Tree Disease & Insect Management


What’s Bugging Your Trees?

Insects, pests, and diseases can jeopardize the health and safety of your trees and landscape, as well as cause nasty problems. But if you don’t know exactly what’s causing the trouble, how can you solve it?

  • leaves wilting and falling off even though the tree or shrub is getting an adequate amount of water?
  • black, brown, orange, or yellow marks on leaves?
  • foliage quickly dies and appears like it's been torched?
  • chewed and tattered edges on leaves?
  • the top of your pine tree suddenly dies?
  • little white, fuzzy dots on your hemlock?
All the problems above are warning signs of specific pest infestations or diseases. Many symptoms can look similar, but the causes are very diverse. We’re qualified and experienced in detecting problems and deciding the best treatment alternatives.

Introducing Our Plant Health Care (PHC) program

PHC helps prevent major tree problems from arising on your property. It uses an organized annual schedule of inspections and management to stay ahead of any issues. The main benefits of our PHC program are that it uses targeted treatments that affect only the pest or disease being treated, and preventive measures to avoid problems developing in the first place. And because PHC is part of the complete approach to maintaining your yard and garden, it doesn’t focus on pesticide use as a solution to everything. This benefits you and your family, your property, and the environment. We all win!

Why is monitoring such an important part of PHC?

Why is monitoring such an important part of PHC?

Taking time to check your trees for general vigor, pests, and diseases is like getting check-ups with your doctor. The goal is to maintain good health and prevent sickness, instead of treating serious conditions after they happen. Wouldn’t you rather get a flu shot than get treated for a bad case of flu? It’s the same idea with PHC: use preventive measures to help ward off serious conditions.

What’s involved in monitoring as part of an PHC program?

Healthy trees are more able to resist insect pests, so we start with general tree health. Below are some of the things we monitor for.

Are your trees pruned correctly? Pruning for light and air to enter your tree’s crown, and to get rid of crossing, damaged, infected or overloaded branches, means your tree is already prepared to withstand wind storms, bacteria and fungi, and insects.

Are there any broken branches or wounds that leave openings for pests to enter your tree? Corrective pruning and preventive sprays can keep insects out, especially during their most active periods.

Do you have any particularly susceptible tree species? If so, we plan ahead to monitor them for specific pests, according to the species’ growth habit.

Are there likely to be over-wintering insects? Fall cleanup and non-toxic horticultural sprays on dormant trees may stop a spring population explosion before it starts.

Expecting hot weather? We usually do get hot weather in summer. Having well-mulched soil and the right irrigation ready in early spring can prevent later water stress in trees, making them more resistant to insects.

By asking questions like these and addressing them early, we can use our organized plant health care plan to maintain your trees and prevent serious damage from developing in the first place.

That’s why every plan is carefully tailored to your garden – no two properties are the same, so no two PHC plans are identical.

Our Plant Health Care professionals have experience with a wide range of tree and shrub species, fertilization methods, insect and disease identification, soil health, irrigation, and tree pruning, and all of that knowledge is part of our PHC plan.

How does PHC work?

Just like there’s no one single food that will keep you healthy, there’s no one single solution to insect pests in your yard. PHC plans for long-term effectiveness against pests by combining several approaches. These include:
Step 1
Step 1


We know trees, and we keep up on new varieties. We can help you choose trees whose vigor and adaptability make them more pest-resistant from the start. If you start with healthy, resistant trees and shrubs, and species that insects don’t like as much as others, you’ve already reduced the chances of insect infestations.

Step 2
Step 2


Knowing what each season brings, and what pests to look for, means our regular inspections are focused and we can stop pest populations before they exponentially expand. Monitoring insects means we can track their presence, and know exactly when to start treating them.

Step 3
Step 3


We use sticky traps, lures, barriers, and non-toxic measures in your trees to keep insect populations from gaining a foothold. Sometimes that’s all that’s needed to prevent an infestation.
Step 4
Step 4


Sometimes pesticide use is necessary and, applied judiciously, pesticides can be effective without significant negative consequences. We use IPM with the goal of reducing pest populations, not eradicating them, to a level that will not damage your plants. After scouting your landscape plants, and when other control measures have not worked, pesticides may be used as a spot treatment for control.

When should I begin an PHC program?

Our customers who use our PHC plans are always scheduled in advance for these regular treatments. It may be winter now, but insect pests are waiting for spring just like you are.

An important thing to remember is that we can’t always schedule a last-minute or emergency visit, so reducing the likelihood of emergencies through comprehensive plant care means we can all reduce our stress levels!

Fertilization & Soil Improvement

Most trees in urban and suburban environments benefit from judicious use of organic fertilizers applied correctly and at the right time.

Why Fertilize Your Trees?

Proper fertilization of your trees and shrubs can greatly improve their health and vitality. Studies have shown that with the right fertilization, plants and trees are more resistant to disease and insects.

Here are some common signs that your trees or shrubs need to be fertilized:

  • smaller and fewer leaves than usual.
  • slow or minimal growth.
  • yellowing or pale leaves.
  • leaves dropping or coloring earlier than normal.
  • dying twigs and branches.

What is Fertilizer?

Fertilizer isn’t “food” – plants produce their own food in the form of sugars through photosynthesis.

Instead, fertilizer supplies the minerals or nutrients plants need for photosynthesis. When minerals are lacking or absent in the soil, fertilizer can be added to improve the plant’s growing conditions and provide the ingredients needed for continued growth.


Because you don’t know what nutrients your tree really needs, and which it doesn’t.

In the end, it’s all about the soil – your trees are only as healthy as the soil they’re growing in.

Did You Know that Organic Fertilizer is Best?

We use a specially developed organic fertilizer so there are no toxic chemicals to worry about – it’s good for the tree, the soil, and the environment.

The Most Effective Way to Fertilize Trees:

To get the nutrients to the tree in the most efficient and effective way possible, we use a special tool to inject the fertilizer right into the soil around your trees. From there, tree roots can quickly absorb what they need.

This special technique, called deep root fertilization, can only be performed by trained professionals.

When to Fertilize Trees:

Spring and fall are the best times to fertilize your trees and landscape. This ensures plants have enough nutrients available to them throughout the growing season and helps as they head into winter dormancy.

We can’t fertilize trees when the ground is frozen so the last call for fall fertilization is October 31, and we generally start spring fertilization in March or April (book early!).

Okay! That’s Great for Trees, but What About Other Plants & Shrubs?

All landscape plants need a steady supply of nutrients to grow and stay healthy. Many of our urban soils are lacking in minerals or nutrients leading to nutrient deficiencies in trees, shrubs, and other plants. Fertilization can help to improve the plant’s growing conditions and provide the ingredients needed for continued growth. But what’s the best way to fertilize landscape plants and shrubs in Northern Nevada? Keep reading to find out!

Again, fertilizer is any material (of natural or synthetic origin) that is applied to soil or to plant tissues to supply plant nutrients. Fertilizers come in many different forms, including pellets, granules, powders, liquids (and liquid concentrates), and more.

Just like there are many kinds of fertilizer, there are nearly as many application methods. Like we do with trees; for shrubs and landscape plants, we use a high-pressure deep root injection method to deliver essential nutrient-rich fertilizer to your plants and shrubs, because we know that’s the most effective and beneficial delivery system we have encountered.