Plant Health Care
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).
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.
Cooley sprunce gall
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.
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
What to Expect
Our arborist will do a diagnosis for any* new clients to determine what treatments are necessary.
*If you are scheduling pine beetle spray treatments, that may be the exception, so contact us early so we can do preventative care before the beetles do too much damage.
After the initial diagnosis by an arborist, all treatments, including spray treatments, are applied by our PHC technicians. The technicians cannot diagnose any other issues on your property.
Contact our office with any questions.
Timelines for Tree and Lawn Treatments
- Late Feb. through Mid-April
Spruce Beetle/Douglas Fir Beetle
Cooley Spruce Gall/White Pine Weevil
- April/May again August/Sept.
Tree Root Treatments
- April/May or August/September
- Mid-April through July
Mountain Pine Beetle
- May through July
Lawn Care/ Weed Control
- April through September
- 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.
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.
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.
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.