Disease & Pest Control
Graf Tree Care specializes in the diagnostics and treatment of tree and shrub diseases and insect problems. Fixing tree problems is difficult, so we believe in a preventative approach to insect and disease control. In many cases, our first encounter with a tree is when it is in a diseased state or when it is already in poor health. Trees are living things and they are difficult to "fix". Our approach is to evaluate our client's trees and anticipate what problems we commonly see that the tree may eventually have. Preventative treatments are always much easier, effective, and cost less. There are many fungal pathogens that harm our trees and the soils in which they live in. These pathogens negatively affect a trees ability to thrive and survive in our urban landscape. For instance, foliar fungus like Apple Scab, Hawthorne Rust, and Diploia Tip Blight damage the tree's leaf or needle. This hinders the trees ability to produce food for its self. A full developed leaf or needle is necessary for maximum efficiency in the photosynthetic process, which is how the tree produces sugars, carbohydrates, and starches that move back down to the root system for storage and future use. Not only do these foliar fungal diseases take their toll on tree's health but they also create poor aesthetics, making the trees appear brown or sometimes defoliated completely in extreme cases. These diseases are easily controlled with a series of three fungicide sprays done in a timely fashion in the spring just as the buds are breaking and the leaves and needles are emerging. Our clients have been known to see a noticeable difference in one season in tree health and appearance.
There are other fungal diseases that are not so easy to control. These are internal fungus, or fungus that reside and clog up the tree's vascular tissue. A trees vascular system is made up of xylem and phloem cells. The xylem is responsible for the uptake of water going up to the leaf and the phloem carries sugars and starches back down to the roots. This is the tree's transport system. When fungal spores invade the xylem the trees water uptake is partially restricted or even completely cut off. The tree then thirsts to death. Common internal fungal diseases include Dutch Elm Disease, Oak Wilt, Verticillium Wilt and Canker Cytosper. These disease are fatal and not possible to treat in a curative fashion. Treatments for these diseases need to take place first as preventative treatments.
Insect problems are also controlled with timely sprays upon emergence for curative treatments or ground applications of insecticides early for a more preventative approach. Insects we commonly treat for are: Zimmerman Pine Moth, Japanese Beetle, Honey Locust Plant Bug, Leaf Miner, and of course, the Emerald Ash Borer.
We also back up all insect and fungal applications with root feeding to keep the trees in best possible health to help the trees defend against these problems naturally.
Branching Out Newsletter
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There has never been a better time for root feeding for your trees. Last year’s drought certainly took its toll on our green friends. Nutrient uptake from the soil is directly related to soil moisture, because water is the vehicle that moves nutrients up the tree to the leaf where photosynthesis takes place.
Extreme heat and extended drought can also destroy natural beneficial organisms in the soil. Considering all this, this spring would be a great time for deep root feeding to keep your trees in best possible health. Read more…