Sick Tree Treatment: 7 Tips for Homeowners

If only there were one sick tree treatment that would magically cure all ills. Unfortunately, homeowners must sometimes wade through several options before finding the right solution. The delay, however, can result in significant tree damage, like dead branches and even death.

In this post, the professional arborists from Old Growth Tree Care, your trusted tree service in Pittsburgh, go through simple sick tree treatment. While we recommend calling us as soon as you notice an issue, we understand that most homeowners will try to deal with diseased trees themselves.

Tips to Keep Your Trees Healthy

A healthy tree is naturally resilient to disease and insect infestation. Therefore, the best cure is to keep your trees as healthy as possible. 

1. Start Using Organic Fertilizers, Disease, and Pest Control 

Chemicals kill nematodes, other beneficial microbes, and insects that promote health. They help with harmful insect control, but only to a point. Synthetic fertilizers may also contain toxic compounds and tend to be unbalanced, contaminated, and too high in salt.

The damage these substances do is not worth the benefits of using them. 

Make a simple remedy to control disease by mixing one cup of whole ground cornmeal in five gallons of water and spraying it on the tree as necessary. Add hydrogen peroxide in a 1% concentration for severe cases. 

You can also sprinkle granulated garlic around the tree to kill pathogens in the roots. The pungent smell might also chase away some pests.

2. Allow the Root Ball to Breathe

Trees may sink deep into the ground, or you may inadvertently cover the root flare during planting. This situation reduces the amount of oxygen the roots can access, so clear dirt away from the root flare for a healthier tree.

3. Aerate the Root Zone

Aerating the root zone is something to do carefully, so you don’t kill the feeder roots. You can punch six to eight-inch holes for maximum benefit. Work from the trunk out towards the drip line, extending past that line. 

4. Amend the Soil

Add nutrients the tree needs by using organic amendments as a valuable sick tree treatment. These include compost for nutrients, sugars to aid microbe growth, and rock minerals for mineral balancing. Examples are:

  • Greensand for its high mineral content
  • Azomite as an excellent feeder
  • Lava sand for its nutrient density
  • Dry molasses to act as a carbohydrate for microbes
  • Whole ground cornmeal to feed microbes and fight disease

5. Spray the Soil and Trees

Use Garrett Juice mixture to spray the soil and every inch of the tree you can see. If possible, do this once a month or more. If that’s not financially feasible, you will still benefit by doing it once. You can also add cornmeal juice or garlic oil tea to control diseases without harming the tree.

6. Make Sure the Tree Has Enough Water

You will usually only need to worry about this while the tree is a sapling or during drought conditions. However, it’s worth watching the climate and deep watering your trees during hot weather or low rainfall conditions. 

7. Consult the Professionals 

Our best advice is to schedule regular consultations with professional arborists. We will evaluate your tree’s condition and ensure the growing conditions are ideal. We can recognize signs of a distressed tree and early disease, giving you the best chance of halting the damage.

Contact Old Growth Tree Care Today!

Contact Old Growth Tree Care at (412) 213 8303 to schedule a sick tree treatment or identify dying trees that are hazardous. Our certified arborists will quickly diagnose the issue and suggest the best remedy. 

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