By Shawn Bernick
Map provided by Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements
As a tree care professional, it is important that you are familiar with the most prevalent problems that impact your client’s trees. Each geographic region of the United States has insect and disease problems that can be commonly found on your client’s trees and shrubs. Although there are hundreds, if not thousands, of potential causal agents and abiotic problems in a given region, it is important to be knowledgeable about the most common problems that are of significance in your area. Separating problems based on their potential to cause adverse effects to your client’s trees versus those that may be frequently found in your area but pose little risk to tree health is also important. For example, the majority of elm trees in the Midwest have a condition known as bacterial wet wood or slime flux. Although the oozing, smelly liquid that is exuded through bark cracks and crotches from within the tree can be quite objectionable to a homeowner, bacterial wet wood rarely impacts the health of an elm. On the other hand, leaf beetles, flea weevils, leaf miners, and, of course, Dutch elm disease are all problems on elm that impact tree health and require the attention of a trained professional.
Knowing the key tree care pests in your region allows you to develop and implement strategies to manage these pests and provide value to your clients.
The following are lists of tree care pests by region, as well as management options for each pest. This list has been compiled through our company’s experiences and interactions working with arborists, university scientists and extension agents in each region. The list is not meant to include all specific pests in a given region, but rather to provide an overview of those pests or general groups of pests which are believed by this author to be of commercial and practical significance. For ease, the United States is broken into four different regions. I recommend that you further narrow this list down with specific pests in your area by talking with local tree health care experts from the industry or a university extension service. In doing this, you will be able to obtain information on the biology, life cycle and specific management protocols for each species of insect or disease in your area.
Charts provided by Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements
Shawn Bernick is director of research and technical support at Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements, Minnetonka, Minn. For more information, visit www.treecarescience.com