Plant Health Care

LAM Tree 40th anniversary logo

Insect & Disease Management & Treatment 

What Is Plant Health Care?

If you're looking to create a healthy and beautiful landscape, then Plant Health Care (PHC) is for you.

It goes beyond pruning, general maintenance and occasional fertilization and instead focuses on preventing issues from arising in the first place.

Why wait for something to go wrong with your landscape (like pests, diseases, storms and fire) when you can proactively manage it to avoid most of the undesirable outcomes.

While we can't prevent all problems, we CAN maintain and improve your landscape's health, appearance, vitality and safety.

 

Plant Health Care Services

Insect & Disease Control Programs

A wide range of insects is always present in the Colorado forest, including some that harm your trees and landscape. Pine bark beetles and the Ips beetle are just two, and create huge problems in our area (you can learn more on our page about controlling mountain pine beetle). We also have many tree diseases and pests, like the Cooley Spruce gall, dwarf mistletoe and needle scale.

Aspens are the prevailing tree in our area, and a favorite with many Colorado residents. Unfortunately, aspen trees are also prone to many injuries (like deer or elk rubbing), diseases (like aspen leaf blight) and pests (such as spider mites).

Check our Resources pages for more information on how to identify, treat, and control the common tree pests and diseases in our area

All of these need proper diagnosis and the right treatment to prevent damage and disfigurement to your trees. Some, like the pine beetles, can kill your trees if not treated.

Based on our analysis of the situation, we choose from a range of sprays and tree injections to get the most effective treatment to the affected area.

Lawn Programs

Most mountain properties don’t have the typical turf grass areas. We offer programs custom suited to mountain lawns. Whether your lawn is typical or not, we can help with diseases, bare spots or an annual weed and feed and winterization.

Noxious Weed Management

Noxious weeds are difficult and labor intensive to control. Sometimes they just seem to rear their ugly seed heads no matter what you do. Let us help! With our approach of herbicide spraying, native grass seeding and biological controls those tough weeds don’t stand a chance.

Learn how to ID Colorado weeds here.

leafy spurge
Leafy spurge is one of many noxious weeds to keep watch for.
Scotch thistle (<em>Onopordum acanthium</em>)
Scotch thistle (Onopordum acanthium)
Yellow toadflax (<em>Linaria vulgaris</em>)
Yellow toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)

Root Treatments

There is a reason for that old saying “Getting to the root of the problem.” Most of our trees' roots have been mistreated and neglected. We have a number of techniques we utilize to revive plants roots. When your trees, shrubs and landscape plants have healthy roots they are disease resistant and more aesthetically pleasing. Whether it’s a simple fertilization or a detailed soil analysis, we’ll get to the root of the problem!

For more information go to https://www.ext.colostate.edu/index.html

Get A Free Quote

Call us at 303-674-8733 or contact us online to get a free estimate for any aspect of our Plant Health Care program.

Happy to report our trees that sustained early spring snow and hail are doing very well. They are fuller and healthier than we expected - lots of new growth on aspens, maples and blue spruce. The folks at LAM responded to my inquiry about their condition and expectations for spring/summer. I was advised the annual nutrients and fungal spraying would help the trees recover and leaf out. SPOT ON!!

Melissa McInnis

Timelines for Tree and Lawn Treatments

Ips Beetle

  • Late Feb. through Mid-April

Poplar Borer

  • March/April

Spruce Beetle/Douglas Fir Beetle

  • April/May

Cooley Spruce Gall/White Pine Weevil

  • April/May again August/Sept.

Tree Root Treatments

  • April/May or August/September

Aspen Fungus/Insects

  • Mid-April through July

Mountain Pine Beetle

  • May through July

Lawn Care/ Weed Control

  • April through September

Dwarf Mistletoe

  • Late July through August

FAQs About Insect & Disease Treatments for Trees

Tree injections are usually systemic treatments that are injected directly into the tree, usually at the base of the tree near the root collar.

Injections get to the area of the tree where treatment is needed quickly and are often better for the environment than sprays as there is no overspray or runoff that may impact other wildlife or plants.

A soil injection is composed of fertilizer and water to deliver nutrients to the roots of the tree, where it is most needed. Some systemic treatments such as soil drenches are also given as a soil injection.

Soil injections are often injected into the soil in several spots, to ensure that the whole tree receives the needed treatment. This can also serve as a simple way to aerate compacted soil at the same time, bringing more oxygen to the tree roots. Soil with more aeration is fluffy and has spaces for water and organisms to stay where the tree roots will use them.

While spray treatments are helpful for a variety of tree issues, others are more helpful when they are injected.

Some fertilizations, for instance, are injected into the soil, reaching the roots where the nutrients are most needed and can help the tree the most. There is also a high volume of water accompanying the products, this increases soil moisture and uptake by the tree.

Other treatments are sometimes injected into the tree itself, often arming the tree with the protection it needs against a particular pest or disease.

Sprays are helpful when there are pests, fungi, or other issues that impact the foliage or bark of a tree or shrub. Anti-desiccant sprays, for example, keep a broadleaf evergreen shrub’s foliage from drying out over the winter months.

In short, the difference between spraying and injecting a treatment boils down to what part of the tree is impacted and what goals you hope to achieve.

The professionals at LAM Tree Service are well versed in the treatments necessary to improve the health of your Evergreen-area trees and will know the best method for treating your individual trees’ pests or diseases or other health-related issues.

Learn more about preventative and treatment methods with a Plant Health Care (PHC) plan >>

Sprays and injections often have different purposes. The point of a spray is to make physical contact with the leaves or bark and/or the pests that are on the tree. The spray coats the surface of the leaves, needles, or bark, which is not possible with an injection. Some problems require a fast action to reduce the pest population, preventing further damage to the plant. A sprayed-on treatment is usually the answer.

Many tree issues have similar symptoms and can be hard to differentiate. This is why scheduling an inspection is important. We can diagnose the issue(s) and determine the proper treatments to prevent chronic damage and disfigurement to your trees.

Based on our analysis of the situation, we choose from a range of sprays and injections to get the most effective treatment to the affected area. Often we’ll use both methods (spray and soil injection) at the beginning of a program to get plants back into good health so they can make enough energy to heal the damage caused from the pest or disease.

Request an Estimate for a Tree Inspection >>

Many of our treatments directed at aphids are injected, providing longer-term control of the pest. In our area, aspens have the most problems with aphids so they’re often injected at the beginning of the season.

Most of the preventative treatments like pine beetle and other bark beetle treatments are sprayed. This puts the repellant on the bark where the insect would attack.

Water and soil conditioner are injected into the soil at 6” to 12” deep as part of our winter watering program. This is the depth where most of the absorbing roots are found, so the injection brings the water where it is needed without losing any water to evaporation or runoff. Surface water will freeze quicker than water mixed in soil, so by placing the water deeper we have less possibility of it freezing at the surface during the months when temperatures drop below freezing at night.

We use enough water to simulate half an inch of rainfall in the root zone of the plant. We inject evenly under the branches to give the tree consistent moisture throughout the entire root zone. During periods without natural precipitation, this is done once every 10-14 days to maintain soil moisture.

Learn more about winter watering from LAM Tree Service >>

Aspens are plagued with many issues. One way to help your aspens is to have a professional from LAM Tree apply a soil injection. This soil injection will include:

  • A blend of fertilizers and nutrients to improve soil help, and
  • A systemic product to deter insects and mites

Spider mites can be controlled with a spray or an injection.

There is a spray miticide that should be applied every 10 to 14 days to control the spider mite population.

The other option is a soil injection that is injected directly into the soil around infested trees that lasts 30 to 45 days. The soil injection also allows us to inject water into the root zone at the same time, helping to keep trees hydrated so they’re better able to fend off spider mite attacks.

If you have spider mites, we can help you determine which option is best for your trees.

Horticultural oil, sometimes referred to as hort oil or dormant oil, is a refined form of mineral oil. When sprayed on plants and trees, the thin layer of oil can kill pests including mites, aphids, white flies, scale, and more. Horticultural oils are most effective when applied before “bud break,” and before an infestation occurs.

No. The products are placed in the soil profile where the roots are and have a surfactant in the mixture that keeps it where the plant can access the products. We also will add in fungal species that form a symbiotic association (called mycorrhiza) that help the plant uptake nutrients. Bacterial life in the soil breaks the minerals down into more soluble forms for the fungi or plant to uptake.

We will take special precautions when working near wells or areas where water accumulates or flows. This prevents our products from the potential of contaminating water. Sometimes we just can’t help a tree because it’s growing in a place where we can’t take the chance of polluting a water source.

Any product, whether organic or chemical in its makeup, that will affect a pest insect, have the potential to affect a beneficial insect. Horticultural oils, biological treatments, and insecticidal soaps have less potential to harm beneficial insects, especially when appropriately timed. Some treatment sprays may impact other insects but are used as a last resort and are carefully applied (both in terms of timing and location). Beneficial insects are drawn to and found in areas where the pest insects are to feed. By preventing high pest populations in the beginning, we are less likely to harm beneficial insects because they aren’t there.

One of the most important parts of prescribing any treatment is recognizing the population of the pest in the treatment area. Establishing a threshold for treatment will drastically reduce the chances of harm to any beneficial organism.

Spruce broom rust witches broom after infected needles have shed from a blue spruce tree in Colorado.

Spruce Broom Rust

If sections of your spruce tree are looking yellow or orange, especially during the summer months, it may be suffering from a disease called spruce broom rust.
Learn More
A wasp clings on to the bark of a tree.

Are your tree pests attracting wasps?

Wasps are different from bees. While bees provide benefits to our plants, wasps on the other hand, can cause harm to humans due to their stings. Learn why wasps appear in your Colorado property and know what you can do to ward them off.
Learn More

Mountain Pine Beetles

Periodic outbreaks of mountain pine beetles can destroy millions of trees in Colorado and other states. They develop primarily in pines and can spread rapidly. Here's what you need to know about treatment and how to help stop the spread of mountain pine beetles.
Learn More
Signs of spruce budworm infestation on a tree in Evergreen, Colorado.

How to Identify & Get Rid of Spruce Budworms

Spruce budworms can cause serious damage. Identify and manage them early to save your trees & avoid further infestation. Here's how you can get rid of them.
Learn More
squirrel on a snow-covered tree near evergreen colorado

How to Prevent Winter Rodent Damage to Your Trees

Voles, gophers, rabbits, and squirrels can damage or even kill trees during the winter. See our recommendations for how to keep your trees safe from rodent damage this winter.
Learn More
aspen trees in autumn

Aspen Trees: Common Problems & What To Do

Although Colorado's aspen trees are beautiful, they're also prone to a host of aspen tree problems. Thankfully, most are preventable or treatable - especially if you address the #1 issue nearly all aspens in our area face.
Learn More
apple buds with rain

How Spring Weather Affects Treatment Timing For Weeds, Insect Pests & Tree Diseases

Have you ever wondered why weeds, bugs, and plant diseases seem to appear earlier some years but much later other years? Unlike holidays and birthdays, the emergence of weeds and insect populations isn’t determined by a date on your calendar. Instead, timing is based on a combination of factors, with spring weather conditions being the most important.
Learn More
cytospora canker on aspen tree

Aspens Turning Orange? It’s Cytospora Canker

Cytospora canker causes dead or dying areas on tree bark. In aspens, this area turns orange. The cankers kill tree branches (you'll often see this in spruce) and, in severe cases, will kill the whole tree. There's no cure so prevention is critical.
Learn More
spider mite damage to underside of leaf

Spider Mites Suck Plants Dry

Spider mites are common and destructive pests in Colorado yards, including on trees of all kinds. Learn how to identify these tiny arachnids and control them before they kill your plants.
Learn More
Pine needle scale on pine tree needles

Scale Insects: Oystershell, Pine Needle & Striped Pine Scale

Scale insects can be extremely damaging to trees and shrubs in the Evergreen, CO region, causing leaf/needle discoloration, defoliation, stunted growth, limb dieback, vulnerability to other pests and diseases, and even plant death. Here's how to identify scale insects, as well as treatment options and timing.
Learn More
prevent pest and disease on trees

How to Prevent Insect & Disease Problems on Trees & Shrubs

Getting an early start on dealing with insect and disease issues can make all the difference between a beautiful, healthy landscape and one that’s plagued by problems all season. By focusing on prevention, rather than reacting to disease and pest infestation when it happens, you save money that may be spent on unnecessary pesticides and get to enjoy a more attractive environment.
Learn More
Aphids

Aphids Cause Sticky Leaves & Black Patches

Aphids are small insects that suck the sap from plant leaves, twigs and stems. They excrete a sticky substance called honeydew (often mistaken for sap "bleeding" from the tree) that can develop sooty mold (a black coating on leaves and surfaces). Treatment and prevention are possible. Read more for the details.
Learn More
ips beetle damage in Colorado foothills

Ips Beetle – A Killer of Pine and Spruce Trees

Ips beetles are a frequent problem in Colorado, including here in the Denver foothills where they can kill whole forests in a single season. They’re especially problematic during periods of prolonged drought.
Learn More
aspen trees

Aspen Leaf Blight: Symptoms & Solutions

Aspens are prone to fungal foliage diseases (aspen leaf blight). Severe outbreaks cause premature defoliation or dieback of parts of the tree and, depending on when the outbreak occurs, can even kill the tree.
Learn More
dwarf mistletoe on juniper - close up

Dwarf Mistletoe – The Facts

This common parasitic plant makes its home on pine trees. It’s a weed! We can prune it out of your trees or spray to keep it from spreading. Every situation is different, so let a Certified Arborist help you mitigate Dwarf Mistletoe problems.
Learn More
Cooley Spruce Gall

Cooley Spruce Gall Adelgid

Cooley spruce galls are common in Colorado and are often seen on blue spruce. The galls are caused by the Cooley spruce gall adelgid (or wooly aphid). But while they may look alarming, Cooley spruce galls usually do little or no damage to the tree.
Learn More

Get A Free Quote

Call us at 303-674-8733 or contact us online to get a free estimate for tree removal.

CONTACT US

LAM Tree Service, Inc.
P. O. Box 2486, Evergreen, CO 80437-2486

Physical Location:
30476 Bryant Drive, Evergreen, CO

Phone: 303-674-8733

HOURS

Monday—Friday: 8:00AM–4:00PM
Saturday & Sunday by appointment only