The key to insect and disease control in urban trees is correctly identifying them as early as possible and then treating them appropriately. Unless you actually see insects on the tree, you may not know what the problem is, only that your tree is showing signs of some sort of distress.
Insects that cause damage to trees are typically broken down into three different categories depending on how they feed on the tree:
Chewing – they eat the leaves, flowers, buds, twigs, roots, etc.
Sucking – they suck juices from the tree’s leaves, stems, and twigs
Boring – they enter the tree through the bark, interfering with the tree’s vascular system (think mountain pine beetle)
If you suspect insects are causing your tree problem, before making any kind of treatment plan, it’s important for us to identify what kinds of insects are involved. Some insects are beneficial to trees because they prey on harmful ones, and should be protected whenever possible, and they may not even be causing the problem.
Urban trees in the Rocky Mountain region can be susceptible to diseases such as Dutch Elm Disease, cankers, rusts, and others, and just like insects, identification is the most important aspect to the treatment.
Oftentimes, trees won’t be affected by insects or disease at all, but by some type of noninfectious disorder caused by their environment, such as lack of nutrition, pollution, unsuitable climate, and others, and can often be reversed and prevented.
Anytime you notice a change in a tree, such as leaves yellowing or dropping, needles changing color, unusual growth patterns, etc., give us a call and let us identify the problem so we can care for the tree and keep it healthy.