When I first started my pest control business, stinging insects were the focus of all my efforts. Though clients would ask if I could get rid of their rats and mice for them, I nevertheless continued to hone my skills with all types of bees, wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets.
Thank goodness I saw the light after a few years and broadened my areas of expertise beyond stinging insects to include ants, spiders, seasonal pests, rats and mice, odor problems, managing nuisance wildlife, and applying my general contractor skills to remedy crawl space and attic issues. And I even consult with clients and real estate agents when buying or selling a home and pest control issues are present, often analyzing inspection reports and visiting sites to offer invaluable assessments.
And all this background leads me to the latest decision I've made after years of client requests..........
I'm pleased to tell you I am launching very specialized tree care services addressing insect pests, diseases, plant growth regulation, and nutrition.
My initial expectation is to limit the species and related issues to the most common problems my discerning clientele face from season to season in the Pacific Northwest. And to assist with highly specialized plans for tree preservation in proximity to construction activities.
Like many of you, over the years I observed all the large tank trucks with massive spray rigs on board headed to someone's home to spray everything in sight, even the towering conifers and varied mature tree species in our landscapes. And I thought..........there has to be a better way!
Well, I'm very gratified to say.......I found it. And it's called tree injection. This method of caring for plants is known as systemic treatment since we are using the plant's natural vascular system to distribute the formulation throughout the plant. In effect, we are treating from the inside out.
But there are different approaches to getting treatments inside of hardwoods and softwoods.......even palms! So I set out to determine which approach made the most sense for the tree, my clients.......and the environment.
Now, bear in mind that I operated a landscape installation and maintenance business in the early '90s, so I know a thing or two about grasses and plants. And I grew up on a Midwest farm as well.......so after diving deep into the tree care topic, I became convinced that the system pioneered by Arborjet was the premium solution I wanted to offer my clients who are placing their faith in my expertise when their landscape needs help.
The injection methodology is straightforward and effective; drill, plug and inject.
Properly placed in the tree, the proprietary Arborjet plug contains high-pressure injections inside of the tree. Then the tree begins the process of healing over the inert plug with such speed that in some cases the plug is covered over in as little as one growing season. During this process, the tree is protected from insects and diseases by the plug.
By injecting at the correct depth into the tree, the treatment is carried by the tree's internal liquid transport system clear up to the very top of the tree. And unique formulations developed by Arborjet are specifically designed to be injected into the tree. Now, if soil injection or drench is situationally more appropriate, yet another formulation, designed to be carried upwards by the roots is used.
My brand new equipment uses a 3000psi reserve bottle to supply air pressure at a reduced level to quickly and effectively make precisely measured injections around the circumference of the tree. This is the latest, proprietary technology, and comes with a substantial price to match. This complex device looks like it came from a surgical operating room. Arborjet leads the way with both tree and soil injection technology.
But no matter how you look at it, injecting treatments instead of power spraying, assures my clients of the most contained chemical application possible.......and provides a higher degree of safety from many perspectives.
For instance, many of my clients will be located right on a lake........power spraying would present an unacceptable degree of environmental risk. Or perhaps there are fruit trees, blueberries, or gardens nearby that must be protected from many chemical treatments.......injection is the perfect answer. And, in some cases, treatments can provide multi-year protection for the tree, something spraying simply cannot accomplish.
And for younger trees not yet sufficient in diameter to accommodate injection, I have specific formulations designed to withstand the additional chemical breakdown factors in soil, that are delivered to the tree via a soil injection or drench at the base of the tree. Those major factors include heat, light, moisture, microbial activity, and pH.
Now here's an interesting factoid........about palms I mentioned before........be honest........did you know that palms are classified as grasses.........and that they are closely related to orchids, onions, lilies, bamboo, grains, and sedges. No kidding.
Arborjet has developed a broad array of treatments addressing many plant issues. Plus, their technical staff support is extremely capable, with a host of arborists and arbor culture experts available to assist with plant care plans addressing the most unique of situations.
More recently, Arborjet has partnered with Ecologel to market a broad menu of nutritional products as well.
In addition, there is another tree care product I am evaluating. It's called an Air Spade.......a tool that uses high volume, high-pressure air to dislodge soil from tree roots, drill aeration holes in the ground, and also for locating underground utilities that pose a high risk of damage from even hand digging. We developed a tree saving plan for a homeowner that employed an Air Spade to uncover tree roots that otherwise would have been cut off and damaged by a next-door developer. The exposed roots were to be covered with a proprietary formulation that attracts water vapor to the roots where it condenses into free water the roots can uptake. Modern science is working some miracles these days!
When it comes to plants and developing a home landscape.........a long-standing TV personality here in the Puget Sound region likely had the greatest impact in this field. And even today, Ed Hume is still well known and loved by many.........and his blazed trail was later followed by personality Cisco Morris.
Little did we know at the time, but all those plants Ed brought to our attention......and that we all planted.......would grow and grow and grow. Often until the home was dwarfed by the wrong plant in the wrong place.
So, while Ed showed us how much fun it is to grow things.......Cisco had a greater hands-on involvement with plants, often appearing with well worn clippers in a belt holster. But there were no lengthy classes in pruning that I can remember.
Well, I solved that missing skill for myself some years ago by taking many, many weekends of training from Cass Turnbull's, Plant Amnesty organization........and I am now a Certified Master Pruner. Yea Trey!!!
And from my experience in the field in the pest control industry, I have observed a growing awareness and support for much more detailed tree care, since these magnificent plants bring so much enjoyment to your life and contribute highly to the value of your property. This heartening development was instrumental in my decision to offer services filling this growing desire for better, and more comprehensive tree care.
Commercial property managers are also discovering the financial benefits of outstanding tree health that contributes to tenant success and employee satisfaction levels.
Not only are we able to restore trees to health........or help keep them healthy.......but I can now control growth rates to reduce maintenance requirements and to keep plants in a proper balance with other plants and structures. And actually enhance the plant's overall health and vigor in the process. Anyone planting a dwarf conifer will attest to the tree's likelihood of outgrowing its location long before anyone expected. Now, when a tree reaches the height that almost looks best in the landscape picture, beginning a plant growth regulator schedule will work wonders to preserve that perfect balance you always had in your mind.
Keep an eye out for exciting changes to the Pest Control Northwest website as I bring new services to market. This year is gonna be a rocket ride!!
Come along and live a life full of joy and passion!!