The heat and lack of water typical for summers in the U.S. places trees and shrubs under a lot of pressure. We interviewed horticulturist, Ed Kapryn and Director of Plant Soil Science, Robert Neidermyer Ph.D. (Dr. Bob) on the top 4 problems facing tree and shrubs in the summer and solutions to help overcome summer problems.
Problem #1 - Watch Out For Disease and Insect Problems!
“The combination of rising temperatures and water often means disease and/or insect activity is nearby,” explains Ed. “Check the branch, trunk and foliage of your trees and shrubs, especially under the leaf. If you see orange, yellow or brown spotting, you may have a fungal disease or insect activity.” Leaf spot diseases can interrupt photosynthesis and may lead to leaf loss, that is also where a lot of insects like to hide before they start doing major damage (i.e. lace bug, aphids, etc).
According to Ed, “I’m hearing a lot about crape myrtle bark scale (CMBS) at the moment especially in the Southeast and Texas.” Check foliage and bark for tell-tale insect signs like bite marks, holes, white spots and sticky surfaces.
The below image is of CMBS from Clemson University Cooperative Extension.
Solution # 1
Combining Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub with a systemic insecticide will help contractors fight insects. Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub will improve the plants ability to deal with stress and build a healthy soil ecosystem to combat pathogens.
For insects like CMBS that have a tendency to “lump up on each other”, a systemic insecticide is important to reach insects that are not affected by a topical spray.
When choosing insecticides, Ed recommends contractors be choosey with their options. “Pollinator friendly insecticides like those with a cedar oil or neem oil derivative are the way to go.”
Problem #2 - Overcoming Drought
As summer matures, heat and lack of water will become more of an issue. Check for signs of wilted or curled leaves, yellow leaves and early leaf drop for signs that your trees and shrubs are under-watered.
The below image shows leaves wilting due to summer heat.
“If your landscapes have non-drought tolerant plants, be sure you are watering your trees and shrubs 2-to-3 times per week,” explains Dr. Bob. A deeper watering is always going to be more beneficial than more frequent, shallow watering. Whenever possible, try to steer towards drought-friendly plants and native plants in your landscapes.
Problem #3 - Pruners Take Care!
When spring flowering subsides, it’s often time to prune. In much of the country, pruning time is just starting but be careful with how you prune your trees and shrubs.
“Don’t hack and wack,” cautions Ed. He recommends hand pruning whenever possible. It's also important that you don't prune away the growing points of next year's flowering stems or wood. While it would be unusual for trees and shrubs to die from over pruning, it does weaken the plant making it more susceptible to insect and disease problems. Also, Ed notes “No flush cuts! And remember to sanitize any pruning equipment to cut down on disease transfer like Dogwood Anthracnose. To sanitize your pruning equipment, spray a 409 or other household disinfectant.”
“Applying an application of Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub after a good prune will help the plant heal properly,” explains Dr. Bob. For more information on pruning and How Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub can help, visit this blog article.
Problem #4 - Installing Landscapes
During installation, trees and shrubs are often stressed as it gets used to its new environment. At times, stress can be so great that the plant will go into shock or potentially die after installation.
Applying Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub as a Plant Start Application will ensure the perfect installation. In specific, Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub will improve the healing process, plant survival, and increase the root architecture. For directions on how to conduct a Holganix Plant Start Application, watch this video.
Plant Health Care Problems Comes Down to Soil
“Most problems facing your plants begin with poor soil, void of the life found in a natural forest environment,” states Dr. Bob. “Healthy soils are teeming with beneficial soil microbes that naturally fortify plant strength from stress caused by disease, insect and drought. Healthy soils also hold water and nutrients longer than poor soils and are porous, allowing plant roots to develop.”
Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub is focused on building soil health by harnessing the power of over 800 species of soil microbes. Ultimately, using Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub will build stronger plants, develop root architecture, maximize plant color and offset the need for large amounts of fertilizers and pesticides.
Want to dig in deeper? Check out this video on results seen with Holganix Bio 800+ Tree & Shrub in the field, then click the button below to set up an appointment with a Holganix specialist.