Insect & Mite Control
Historically, the primary reason oils were developed because of their effectiveness on otherwise hard-to-control pest problems on fruit trees. They were used as a dormant season application (before bud swelling and bud break) to kill mites and insects, such as scale and aphids that spent the Winter on the plant. Dormant Oil applications also control certain over-wintered shade tree pests.
Recently, improvements in refining have produced oils with increased safety to plants and thus expanded their potential uses. Summer or foliar treatments are now possible for a variety of pests during the growing season. Oils also can be mixed with other insecticides, providing a broader spectrum and greater persistence of control. Spider mites, whiteflies and young stages of scale are common pests that can be controlled by oils during the growing season.
Oils are sometimes applied to prevent tranmission of viruses. Many viruses spread by aphids (nonpersistent viruses), as well as some that are mechanically transmitted by people, can be inhibited by oil applications. Oils used to inhibit virus transmission are sometimes called “stylet oils”, a reference to the piercing and sucking mouthparts (stylets) of aphids that transmit these viruses.
BT (Bacillus Thuringienis) Bacillus Thuringienis (BT) is an insecticide with unusual properties that make it useful for pest control in certain situations. BT is a naturally occurring bacterium common in soils throughout the world. Several strains can infect and kill insects. Because of this property, BT has developed for insect control. At present, BT is the only “microbial insecticide” in widespread use.
The insecticidal activity of BT was first discovered in 1911. However, it was not commercially available until the 1950s. In recent years, there has been a tremendous renewed interest in BT. Several new products have been developed, largely because of the safety associated with BT-based insecticides.
Unlike typical nerve-poison insecticides, BT acts by producing proteins (delta-endotoxin, the “toxic crystal”) that reacts with the cells of the gut lining of susceptible insects. These BT proteins paralyze the digestive system, and the infected insect stops feeding within hours. BT-affected insects generally die from starvation, which can take several days.
Occasionally, the bacterium enters the insect’s blood and reproduces within the insect. However, in most insects it is the reaction of the protein crystal that is lethal to the insect. Even dead bacteria containing the proteins are effective insecticides.
The most commonly used strain of BT (kurstaki strain) will kill only leaf – and needle – feeding caterpillars. In the past decade, BT strains have been developed to control certain types of fly larvae (israelensis strain, or Bti). These are widely used against larvae of mosquitoes, black flies, and fungus gnats.
The specific activity of BT generally is considered highly beneficial. Unlike most insecticides, BT insecticides do not have a broad spectrum of activity, so they do not kill beneficial insects. This includes the natural enemies of insects (predators and parasites), as well as beneficial pollinators, such as honeybees.
The major advantage is that BT is essentially non-toxic to people, pets, and wildlife.
Cedar Oil Unlike pesticides that have to be digested or touched, cedar oil only needs to permeate in order to eliminate an insect. This works very well with pheromone-driven insects that need to follow a “chemical trail” in order to complete tasks. Insects like bees, wasps, butterflies and other non-pheromone-driven insects will simply stay away from this aroma.
Garlic Oil Garlic oil exhibits antibacterial, anti-fungal, amebicidal, and insecticidal qualities. Garlic oil kills pests and insects and some pathogens. Its ability to protect plants from insects, fungi, bacteria, and viruses was and is well known. Garlic is a biochemical pesticide used as an insect and animal repellent. The unique characteristics of this product, its non-toxic mode of action, and biodegradability (low to no persistence) should minimize the risks to all non-targets, including threatened and endangered species.
Anti-Desiccant The typical anti-desiccant spray creates a barrier on needles or evergreen leaves that helps slow the loss of water during the Winter months. Moisture loss through needles due to exceedingly dry, cold air, and wind can create an unhealthy environment for many evergreen trees and shrubs. An anti-desiccant spray slows this process down a great deal, creating a glossy shield on plants such as rhododendrons, yews, holly, or arborvitae. This can especially hold true when more than one spray is completed; typically three provide maximum results from fall until spring.
If you have exposed shrubs or small trees that might benefit from this type of treatment, be sure to let us know. This kind of treatment begins in November and ends in March.
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Planting the wrong tree in the wrong location and wrong time of year could lead to future problems due to limited growing space, diseases, pests, or poor growth
Depending on the function of the soil the definition may be given from several viewpoints, as a conservationist the most important function of the soil is to grow plants. Soil consists of solid particles, water, air and, in addition, contains a teeming population of minute plants and animals. The solids are both mineral and organic. Healthy plant growth is our main reason for our interest in the soil.
We use supplemental liquid fertilizer containing potassium, kelp extracts, humic acids, iron chelate, blackstrap cane molasses and amino acids. This is a specially formulated liquid potassium fertilizer designed for turf and ornamentals. It is intended to encourage rooting, green -up without growth surge and increased stress tolerance. Humic acids and amino acids are added to increase nutrient availability. Kelp extracts and blackstrap cane molasses are added as a source of nutrients.
The combination of the climate elements and the fertilizers that we assures the best growth of your plants, trees, and shrubs.
Tree pruning helps your landscape flourish by addressing architectural tree care concerns such as safety, structural integrity, shape and appearance. Tree pruning services performed by a certified arborist enhance the natural beauty of your trees and shrubs and help you preserve the strength, stature and seasonal character they add to your property.
Pruning prevents decay-producing fungi from penetrating and infecting other areas of your tree. The removal of live branches is occasionally necessary to allow increased exposure to sunlight and circulation of air within the canopy. It is essential for maximizing the beauty of formal plantings and to assist with landscape maintenance. In particular, we advocate aesthetic tree care for mature trees when the characteristic form of your trees has deteriorated.
Tree pruning can protect against storm damage and the danger of falling limbs. This is particularly a concern for trees along pedestrian paths, driveways, and surrounding buildings.
Trees can grow in such a manner that their physical structure can no longer support their own weight. This is particularly common in mature multi-trunked trees and trees with open canopies. Failure of a large branch or trunk can result in property damage, personal injury, or the decline of a tree’s health. Cables and bracing rods are tools arborists use to protect or improve the structural integrity of trees.
Mature trees having a broad spreading canopy, such as Live Oaks, often have lower limbs that grow horizontally to the edge of the canopy. Such limbs often droop lower with the weight of and additional year’s growth. These limbs can be cabled to maintain a specific height or to provide clearance above a walk, drive, or roof. Such cabling is an alternative to the removal of large branches.