Plant Health Care

Plant Health Care

As with our own physical health, “good” plant health rarely just happens on its own. In nature, when a tree seed falls, blows, or is carried by an animal to a particular site and germinates—the miracle of life and growth begins. However, nature is not sentimental. If, by chance, the unlucky site at some point becomes persistently too wet, too dry, lacking in certain soil physical or chemical properties, conducive for insect or disease development, or a litany of other threats, often trees don’t survive and other competitors take over. Unfortunately only the strong (or lucky) survive.

But man is sentimental. Whether we selected the site and planted the tree, or inherited it with the purchase of our little kingdom, we seek to influence nature by doing our best to nurture and protect the things we treasure. I suppose this is what makes us human…for better or worse.

In a nutshell (pun intended), this is where the art and science of plant health care comes into play. It is simply doing our best to keep our trees healthy, protected from both biotic and abiotic pests, and best able to stand the adverse environmental conditions to which they are exposed. Of course, ultimately nature is in control, but we have a part, and Tree Cares, Inc. is here to help.

The Three Components of Plant Health Care (PHC)


Insect Management

Insects are amazing creatures, and one must remember most are not tree pests or even pests at all, but rather play an important role in the carbon and nitrogen cycles that allow life. In fact, many insects are predators of tree pests and should be considered when creating any insect management program.

Generally, there is rarely need to control insects that cause cosmetic damage. There are an abundance of insects in the tree canopy doing negligible harm. However, some insects do cross the line and weaken a tree severely or outright kill it by aggressive feeding or as carriers of disease. These insects require control measures. We know the difference and can design a management program based on tree species and pest vulnerability to minimize damage.


Disease Management

While most of us consider the word “disease” to only include biotic pathogens (such as a fungus, bacteria, or virus), the more accurate definition also includes any abiotic disorders that impact plant health. This could include nutrient deficiencies, soil pH, and many others.

While fungal pathogens, and specifically those that cause wilt diseases, dominate our PHC protection programs, others also require consideration. We can help you manage all areas of tree “disease” through diagnosis and knowledge of cure and treatment options.


Growth Management

As trees grow in the suburban environment with root extension, trunk growth and canopy expansion, often they need professional help in three critical areas to maintain health and strength.


This may include mitigating soil challenges in terms of compaction, nutrition, and or restriction. Multiple methods for treatment have been proven effective in improving root health.


This is the “jugular” of a tree and requires special care as water and minerals flow through this area, as well as food being sent from the leaves to the roots. A few simple actions can mean the difference between life and death.


In a tree’s insatiable pursuit to produce more leaves for food production, they often produce branches that in the long term can do more damage than good. In this case, trees (especially young trees) can benefit from regular structural pruning to maintain and promote a sound canopy as well as minimize vulnerability to ice and/or wind loading. In larger trees, often a beneficial branch has an attachment flaw that only be saved with some type of support mechanism.