Depending on where you live, you might be dealing with pests and disease at different times of the year. This leads people to ask when they should perform certain spraying options to control pests and disease. To answer this question, we can link the timing back to plant “phenology”. This is timing specific applications to the natural cyclic and seasonal phenomena. Arborists can use phenology to make accurate predictions on the most optimal time to apply pest control methods. Our team at Five Star Tree Services would like to discuss this process, so you can have a better understanding of when to implement pest control.
Plant phenology first began in 1750, when a botanist first started watching plants. This is where it was first observed that flowering times vary from area to area and from year to year in these same areas. Climate conditions were recorded when the plants flower, and direct associations between weather and flowering were established.
Now, there is a similar association between weather and tree pests. This allows us to predict the best time to apply pesticides to trees in order to control pests before they can attack our trees. For instance, if you are looking to control eastern tent caterpillars, the best time to apply insecticides is when magnolias have pink flowers, but the petals aren’t open yet. Phenology has taught us this and shows that at the time of year when the magnolia flower bud is pink, the tent caterpillar comes out to eat the leaves.
Reasons to Use Phenology Instead of Selecting Specific Dates
As you know, the weather can be unpredictable and constantly changing. One year it might be warm and sunny, the next year, at the same time, it could be cold and dreary. Which is why you should use phenology year by year to help predict the right timing for pesticides instead of arbitrarily selecting a date. Last year, you might have been able to spray as early as May, but this might not be the case this year, as the weather might be warmer (making it so you might need to spray earlier), or it might be colder (meaning you might need to wait longer to spray).
Phenology is also being used in conjunction with climate change. The combination of knowledge of these two topics is being used to reassess what plant species are suitable for particular areas. Different plant species require different climates to live and flourish in. With a warm climate, different species can now be planted that like warmth, whereas previously the climate was too cold for them, and they wouldn’t have survived. For instance, 30 years ago, some plants would not have been found up here because they couldn’t have grown in the colder weather conditions. Now that it’s warmer, more southern plant species can be planted here.
How Five Star Tree Services Can Help
Our team at Five Star Tree Services utilize phenology with pest control to help with optimal tree health. It’s crazy to think that plants are flowering sooner and sooner, compared to 100 years ago. But with climate change, it’s bound to happen. If you want our professional tree care services in Toronto, make sure to give us a call at (416) 990-3355!