Look after your property and it will reward you with beautiful trees, shrubs, and greenery you will be proud to call your own. With regular tree care, lawn fertilizing, and weed control services from Bestway Spray Service Inc., based in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, you can admire your beautiful landscape year-round.
Insect & Disease Control
Bestway Spray Service offers insecticide and fungicide programs for control of insect and diseased of trees and shrubs. We change our mixes during the season to address the changing threats during the season and to discourage resistance.
Insect feeding on plants drain vigor from the plant and can transmit diseases. Heavy infestations can defoliate branches. This can prevent the plant from making and storing enough nutrients to survive dormancy. Some feeding distorts growth or caused gall growths.
Fungus diseases can also cause defoliation. Some can progress from the leaves into the branches causing death to the infected branches. Some can cause sudden death of the entire plant.
Dormant spraying is the first step in a control program. It smothers eggs of insects that overwinter on plants. The most common of these are aphid, mites and tent caterpillar. Dormant mix also contains a copper fungicide, which is a broad spectrum fungicide that will control fungus problems under average weather conditions.
After dormant season, insecticide mixes are used. We use low toxicity materials that do not pose a hazard when simple precautions listed on spray invoice are followed. We change our mixes during the season to address the changing threats during the season and to discourage resistance.
Systemic Insecticide Injections
Some insect problems in trees and shrubs are best controlled by a soil injection with a systemic insecticide. These are chemicals that are picked up by the plants roots and circulated throughout the plant. This application works best against sucking insects such as aphid and scales. Injection also may be the best choice for extremely large trees or trees in a confined space that makes spraying impractical.
While the practice of soil injection has been utilized for a long time, technology has undergone some significant changes. Older systemic insecticides were placed out at the drip line of the tree. This could be difficult to judge when a tree was crowded against a house, driveway, patio or street. This also posed hazard to sprinkler system lines and other buried lines as the applicator could not see them. The newer systemics are applied at the trunk whenever practical. This enables the applicator to make sure the tree is properly dosed. The possibility of damaging underground lines is greatly reduced, although there is still a risk. Bestway Spray Service, Inc. will not accept responsibility for any such damage unless the lines are accurately marked out prior to application.
Another significant difference between the older and newer systemics is their life in the plant. The older materials lasted about six weeks in the plant; so two applications were typically done to keep a level of the insecticide in the plant for the bulk of the growing season. The newer material lasts a year in the plant, so only one application per season is done. One down side of the new systemic is that it is very slow to be distributed throughout the plant. If your trees are new to these injections, you may need additional spray applications for either an existing infestation or one that develops in the first three months after injection. There would be additional charges for such applications. Once your plants are in the program, control of sucking insects continues seamlessly, in our experience. Boring insect control may be less reliable, due to their size and feeding location.
Additionally, the newer chemicals cannot ‘burn’ plants. The older insecticide could turn leaves yellow with some level of defoliation if too much material was injected or a root was inadvertently hit causing an undiluted chemical pick-up. Some trees were also found to be individually sensitive to amounts of material considered normal for their species. These problems no longer exist.
While the new generation injectable insecticides have demonstrated good improvements, the property owner does play an important role in the quality of control.
PROPER WATERING FOLLOWING THE SYSTEMIC TREATMENT IS CRITICAL TO SUCCESS!
As soon as practical after application, water heavily at the base of the tree, unless your driver has informed you that the application had to be made further out for some reason. Thereafter, it is recommended to keep the soil moist in this area for 7 to 10 days.
This material is stable in the soil and will not degrade should it not get watered right away, but it will also not begin transporting up the plant and start controlling insects, either.
Deep Root Feeding
Bestway Spray Service recommends annual deep root feeding for overall health of homeowners’ plants. Any living organism benefits from good nutrition. Plants need good nutrition, too. Evidence shows that well fed plants resist insect and disease problems, just as people do. Landscapes differ from forest environments in that we pick up leaves and litter, dead trees, etc. that help provide plant nutrients in the forest.
In deep root feeding, a fertilizer mix balanced to the needs of landscape plants, is place down into the root zone of the plants where it can be best picked up and utilized. Lawn fertilizer is for grass and is not blended for landscape plants that are primarily broadleaf plants. Their needs are different. Also, some primary nutrients, particularly phosphorous are almost immobile in the soil. It will travel down enough to reach grass roots from a surface application but is unlikely to reach deeper tree & shrub roots. This leaves an important component of tree & shrub nutrition missing if you attempt to feed them from the surface. Deep root feeding places all the contained nutrients right in the location that the plant need for absorption.
At Bestway Spray, we do root feeding in the spring only as this is the most favorable time. It is a period of high root development and consequently a period of high nutrient demand. It is also a time that we typically have good soil moisture for good dispersal. We use a fertilizer blended with slow release components for months of feeding.