|On your property, insects and microorganisms abound. This is a natural and beneficial state, since insects and microorganisms are key components in nutrient recycling, decomposition, plant succession, natural pest control and wildlife habitat.
A landscape with out insects and microorganisms would be a very unhealthy environment. A healthy property is a functioning ecosystem with young, mature, and even dead, downed trees. Please keep in mind that dead trees and limbs over targets (homes and human traffic) should never be permitted and should be removed as soon as possible by professionals to reduce the chances of property damage and or injury. Periodic outbreaks of destructive tree insect pests, as well as diseases, occur as part of natural fluctuations in ecosystems. The actions of homeowners make these outbreaks more severe or lessen their impact locally. To promote a healthy landscape and to prevent pest outbreaks, take steps to ensure diversity and vigor on your property.
Many property owners have lots with just a single or few trees. Others have small backyard woods, which have become an important component of the urban environment. Small woodlands with a mix of tree species are often less susceptible to pest outbreaks than woods with a single species.
A diversity of tree ages also reduces the risk of pest outbreaks. As with species diversity, age diversity increases the complexity and stability of the ecosystem. A natural balance of organisms is more likely to develop as age diversity increases. For example, potential pests of young trees could be regulated by parasites and predators already well established on older trees.
A healthy landscape is less susceptible to pest outbreaks and is more resilient if an outbreak does occur. When trees are overcrowded in you landscape, competition for light, water and nutrients results in increased stress. Trees under stress are more likely to be attacked by pests.
The first clues of a tree health problem may be symptoms like yellowing needles or leaves, thinning foliage or dieback on upper limbs. These problems may be caused by insect pests or disease pathogens; or they may arise from “abiotic” factors such as soil problems, construction damage, drought, pollution or herbicide injury.
What to do
A professional arborist can examine your trees to find the source of the problem. A professional arborist can also recommend treatments, including thinning dense woods, planting new trees, correcting soil deficiencies, increasing water and nutrients, or pest management.
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