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Protecting Trees and Shrubs

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Depending on where you live, any number of different insects could prove harmful to your trees, shrubs, garden or lawn. There are also a number of diseases that can affect trees. This guide will define some of these dangers and give you an idea of how to combat them.


There are three general types of insects that can pose a threat to your trees and shrubs. They are:
  • Chewing insects - Different chewing insects attack different areas. Some feed on the leaves and stems of your plants, while others go for the fruit of fruit trees.

  • Boring insects - Boring insects dig through plants, making tunnels on the inside of them. Obviously, this activity severely damages the overall health of the plants.

  • Sucking insects - Not only do these insect bore into your plants, but they make a home for themselves there. They suck out the liquid from within stems and leaves, doing continual damage until the eventual death of the plant occurs.
Insecticides are one of the best methods for dealing with pests. There are different types and they can be administered in different ways. Some are sprayed, while others are injected into tree trunks or added into the root system. The type you'll need will depend on what kind of insect you're dealing with. If you're unsure of this, contact a professional to help you analyze and deal with the situation.

An alternative method for dealing with pests is to put up ladybug houses in your yard. These will attract ladybugs, which attack many different types of insects. This is a good method to try if you want to avoid insecticides. Also, horticultural oils can work against sucking insects during the spring and summer months and can even prevent them from spending the winter in your trees.

Tree Diseases

You're most likely going to need professional help in diagnosing and treating tree diseases, but here are three common tree diseases that you might encounter:
  • Dutch Elm Disease - As it's name suggests, this disease targets certain varieties of elm trees across northeastern United States. There's a preventative treatment that involves injecting the truck with a compound that protects the tree for up to three years.

  • Bleeding Canker Beech Tree Disease - This fungus attacks the vascular systems of beech trees and can be identified by dieback appearing in the upper canopy, browning of leaves, and cankers on the trunk that ooze a red liquid (hence the name of the disease).

  • Dogwood Anthracnose - This disease thrives in cold, wet conditions (fall and winter weather). Symptoms include tan spots with purple edges. The treatment is a type of fungicide. Improving air circulation around your dogwood tree is one way to reduce the risk of infection. This could mean cutting down other trees surrounding it.
If you spot any of these symptoms or suspect some other tree diseases, call a professional right away.

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on January 7, 2013

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