots (also known as galls) are small knotty growths on cherry and purple leaf plum trees’ branches, according to Virginia Tech’s Disease Advisories. When trees are first infected, galls appear small and green and blend in, hardly noticeable. They infect and spread spores during the spring, the growing season.

 

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4 Reasons to Plant a Tree for Earth Day

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Benefits of Trees

How Do Trees Benefit Us?

 

Earth Day is just around the corner—April 22, 2019! There is no better time to talk about the Earth’s trees and why they are important. Trees offer many more benefits than just curb appeal for a home or commercial building. It’s worth discussing these, so you know more about the many tree benefits and why you should consider planting and maintaining them. Trees provide environmental, economic, public health, and social benefits.

The 4 Benefits

 

1. Environmental

Clean Air & Water Quality. Trees produce oxygen and filter out air pollutants like dust. Thus, we breathe fresh air and have cleaner water, especially in urban areas.

 

Plant a tree!

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4 Benefits of Deadwooding

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What Is Deadwooding and Why Should You Do It?

 

Picture this. You’re walking down the street on a blustery day, and you see dead-looking tree limbs on several trees in a neighborhood that is normally healthy and pleasant. All of a sudden a huge gust of wind sends a large, rotting tree branch plummeting to the ground, landing dangerously close to you. You could have been injured.

In our last blog-Tree Pruning: When should you do it?-we discussed safety as a primary reason you should prune your trees, in addition to curb appeal and tree health. One particular pruning method, deadwooding, specifically involves the removal of dead branches from an otherwise healthy tree. This process offers a few benefits to homeowners, property managers, and the general public.

The 4 Benefits

 

1. Tree Health. The first and foremost concern of deadwooding is a tree’s overall health. If dead branches remain attached, rot can spread to the trunk, roots, and other branches. It also attracts insects and promotes growth of fungi, causing further damage, deterioration, and even disease. More often than not, limbs on shadier sides of a tree die because they are light-deficient; thus, removing dead limbs opens up the tree for more light penetration to the other limbs. Lastly, deadwooding removes dead weight from the tree, increasing its overall wind resistance.

The less healthy a tree is, the more it detracts from curb appeal and escalates safety concerns.

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Tree Pruning: When should you do it?

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A guide to pruning common central Virginia trees.

 

Some of you may be wondering, “What exactly is tree pruning, and why does it matter to me?” Tree pruning is typically the removal of dead, diseased, or weak branches. The benefits of this process are threefold: it promotes and sustains healthy growth, prevents damage to property or injury to individuals, and improves curb appeal. Removing unnecessary limbs can eradicate infestation or disease, as well as provide more light and airflow for better growth. In some cases, trees do not grow properly, interfering with their environment (e.g., power lines and building clearance), and must be corrected.

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) provides more detailed information on the importance of tree pruning at TreesAreGood.org. Another great resource is the Virginia Department of Forestry which offers specific information on the process itself.

This is all well and good, but when exactly do you need to prune trees for the best results? This information is hard to find, and you’re not likely to find it laid out all in one place. That’s why we want to help. Proper deadwood removal can be done at any time throughout the year. Nonetheless, not all seasons are created equal. If your trees need more drastic pruning than weak or dead limbs, follow the guidelines below, but take care not to over-prune.

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4 Reasons to Avoid “Cut-rate” Tree Services

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As the old saying goes, “You get what you paid for”. That is certainly true in the tree service industry. Unfortunately, there are countless “cut-rate” tree services out there that might literally be just a guy, a pickup, and a chainsaw. No accreditation. No safety protocol. Just a cheap price tag and a lot of headaches. Here are four reasons you shouldn’t cut corners when choosing a tree service:

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