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Our Approach to Pest Control and How You Can Do It At Home!

Can you get rid of tree pests on your own?

Have you ever had a tree with an issue that you just couldn’t get rid of? Maybe you are concerned that your tree is dying? Sometimes when facing a problem that you know nothing about it can seem overwhelming and impossible to move forwards. Here is our approach to pest control and how you can do it at home!

reading your weeds guide in the field at Purple Springs Nursery

Step 1 – Identify the problem

The first thing you need to do is set aside some time to examine the problem. Look at the location of the pest on the tree (leaf, trunk, roots). If it is a pest – observe it. Is it sucking the leaf (i.e. leaf is fully intact, but pests are swarming)? Does the pest have any physical features that make it stand out? TIP: TAKE NOTES!

Next, document the pest. Take a photo of it and match it to pictures on google (or another search engine like Ecosia which plants a tree for every search you make). 

Henbit weed

Step 2 – Assess the severity

So you’ve identified the name of the pest that’s messing with your tree (at least you think you have). Now it’s time to assess the severity.

 

Here at Purple Springs we assess pest severity in 5 LEVELS: 

1) Very low severity: Hard to find

2) Low severity: Can find, if looking

3) Moderate severity: Causing plant damage. The plant will recover. 

4) High severe: Causing plant damage. The plant will not recover in the near future.

5) Severe: The plant has died or is dying.

 

Do your best to assess where you think your tree fits into this list

Step 3 – React

You know what the problem is. AND you know how serious it is. Time to fix it.

Low-Moderate Severity: 

Monitor the situation. There are many pests that won’t actually kill a tree. They simply affect the tree aesthetically and while it might be annoying to look at, your tree is not in danger of dying. To deal with this level of severity use soft products like Safer Soap, Raid, or even just sweeping the pests off with a broom. You can also plant flowers to attract predatory insects to the area. 

Moderate-High Severity: 

Continue to monitor the situation. Sometimes problems will resolve themselves over time due to natural predators or seasons changing. If the problem persists you will need to reach out for help since the problem will likely require the use of harsh products that require licenses to spray.

Referrals for severe issues: 

man reads about weeds on a tree nursery in BC

Action Steps

i) Landscapers

  • If you buy your trees from PSN the soil already contains a healthy microbiome that will help the tree against pest & disease. If you’re buying from someone else, adding root rescue is a great way to begin creating a healthy soil environment for your tree.
  • Instead of using NPK products, use micro-nutrient products. Use products that contain macro and micro nutrients, kelp, Fish, humic as well.

ii) Growers

  • Do a plant sap analysis + soil sample to get a sense of your current growing environment. Is your tree attracting pest & disease for other reasons? 
  • Education on biological approach to plant health

iii) Hobby Farmers/Gardeners

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