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Plant Health Care: Disease Control

Proper disease identification and treatment, especially in the early stages, are critical to disease control in trees and shrubs...

There are many diseases that affect plants in our area at various times of the year. Our Plant Health Care program is very beneficial because it addresses any disease that may appear on your landscape in a timely and efficient manner. During their visits, our arborists and technicians look for signs of infestation on your property and create a treatment plan that is best suited to preventing and managing specific diseases in your trees and plants.


(Image - International Society of Arboriculture)Infectious diseases, like bleeding canker, anthracnose, dutch elm disease, and many others are caused by pathogens in the form of fungi, viruses and bacteria. In order for a disease to develop: a pathogen must be present, the plant must be susceptible to the disease, and the environmental conditions and condition of the tree need to be suitable. So keeping susceptible plants in healthy, unstressed condition is one major factor in preventing disease. Another is choosing disease-resistant trees and shrubs when we know that a particular pathogen may present a problem. For example, dogwood anthracnose, caused by the fungus Discula destructiva is a prevalent problem in the Northeast, so an arborist might recommend planting a Stellar Hybrid Series dogwood that has been bred to more resist anthracnose, rather than a more traditional flowering dogwood (Cornus florida).


Many diseases are identifiable by the symptoms present in the host plant's foliage. Depending on the type of pathogen present, tree and shrub diseases can be treated systemically or with foliar applications. Many pathogens (such as apple scab) infect the leaves and other external parts of a tree with spores and can be treated with topical applications. On the other hand, systemic injections of different controls made directly into the sapstream (xylem) of a tree can fight those more exterior pathogens as well as diseases infecting the trunk and vascular system.


When it comes to applying disease controls, Almstead utilizes a wide range of products for targeted control. We're also dedicated to ensuring that the materials we use to treat your property are the safest, most effective controls available in the industry. With the exception of certain products that we inject directly into the soil or the xylem (sap stream) of trees, nearly all of the controls we use are either recognized as "reduced risk" by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or are safe enough that they have been exempted from EPA regulations altogether.

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