Our Plant Health Care Services

Acer Trees offers a number of Plant Health Care (PHC) solutions to maintain the health and beauty of your trees or to treat problems caused by insects, diseases, or other non-living factors.  Most of our treatments are injected directly into the soil or the tree making it safer for people, pets, wildlife, or non-target insects that could be exposed to drift or runoff that can occur in traditional spraying operations.

We want to help with your tree troubles with a realistic science based approach.  Below is a partial listing of our Plant Health Care services:

Growth Regulation- There are a number of reasons to control or reduce the amount of active growth in trees and shrubs.  Often trees are planted in areas that are too small to accommodate the mature size of the tree. The options to deal with this are: removal, drastic pruning, or the use of growth regulators.  Acer Trees uses Paclobutrazol which is a plant growth regulator that we inject into the soil at the base of the tree. Its benefits are reduced shoot growth, stouter stems, and increased root growth.  Secondary benefits are: improved resistance to drought stress, darker green leaves, and higher resistance against fungi and bacteria. An additional benefit is that with the reduced growth the time between pruning cycles can be increased saving you money.

Shrubs, especially those trained in a formal hedge can require multiple shearing/pruning cycles each season to maintain their appearance.  We use a different formulation of Paclobutrazol that is sprayed on the shrubs and reduces shoot growth of shrubs by 30-70% during the growing season.  This maintains a manicured appearance with less maintenance.

Chlorosis- Chlorosis is a condition in which production of chlorophyll in leaves is insufficient.  This results in leaves that are pale, yellow, yellow white, or in severe cases browning and curling at the edges.  If left untreated trees will have reduced growth and vigor, an unhealthy appearance, branches or the entire tree can die in severe cases.  Chlorosis is caused by a deficiency in iron and magnesium in the soil, high soil pH where iron and magnesium become unavailable for absorption by the roots, poor drainage, and damaged or compacted roots.

In Utah chlorosis is commonly caused by an iron and sometimes magnesium deficiency in many trees.  Commonly chlorotic trees are: maples, flowering pear, crabapple, some oaks, and peaches although any tree species can develop chlorosis.  Magnesium deficiency is extremely common in maples and we always use magnesium when treating maples.

We have three methods that we treat for chlorosis depending on the severity, species, season and size of the tree.  The first is a basal drench of a chelated iron. This is extremely effective especially early/mid season and the results can be seen within a week or two.  We also do micro injections in the trunks of trees, this is effective from April to August. In severe cases we do a macro injection of iron and magnesium if it is a maple into the tree.  This treatment is normally done in the fall and is extremely effective in treating chlorosis in trees and can last for up to three years before retreatment is needed.

Sever iron/manganese chlorosis on Autumn blaze maple

Aphids- aphids are a common problem affecting many species of trees.  Trees that are commonly affected in Utah especially where the production of nuisance honeydew is a problem are: Norway maple, little-leaf linden, cherries, plums, and walnuts.  Treatment strategies range from washing them off leaves with a strong stream of water, insecticidal soaps, and insecticides. Acer Trees uses different strategies to control aphids ranging from insecticidal soaps to insecticides that are injected into the soil or tree which is absorbed by the tree.  The ideal time for treatment is early Spring-Summer. We are careful in our treatment; factoring in tree species, season, and treatment product. It is important to have the correct timing and use the correct product to avoid harming beneficial insect such as honeybees when treating for aphids.

Mites- spider mites are a common pest in landscapes. They are most active in the cool spring and fall and feed on the needles of trees.  They cause a bronze or rust coloring on the needles of conifers and bronzing and stippling on the leaves of deciduous plants. Another indicator is the presence of fine webbing in the foliage.  Heavy infestations can cause leaves/needles to drop and twig and branch dieback may occur. Acer Trees controls spider mites with a soil injection in early May and an additional treatment 4 weeks later.

Scale- there are a number of common scales that impact trees along the Wasatch Front.  Cottony maple scale, oyster shell scale, European elm scale, lecanium scale, and pine needle scale are common pests.  They are primarily a problem in beech, elm, linden, maple, conifers, oak, and pine but they can also affect other tree species.  Timing of treatment is important for the best control. We control scale through soil or trunk injections. Treatment times range from early Spring-late Summer depending on the type of scale.  Contact us for a free evaluation and proposal to manage scale problems in your trees.

Pine Needle Scale on Blue Spruce

Borers- Common borers along the Wasatch Front are: ash-lilac borer, bronze birch borer, crown plum borer, and honey locust borer.  Treatment is generally Spring and is usually soil or trunk injected depending on the tree and borer species.

Spruce Gall Adelgid- A tiny insect that feeds on plant sap causing large 2-3 inch unattractive pinecone-looking galls. Common on blue spruce and occasionally other spruce species. Is controlled with a soil injection in early Spring.

Fireblight- Fire Blight is a common bacterial disease that affects trees and shrubs in the Rosaceae family.  Fireblight is particularly a problem in ornamental pear, crabapple, mountain ash, and hawthorn. It is also common in pear and apple trees.  There are a number of management strategies to combat fireblight. The first is sanitation. Raking up leaves and removing tree parts infected with fire blight.  Pruning out infected areas as soon as they are seen is helpful as well as pruning trees to reduce the density and promote good air circulation. Acer Trees offers a Spring and Fall basal drench to control fire blight.