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How To Prevent Pest Outbreaks On Your Trees

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Nothing is more damaging to a backyard full of healthy trees than pests. Borers, webworms, aphids, and beetles are just a few. Infestations can cause a great deal of damage to healthy trees, and there are some easy ways to avoid full outbreaks that can destroy your entire wooded area. Keep reading to learn about a few options.

Mix Up The Trees

The majority of devastating tree pests will attack a single species of tree. For example, the Douglas Fir bark beetle attacks Douglas fir trees and so does the tussock moth. Since pests are likely to attack one type of tree, then this means that a full infestation can be avoided by planting a variety of trees around your property. If you vary your trees and separate them, then infestations can be caught and controlled. This is unlikely if the insects can effortlessly move from tree to tree.

When planting trees, mix up deciduous and non-deciduous together. For example, plant a cypress, poplar, holly, or evergreen tree, next to an oak, maple, elk, or cherry tree. Plant trees in groupings and move on to another area of your yard to plant another variety of trees. 

Keep in mind that many non-deciduous trees have shallow root structures while deciduous ones have deeper roots. Planting trees several feet from one another can keep them from competing for resources. 

Invest In Pruning

If you plant trees several feet apart from one another, then they will grow tall with wide canopies. Canopies can intermingle and create a situation where the trees are competing for resources. Specifically, they will compete for sunlight and this can affect all the trees in the region. A reduction in sunlight means less food for the tree and it becomes stressed. This is also true if it does not receive enough water.

Stressed trees are more susceptible to pests and infestations, so it is wise to have your trees professionally trimmed. Trimming can keep canopies from intermingling with one another and they also reduce the dead and smaller branches that use up resources. 

In addition to pruning, a tree services specialist can identify whether or not your trees are at risk of developing infestations. If so, a treatment can be applied to the tree. Both natural and artificial compounds can be used on the tree to control pests. For example, pyrethrin is one of the more common insecticides that kills insects on contact. 

Keep in mind that treatments are not always required, and if they are, only an occasional treatment should be applied. If your trees are a mixture of maturity levels, then some of your older trees will hold birds and other animals that eat the pests. If you have natural pest control built into your outdoor environment, then there is simply no need for continual chemical treatments.