Plant Health Care
At Eastwood Tree Services our plant healthcare division uses the latest applications methods, up to date equipment, and materials to provide these services.
Our trained specialists can implement programs creating minimal disturbance, while offering maximum results.
Arboricultural Association approved contractors are audited to ensure competence on all aspects of good company governance. These include;
Our range of services include:
Insect and Fungal Control
Soil Replacement Program
Root Collar Excavation
Bio Stimulant Injections
Healthy trees need a healthy soil. Plant health care is the natural approach to improving plant health, and the environment it lives in.
Humans and plants have the same basic needs:
To obtain adequate water and nutrients plants require soils rich in beneficial microbes. When these needs are not met, trees get weak and cannot defend themselves against, attack from, pests and diseases, or withstand the effects of drought or other environmental changes.
Our plant healthcare division uses the latest applications methods, up to date equipment, and materials to provide these services. Our trained specialists can implement programs creating minimal disturbance, while offering maximum results.
Plant health care techniques require extensive knowledge and experience to be effective. It is important for each for each tree and site to be assessed in order for the most beneficial and suitable solution to be implemented. The condition and value of the trees as well as site considerations such as aims and usage are important factors when making a decision.
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Foliar Sprays and Root Drenches
Trees suffer from a vast range of pests and diseases which are commonly insect, fungal or bacterial in nature. Many of these issues are foliar and therefore aesthetically unappealing but can also weaken the tree over many years leading to more serious secondary infections.
The first option is always to improve the health of the tree using root care methods already discussed to allow the tree the best chance of fighting these infections itself, but where necessary there are a range of treatments available to assist with these problems.
We can provide a tailored solution to pest treatment that suits the customer and the environment. Both chemical and non-chemical options are available for most situations.
Vertical Mulching using Compressed air
Once the initial soil de-compaction has been carried out, using compressed air delivered under high pressure through a handheld lance to break up the soil, a layer of mulch can be spread across the de-compacted area. This can then be worked into the soil using compressed air to mix it with the soil to great effect. There are three specification choices:
Vertical mulch within all or part of the drip line, usually to a depth of 75mm to 100mm, starting 2m from the stem.
Radial trenching – vertical mulching trenches starting 2m from the stem and radiating out to the drip line. The number, width and depth of trenches will affect cost and results. I would consider 8 to 12 radials at 150mm width and 150mm to 200mm depth a reasonable specification.
Mulched pockets – vertically mulched holes at set intervals within the drip line. Once again the number and size of holes will affect cost and results. It is recommended that holes are placed at 1m spacing, 150mm in diameter and 200mm to 300mm depth.
This can be applied as a top dressing, mixed with soil, compost or mulch. It can also be worked into soil using the air spade.
Biochar soil improver promotes strong root development and naturally healthier, more vigorous plants. It reduces the need for watering and fertilising. The complex structure and porosity of biochar helps retain moisture, aid drainage and improve soil structure. Biochar pores also provide a home for beneficial microbes and bacteria to thrive, which increases nutrient availability to the plant and improve disease resistance.
The influence of Biochar soil amendments on tree health and vitality:
Increases transplant survival and promotes quicker establishment
Encourages better root growth and healthy soil biology
Naturally retains moisture, minimising drought stress
Induces tree defences
Essentially this is a product with all the beneficial attributes associated to mulch\compost and compositions of the two which we have recommended and applied both as a top dressing and air-spading incorporation for many years. The biochar itself has many beneficial properties as a soil conditioner, not least of all its ability to retain moisture and guard against drought stress. Its other defining feature is that where mulch would need replenishing, biochar remains active in the soil for thousands of years.
Injection of Nutrients and beneficial Mycorrhiza fungi into the trees root area for uptake into the tree’s system.
One of our most successful plant healthcare services is the application of a blend of essential nutrients and Mycorrhiza spores. This has a two-fold effect:
Mycorrhyza fungi spores attach themselves to the root system and form a symbiotic relationship with the tree, providing an improved method of taking in water and nutrients in return for a tiny portion of the tree’s own sugars. The fungi also form further links with other microorganisms in the soil which make more nutrients available to the tree.
A selection of the nutrients the tree needs for healthy growth and foliage are contained in the formulation of the product we use when carrying out soil injection. These nutrients are taken in by the tree more effectively due to the presence of the Mycorrhizal fungi cultures also blended into the mixture and give ailing trees the boost they need. A residual amount of nutrients also remains in the soil structure. For up to twelve months after application.
Injection of nutrients into the soil in this manner is particularly effective when combined with the other services in plant health care.
Surface de-compaction using compressed air (Air Spade)
This method is currently the recommended technique for soil de-compaction. This machine uses an advanced air jet with compressed air, delivered through a handheld lance, to break up the compacted soil without causing damage to the root system. It is usually referred to as ‘air-spading’, as the air-spade, and air-pick are trademarked names for this equipment. It is primarily used for surface de-compaction to depth a depth of 75mm to 100mm but can be used to a much greater depth where soil conditions allow.
Its applications also include necessary excavations within root protection areas during construction or development and the treatment of honey fungus ( Armillaria Mellea) where it will break up the rhizomes within the soil and help an infected tree overcome the stresses of infection.
Below ground de-compaction using nitrogen gas injection (Terravent)
This comprises of a probe inserted into the ground at a specified depth through which a blast of nitrogen gas is released under high pressure. As the gas finds its way out of the ground, it shatters the compacted soil, leaving open fissures, allowing for improved water percolation and gaseous exchange. This is carried out at set intervals within the drip line.
The main advantage of this method is that it is relatively cheap compared to other methods and there is no disruption to the surface, allowing lawn or even hard landscaping to remain in place if this is desired.
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We believe the use of these methods will improve and safeguard the health of trees in urban environments for many years to come, a forward thinking and worthwhile investment for trees under stress.
Get in touch today for a free Plant Health quote