It’s February: Time To Plan Spring Tree & Shrub Treatments (Yes, Really!)

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schedule plant health care in february


It may still be winter but spring is just around the corner. And with spring comes new leaves on trees and shrubs, gorgeous flowers and … insect pests and diseases.

No one likes to think about the dark side of spring’s warmer temperatures, but ignoring it now can lead to damaged and dying trees later in the season.

Late winter is the best time to plan – and schedule – ways to treat landscape problems. Early identification and treatment of pest and disease issues is far more effective than waiting until problems become severe.

Plus, there’s only a limited window of opportunity during which the treatments are effective. Miss the early spring treatment window and your trees and shrubs will be subjected to another growing season of stress before we can help them.

LEARN MORE > Common spring diseases affecting trees in Northeast Ohio

When Should Treatments Be Applied?

spring PHP Independent TreeHere’s the typical schedule for essential tree and shrub treatments in northeast Ohio –

Mid-March through mid-April – The first spring treatment is typically a horticultural oil spray that smothers the pesky overwintering pests and their eggs on your evergreens. This will benefit your rhododendrons, spruce trees, hollies, pine trees, and azaleas.

March through May – As the landscape comes to life, it’s time to help things along with a late winter/early spring fertilization.

April through June – This is the time for fungicide applications for the control of apple scab, anthracnose mildew, rust, and other fungal diseases. As with all things horticultural, the timing depends on the weather and generally requires 2 to 3 treatments for good control. The trees and shrubs that will benefit are crab apples, lilacs, hawthorns, dogwoods, and magnolias.

April through July – Emerald Ash Borer treatments take place during these months. This beetle is a huge concern for northeast Ohio ash trees; if you have ash on your property they should be treated or removed.

Late May through July – A further insecticide treatment is applied to control early emerging pests, such as leaf miners, lace bugs and the viburnum leaf beetle.

May to September – Japanese beetle, aphid and summer mite treatments are usually applied at this time.

August – If you have elm and/or oak trees, this is the time to treat them for Dutch Elm Disease and/or Oak Wilt – two tree diseases that are fatal if not treated with a preventive application.

September through November – Trees and shrubs that weren’t fertilized in spring may benefit from a fall fertilization to ensure vitality as they head into winter.

November – Broadleaf evergreens are given an application of anti-desiccant to protect them from drying out over winter. Learn more about anti-desiccants and why we recommend using them.

LEARN MORE > How late spring snow and freezing weather affects your trees (and the timing of treatment applications)

Why Plan Ahead?

Insecticide, fungicide and other treatments are best applied in a thoughtful, integrated manner so the various applications work together to give your landscape the best chance for success. Doing so requires us to design a customized plan that’s specific to the plants growing on your property and your needs. That takes time, including the time needed to perform a thorough inspection of your property.

We schedule treatments well in advance to ensure that we can meet the needs of all of our clients who have signed up for our Plant Health Care program.

While we do our best to fit in “emergency” treatments, it’s not always possible to do so within the timeframe necessary to effectively treat the insect or disease problem.

That’s why planning for spring while the snow is still flying is so important.

Call us today at 440-564-1374 to set up your spring planning appointment with one of our arborists.

Schedule Your Spring Treatments

Contact us today to guarantee your spot on our spring schedule for insect pest and tree disease treatments!

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About The Author

Alan Kraus owner of Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

Alan Kraus

Alan Kraus is the founder and owner of Independent Tree, a full-service tree care company in Northeastern Ohio serving Eastern Cuyahoga, Geauga, Portage & Lake Counties. Alan is a certified arborist with a lifelong love of trees and with roots in the community he serves.  More About Alan >


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