Just like us, trees need more than a once-and-done checkup with the doctor.
The best way to keep you – and your trees! – healthier is through small actions throughout the year.
The steps are simple once you know what they are. Think of these as “lifestyle changes” recommended by your tree doctor.
When it’s hot and dry, trees need more water. When it looks like they lack nutrients, trees need nutrients to be replaced. Most importantly, they need you, their keeper, to keep an eye on them for potential problems.
All of these simple solutions to keep your tree healthy are detailed in plant health care programs. Learn what plant health care is and how it benefits your trees below.
What is the definition of plant health care (PHC)?
Plant health care is a holistic approach to tree care. The focus is on developing and maintaining healthy plants, so they are less susceptible to problems.
By caring for plants and trees each season, they are often better at resisting pests and tolerating environmental stresses.
Plus, your local tree expert may be able to help predict and prevent problems before they happen.
An added bonus? Proactive tree care is almost always less expensive than the cost of treating an advanced problem or removing a large tree later.
Why is plant health care important?
The goal of plant health care programs is to proactively keep your trees healthy, so they can avoid entering a decline spiral.
After trees endure repeated, severe or ongoing stress, they begin a cycle of decline. During this time, trees focus on simply surviving and are no longer able to thrive. Once they hit a critical point in this cycle, it becomes almost impossible to reverse the trend and nurse the tree back to health.
Through plant health care programs, we attempt to stop trees from hitting this point. Instead, we keep them healthy from the get-go.
How do plant health care programs work?
Here’s an example of how plant health care programs keep trees healthy.
Say you have a birch tree in your yard.
Your arborist inspects your trees and soil before recommending the following in your plant health care program:
Expand the mulch ring around your tree.
Address compacted soil. To see if your soil is compacted, try the screwdriver test. You should be able to easily push a screwdriver into the soil.
Water your tree when it’s dry and manage its nutrients.
Inspect the leaves, bark, and trunk for obvious pest and disease issues.
If a tree insect or disease is spotted, manage the problem early, so you can hopefully save the tree.
Benefits of a plant health care program:
You’ve provided all the ingredients to grow a healthy tree.
Now, your birch tree is less likely to be attacked by a pest like the bronze birch borer that favors stressed, weakened trees.
If a problem is found during a tree inspection, you can seek early management, which is typically more effective.
You get to enjoy your trees’ continual, cost-saving benefits.
What do plant health care programs include?
At Davey, each plant health care program is personalized for the specific trees, plants, and troubles in your yard.
From coast to coast, Davey’s plant health care specialists found five tree care truths that impact all species of trees. Get the full scoop in this plant health care infographic.