How To Determine Proper Pest Management Solutions For Your Infected Tree

By: albertaarb - April 13, 2014

Much like human skin, the surface of a tree comes in contact with many different living organisms. Once this surface is ruptured, it gives way to pests and parasites that gradually erode its health.

Damaged trees can be salvaged with tree pest management solutions like tree injections and tree soil applications. Knowing which one is best for your plants takes research and observation. 

What are the Most Common Tree Pests?

With over 140 types of pests identified, it is important to know which pests invade your tree. Certain pests are drawn to specific types of trees, while others are widely prevalent. 

Some of the most common pests include:

• Aphids
• Longhorn beetle
• Aldegids
• Douglas-fir bark beetle
• Tent caterpillar
• Moths
• Web worms
• Borers 

Examine your trees for recurring infections. Each pest insect type produces distinctive symptoms in infected trees. Diagnose as soon as possible to begin administering treatments before trees incur any damage. Ideally, you should apply treatments 3 months prior to infection.

Types of Tree Pest Management Solutions

There is a variety of treatments you can try to heal damaged trees or control the population of pests on infected trees.

Tree injections

Tree injections are basically insecticides that need to be injected into the bark. The insecticide fluid is supposed to join the sap stream, flow upward and kill any pests that are feeding on or nesting in the tree.

These injections should ideally be administered as low down the tree as possible. This is because every tree's water conductive system flows upward and not downward. If you inject it too high, it might not have any effect on the parts below the penetration point.

Another element to consider is how deep the needle or drill should go into the bark. Aim to make holes as shallow as possible. If the needle or drill goes in too deep, it might inject the tree's inner rings, stay there and end up killing the tree instead. If you suspect the hole you drilled is too deep, wait for the tree to recover before considering another dose of insecticide.

When administering injections for infected trees, remember to:

• Make sure you choose the right insecticide for your problem
• Make holes as shallow as possible
• Inject insecticide as low as possible for it to move upward
• Wait for tree to heal before administering another injection 

How Effective are Injections?

Injected insecticides can be effective at destroying or controlling populations of pests. If the treatment moves upward like it should, it can reach and kill pests that feed on buds and shoots effectively. However, injections can be limited when it comes to destroying borers.

Tree soil applications

Tree soil applications treat the soil around the tree with solutions and allow it to soak up what it needs through the roots. Although soil applications are not as direct and fast-acting as injections, they are non-invasive. They do not cause injuries in the bark and can be effective at preventing infections.

In a nutshell, soil applications are:

• Non-invasive and do not require drilling holes that might harm bark
• Applications make great preventative treatments for trees at risk
• For best results, only treat small areas around the tree at a time to avoid contaminating surrounding soil 

Modern developments in treatments offer consumers and pros great ways to treat infected trees. The first step to having healthy trees is to learn more about them. Ultimately, if none of the injections work and the tree may require removal for safety or health reasons.

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