- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
May 2, 2019
This paid piece is sponsored by Aspen Arboriculture Solutions.
By Sam Kezar, owner, Aspen Arboriculture Solutions
The phone rang one day with a man curious if I could help him with his pine trees. He had had a few other people look at them and was looking for a second opinion.
We walked into the backyard, and I thought I already knew what his questions were going to be based on what I saw.
He then asked me a completely different question that wasn’t related to what I had already thought was his concern.
He had a row of several scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris). One had already died, and the other was dying.
It was clear to me that the trees were being killed by the pine wilt nematode; the trees had pine wilt disease. But he wasn’t asking about that. Instead, he was asking about Zimmerman pine moth. He had been told that his trees had Zimmerman pine moth, or ZPM, and Diplodia tip blight and that he needed to have the trees sprayed to prevent and keep more trees from dying. He was asking me if that was the right course of action to save the trees and a worthwhile investment. That was an easy answer: No.
His scotch pine didn’t even have Diplodia tip blight or ZPM! The other bummer was he had already had the trees sprayed for ZPM in late July. The proper timing to spray for ZPM is either early spring in April or late summer/early fall in September. Even if the pines had ZPM, there wouldn’t have been any control because the spraying was done at the wrong time of year.
So how can you know if the issues you have are getting taken care of properly? There are a few key factors when it comes to plant diagnosis:
“I don’t know.”
Being able to say when I don’t know what is going on is just as important as saying when I do know what the issue is. There are times when it isn’t clear what the problem is. If that is the case, I will gather as much information as I can and research the issue, consult with other professionals and find out what the issue is before recommending a treatment action.
Here is how we do that for you:
A customer called for a second opinion on his dying pine trees. What happened then is a good lesson for everyone about how to keep your trees healthy.