White Shovel Landscapes

Tree Spraying
How to Take Care of Your Landscape

What is Tree Spraying?

If you have trees in your yard, you may have stopped for a second and thought, “What is tree spraying?” The idea behind spraying your trees is the same as spraying your yard, or any other shrub. You want to treat it for insects, fungus, or fertilize it.

If you have massive trees in your yard, you probably have never really given much thought to whether there are bugs in the tree or not. However, if you’ve ever seen large amounts of ants going up into your tree, you may have considered the fact these ants might just kill this tree.

If you see large amounts of ants, or bugs on a large tree, it’s usually a good indication the tree may be dying. Of course this isn’t fool proof. Tree spraying is simply treating the tree with some sort of chemical or fertilizer to improve
the health of the tree. Some trees, especially young ones, are more susceptible to disease and insects, so this is usually when tree spraying is more widely used.

As we go through this section of how to take care of your landscape, I want to make sure you have a good idea of what tree spraying entails, both for yourself, and if you get it done professionally.

How Does Tree Spraying Help Your Landscape?

Tree Spraying

#1 - Tree Fertilization

New trees often need to be fertilized to help them grow. If you have trees, you will want to keep them healthy, especially, if you have just paid to have them planted. In the beginning days of a freshly planted tree, it’s a good idea to watch them for insects, fungus, or general decaying of leaves. Often, landscapers will expose a trees leaves to wind while in transport, this can dry out the leaves, and in a few days all the leaves exposed can die. Usually they will all come back, but this isn’t a sign of tree needing to be sprayed.

However, if all the leaves have died, your tree really could use some nitrogen to help it to produce new leaves. Nitrogen is a key fertilizer component that assist a tree in producing leaves. This is just one example of a tree needing fertilizing. However, you can fertilize a tree using a manure around the base, or by mixing a liquid fertilizer into the water you are pouring into the root base.

So you can see there are several ways to fertilize a tree, the key thing to remember is too much fertilizer can burn up a tree, or kill it. New trees are the most susceptible to over fertilization.

#2 - Fungicide Spraying

There are many reasons a tree can become overtaken by some sort of fungus, and many types of funguses as well. It’s important to keep an eye on your trees and to do some basic prevention techniques to keep your trees from getting a fungus in the first place.

Trees need good airflow to circulate between their branches. Often, shrub style pruning can cause a tree to gain dense leaf growth. This can lead to a fungus if your not careful. You can also plant trees in areas where there is lots of moisture. Most trees need good drainage and airflow, so this can lead to a fungus as well. Fungus’s come in all sorts of forms, but the most common is a
black goo on the leaves, or bark.

Once your tree has contracted it, you will first need to identify what it is before you treat. Sometimes, I’ve found something that looks like a fungus on the leaves of trees under cedar or pine trees. Just be sure you know before you treat. Although fungus is not healthy for any plant, I’ve found most plants as well as trees don’t
die (at least quickly) from fungus, it just makes them look unattractive.

#3 - Insect and Pest Control

If you notice your leaves having strange holes in them, or they are deformed, you may have insects. Because a tree receives the majority of its nutrients through its leaves, the bugs eating the leaves can deprive a plant of its daily food.

If you do get bugs, you will need to remember to fertilize your tree as well as treat for the bugs. This will allow the tree to recover, while you are getting rid of the pest problem. You can always do several things to prevent insects from getting at your new trees as well. New trees are especially susceptible to ants. These little pests are intrigued by the loose soil around the base, and sometimes even the root system. They will build their nest in the base of the tree, and eventually it will die. Ants need to be treated quickly and with great prejudice.

Pest prevention in most cases can be done with different traps around the base of the tree to keep ants and the like from getting up the tree. Other pest need to be prevented with different pesticides and the like. It’s always better to keep an eye on your trees, and treat problems as they arise. I’ve never recommended any sort of chemical prevention of pests, although they do exist.

#4 - Prevent Tree Disease

Although you can never be sure you will prevent any disease, you can take proper precautions to prevent tree diseases. Because trees are living, you can take a lot of the same precautions you might take on a pet, or even yourself. Things like: people don’t do well with constant exposure to wet or damp environments. Trees are the same way, constant exposure to a damp environment can be the
perfect place to breed diseases, fungus and not so good stuff.

The same goes for dead or decaying branches. These things bring bugs, and bugs bring things that eat bugs, and before you know it you have an environment that bugs like. So, it’s a good idea to rid your tree or plants of dead branches, and decaying leaves. This isn’t to say your tree can’t benefit from a good mulch. But decaying leaves in a damp environment is a prime place for diseases to grow.

You want your trees to be healthy, and providing a healthy environment is the best
prevention method. Proper drainage, good air flow, and removing decaying branches is the best prevention method. After that, there are other types of sprays, to prevent the more popular bugs if they are common in your area.

How Much Does Tree Spraying Cost?

Even though I cannot predict the exact price of what it would cost you to have your trees sprayed, we can identify some different costs. Most biological lawn care companies who maintain the weeds and fertilize your yard will also include (for a small fee) spraying your trees and shrubs. I recommend this as a basic way to maintain your landscape trees. Of course you can have them just come in and spray your shrubs or trees, but this can be a lot more expensive. 

You can also just treat the issues as they arise. Meaning, if you notice something out of the ordinary, you call and get someone to look at it. I’ve found with maintenance, if you are the one cutting your grass and mowing your lawn, this can work just fine. But if you have a company mowing and pruning, you should also have a company looking after your shrubs and grass with chemicals as well. The reason is simple. You just won’t notice things soon enough to catch them before they get worse. Your landscape crew might alert you to a possible fungus, but it’s really not their area of expertise so you really shouldn’t expect them to do that.

Is it Smart to Do the Job Yourself?

I always recommend hiring a professional to use any sort of chemicals around your home. But tree spraying is one of those rare occasions where you may be able to handle it. Especially if you are just treating them on a case by case basis. Most trees, if kept in a good environment do not get diseases that easily. So, it might be once in a lifetime or twice when you need to address this issue. This can make it where you could handle it on your own. However, because it’s so rare, you will want to address it ASAP, which it might be easier to call someone in. 

All in all, I think you should really think twice before handling any type of chemical. Leave it to the people who have all the safety gear needed to protect themselves. It’s way too easy to get in a hurry and handle chemicals incorrectly. It’s just not worth it. So, is it smart? I’d have to say, you’d be smarter to hire a professional when it comes to tree spraying. You also want to keep in mind, spraying trees in the wind, or spraying too much or too little can cause you to accidentally inhale something you shouldn’t or, it can cause a delay in the treatment to the tree. This delay could be the difference in your tree surviving.

Tree Spraying

Conclusion

Trees are simple plants. They don’t require a lot of maintenance once they get going, they develop strong roots that can handle just about anything. All they really need is for you to give them the right environment to grow. There are trees that are more susceptible than others, and those trees will need to be sprayed. So it is important to educate yourself on the appropriate signs of a detention in health.
This will let you know when you should call in a professional to have them sprayed.

I will say, that if you already have a company spraying your grass, you should get them to spray your shrubs and trees as well. This can go a long way to having healthy trees and shrubs for years to come. Always be careful when handling any type of insecticide, or fertilizer. They can be very dangerous, in ways that last a life time. You also won’t even realize the damage is done until it’s too late. Respect the tree, and respect the chemical you are using to protect the trees. I hope this guide has given you a better insight into tree trimming when it comes to landscape care.

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