Does your yard have a health plan?

  • Saturday, April 26, 2014

Homeowners schedule routine maintenance for almost everything under the roof – from the car in the garage to the furnace in the basement. But what about a health care plan for the yard?

Just like everything else, trees and shrubs require regular examination and possible treatment to maintain good health. The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) considers plant health care (PHC) an important part of landscape management.

“Preventative care, frequent check-ups, early detection and informed decision-making – it’s like an HMO for your trees and shrubs,” says Jim Skiera, ISA executive director. “Adopting a health care program prevents future problems, which in turn can save homeowners money and even boost property values.”

A PHC plan focuses on the health, growth and beauty of a homeowner’s yard. If trees and shrubs are well cared for, their natural defenses grow stronger. Any energy that might be used for fighting stress can instead build up their defense systems.

Choose professional support. Start by searching for an ISA Certified Arborist at www.treesaregood.org, who is well-trained, educated and familiar with landscape needs as well as the pests and diseases most likely to attack. Keep in mind that a qualified expert should ask a homeowner good questions to determine their priorities and expectations.

Every yard needs individual care. Frequent monitoring of trees and plants helps detect any issues concerning their long-term health care. ISA says the right professional will call attention to existing or anticipated problems and suggest treatment options and alternatives much like a doctor counsels a patient. Remember, the best choices for yard health involve natural processes. Chemical treatments should be considered a last resort. Work with a professional to decide what is best for the yard.

Be proactive. Staying ahead of plant health costs much less than a reactive intervention. Expensive remedies are often employed after a landscape has already been badly damaged, but they are rarely successful. ISA recommends routine maintenance to ensure the health and beauty of plants.

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