Trees are an integral and important part of the home landscape. Providing many benefits and often increasing the value of your home, keep them in optimum condition by learning the best tree disease and insect prevention methods.


Like other growing plants in your yard, landscape trees and shrubs can fall victim to a variety of diseases and attacks from different insects. If you can spot these issues before they damage your valuable trees and shrubs, you can usually contain the problem. Become familiar with potential pests and diseases that affect trees in your area.


Practicing Tree Disease and Insect Prevention


Trees should be healthy and vigorous to maintain their beauty. When they suffer from damaging insect infestations or any of a number of diseases, their appearance begins to change. This may be the first indication that something is wrong with your trees.

Learn to inspect them regularly to catch any potential problems. A stroll through your property can double as a way to check your trees. When you’re inspecting for pests and disease, it is often called scouting.


Be on the lookout for tree abnormalities like dying limbs, and the yellowing and drying of foliage when it should be green and growing. If you see bleeding cankers, or visible fungi it may be time to call in a professional. Tree care experts, like those at Santa Cruz Tree Service are trained to diagnose and treat issues that are hurting your trees.


Tree Disease Prevention


Keeping trees healthy is the best way to stop disease from infecting them. Providing the right nutrition is important in this quest. Trees in the forest get nutrition from their neighbors, such as leaves that fall, hold in moisture and then decompose to provide nutrients.


Provide the same scenario in your landscape by removing grass under trees and mulching with organic mulch. This type of mulch will decompose and provide nutrients. Leave a few inches between the tree trunk and the mulch, as mulch cuts off air circulation.


Mulch stops weed seeds from sprouting near the base of the tree. Keep weeds removed from the area as much as possible, as they compete with the tree for nutrients in the soil.


Fertilize trees that have lost their vigor. Healthy trees that are properly cited may not need fertilization. Those in need of a boost may benefit from an annual layer of compost, blood meal, or sewage sludge in early autumn. If you let fallen leaves remain under trees, or shred them and put them back, other fertilizer is likely not necessary. 


Tree disease mostly results from bacterial pathogens and fungal infections. These often don’t kill the tree immediately but start a process of a slow decline. Healthy trees resist a steady onslaught of potential infections.


Sometimes disease enters through a mechanical injury, like that from a mower or weed eater. Disease can be spread by splashing water. An insect infestation can cause an opening for disease to enter your tree.


Disease possibilities include root rots, wilts, cankers, blights, and general decline. Different trees are affected by different diseases, such as hardwoods, softwoods, and conifers.


Diseases are often specific to the type of tree. In many cases they are identified by the name preceding the disease, as in this listing by University of California of Diseases of Ornamental Trees and Shrubs.  


Tree Insect Prevention


As with disease, healthy trees are more likely to repel a serious insect infestation. This is not always possible and sometimes treatments are necessary to save the tree.


One of the most potentially dangerous situations is an appearance by the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). This is a jewel beetle often responsible for the destruction of ash trees. It is native to NE Asia.


Non-native insects are more threatening to our trees than those that are native to our country. This is true in both the forest and the landscape. The EAB was discovered in the US in 2002, in Michigan.


While this destructive pest has not appeared in our area, Santa Cruz Tree Care professionals are aware of how to treat it. We also provide Tree Insect Prevention for Other dangerous insect pests, such as:

  • Goldspotted oak borer
  • Asian longhorned beetle
  • Sudden Oak Death
  • Pitch canker


We also offer protection against more common, but not so deadly tree insect pests like:

  • Beetles
  • Borers
  • Caterpillars
  • Weevils 
  • Adelgids


Insect pests sometimes arrive in the country on plant material transported from overseas. Of course we can’t mention every insect pest or Tree Disease Prevention program we offer. However, you can rely on our experts to properly diagnose and treat ailing trees and shrubs.


Keep in mind the healthy tree concept and follow these tips to keep your trees happy without chemicals. This can start with planting. Plant a new tree in the right location and care for it properly afterward. Once trees are established in the right location, care is often minimal as they grow. During this time they add beauty and value to your property, while providing shade and ornamental benefits.


Santa Cruz Tree Care


Tree experts at K&D Landscaping serve Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley & Watsonville, CA (Central Coast). They’re trained to quickly diagnose disease and begin treatment. These professionals are up-to-date and informed of new types of insect pests that may arrive in the area.


Call a professional tree care expert if you need them. Most likely, they will love your trees just as you do.