Trees are a beautiful part of any landscape, and it is important to make sure that your trees are healthy and receiving proper care. Part of this care involves routine tree spraying to prevent and eliminate both diseases and invasive insects. Protecting trees from these dangers will ensure that your trees are healthy for years to come. In this article, you will learn how tree spraying works and what tree spraying protects against.
Tree spraying deters insects and diseases from harming trees. Tree spraying is especially important if you have large or fruit-bearing trees, as these tend to be more susceptible to disease and pests. There are four main categories of tree sprays that a tree care company may use on your trees, though it is worth noting that some sprays may have overlaps in function. We strongly recommend working with a tree service company to choose the best spray or combination of sprays for your trees.
1. General Purpose Spray
General purpose spray uses a mixture that targets all of the possible diseases and pests that your trees might face. One benefit to using general purpose spray is that you do not need to identify the exact diseases or pests that may be affecting your trees (although it is important to be generally aware of the most common pests and diseases in your area).
2. Dormant Oil Spray
Dormant oil spray works by smothering scaling insects so that they can no longer harm your trees. It is important to use dormant spray during the late winter or early spring, before the leaf buds on your tree open, in order to protect against pests, eggs, and larvae. Using dormant oil before the leaf buds open can help control pests during growing season. Dormant oil usually only needs to be used every five years or so—we recommend working with an arborist to set up a health care routine tailored to your trees.
3. Fungicide Spray
As the name suggests, fungicides control and kill fungal diseases. Fungicides work by depriving the fungi of the moisture it needs to spread across the tree. If a certain fungal disease is prominent in your area, we recommend having your trees sprayed preventatively before they begin to show any symptoms of the disease.
4. Insecticide Spray
Insecticides control and kill insects that can harm your trees. Insecticides kill the eggs and larvae of insects as well as the adult stages of a variety of harmful insects. Different pesticides can be used to control different types of insects, while some insecticide sprays protect against several different borers, aphids, and other damaging insect breeds.
As mentioned above, all sprays address one or both of the following two factors: disease and insects. There are several different types of diseases and insects that can harm your trees, and these vary greatly by region, season, and type of tree. The following are some of the most common tree-harming diseases and insects in North America.
1. Brown Rot
Brown rot is a common fruit tree disease. On an affected tree, a brown fungus will cover the fruit, stems, and flowers, eventually leading to mummified fruit. Fungicide can work to remove and prevent brown rot.
Cankers are another common disease in fruit trees. While there are several different types of cankers, both bacterial and fungal, they manifest and can be treated in similar ways. Symptoms include holes in leaves and new shoots, and, in severe cases, entire branches dying off. Similar to treating brown rot, using fungicide can help a tree with bacterial canker.
3. Greasy Spot
Greasy spot is another common fungal disease most commonly found on citrus trees. Symptoms include the brown, oily blisters on leaves that give this disease its name. In addition, greasy spot can cause leaf loss and infect the tree’s fruit. Treating a tree with fungicide during the summer months can help prevent greasy spot.
1. Sucking Insects
Some insects damage trees by sucking the liquid from leaves and twigs. The excretion from sucking insects can cause mold on the leaves of the affected tree. The symptoms of an infestation of sucking insects include dying leaves, sooty mold, and scaly growths on branches. These insects can be eliminated through the use of insecticides.
2. Chewing Insects
Chewing insects can damage both the leaves and the fruit of infested trees by—you guessed it—chewing. These insects include different types of caterpillars, beetles, and maggots. Chewing insects defoliate your trees by eating the leaves, and so it is relatively easy to identify an infestation, although some caterpillars eat so much as they grow that your tree can appear defoliated nearly overnight. Insecticide sprays can work to eliminate these pests.
3. Boring Insects
The most damaging insects are those that tunnel into trees via the roots, trunk, or twigs. In a particularly serious infection, these insects can starve the tree’s leaves of nutrients, which can cause the tree to die. Signs of a boring insect infestation are holes in the tree’s bark, sawdust at the tree’s base, and dying leaves. It is vital to monitor your trees’ trunks often to make sure that if an infestation is present, it is treated promptly with insecticides.
Why Should I Work with a Professional Tree Service?In conclusion, many factors go into a proper tree spraying regimen, and working with a trained tree care company can ensure that your trees are protected and healthy. In addition to spraying, maintaining proper tree health and growing conditions is an important preventative measure to keep your trees healthy and disease- and insect-free, and so a trained arborist can help you with every aspect of your trees’ health. From understanding the proper window for effective spraying to choosing the correct treatment by identifying insects and diseases, a tree service company will ensure that your trees are treated with a regimen that is tailored precisely to your types of trees, trees’ current health, and region.