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Local Limelight: Weeklyish Articles Of Interest

Holistic Plant Health Care

Most people think of tree care as just pruning and throwing on some chemicals. At Treecology, we take a whole tree approach and have developed our Holistic Plant Health Care Program with help from our mentors at the Japanese Garden. Our approach incorporates pruning, but also takes care of the parts of the tree we don't see- the roots and soil. In fact we diagnose our client’s trees in the context of their yard, looking at the various stresses and competitions that are going on and making sure all of the trees and plants are playing well together.

There are many situations that can be corrected when the entire context of the yard is considered. This approach applies to plant pathogens, pests, and other non-biological problems. Trees and shrubs need the correct combination of space, light, air, water, soil conditions, and friendly neighbors. When the basic causes of a particular problem are treated, we can lesson the dependence on repeated applications of chemicals that are essentially designed to treat symptoms.

In almost every yard I go into, I find a major tree health problem - compacted soil. Compacted soil doesn’t allow air and water to go down through the soil which leads to shallow, unhealthy root systems. In uncompacted soil, the water flows through the spaces in the soil, and roots follow it down deep so we get a healthier root system and a happier tree.

To decompact soil, we don’t break out the roto-tiller; that will kill the roots we’re trying to make healthier. We want a gentler more natural approach. At Treecology, we use a custom blended soil nutrient mix called Soil Life™ that provides nutrients for the trees and contains beneficial organisms in the mix. These organisms do the loosening for us, turning dead compacted dirt into healthy live soil that promotes root growth. Healthy root growth is going to keep your trees happy without the use of chemicals.

Getting a better idea of what is going on in your yard can help you make informed tree health decisions that often remove the need to apply pesticides and fertilizers that only treat the symptoms. Now we’re talking about Holistic Plant Health Care. For more information or to contact us, visit Treecology.com.

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