Pest Management: The Importance of Seasonal Tree Maintenance

A tree surgeon wearing a harness uses a corvellot to prune a palm tree.

Keeping insects away from your home and off of your property in Jacksonville, FL, can feel like a full-time job. Fortunately, there are some fairly simple steps you can take to limit your chances of a pest infestation on your property, one of the most effective of which is seasonal tree maintenance.

Below, tree experts from Tree Triage will be discussing why seasonal tree maintenance in Jacksonville is beneficial for trees and crucial for limiting pest infestations. They’ll also offer some tips on what you can do each fall to ensure your trees are as healthy as possible.

Benefits of Seasonal Tree Maintenance

Many homeowners neglect their trees entirely and then wonder why they have ongoing tree problems. There are numerous benefits you’ll enjoy when you carry out preventive maintenance at least once annually.

Reduced Risk of Tree Disease

Unfortunately, trees in Northeastern Florida are at heightened risk of tree diseases. Common ailments in Jacksonville include fusiform rust, laurel wilt, brown spot needle blight, and Ganoderma. These diseases and fungi attack nearly every tree species native to Duval County.

Professional pruning once annually will naturally promote healthy growth that will help limit the risk of infection. Your arborist will cut out competing branches to ensure resources are used effectively, thin out the canopy to allow sunlight through to lower branches, and cut out any dead limbs or already infected branches to limit the spread of infection. Healthy trees are far less likely to experience the common tree diseases in Jacksonville.

Improved Appearance

Not only will your trees be healthier, but they’ll also look healthier and more appealing. Your tree trimmer will shape the canopy and remove any erratic growth, thereby improving your property’s curb appeal and natural beauty.

Reduced Risk of Property Damage

One of the most cost-effective benefits of carrying out routine tree maintenance in the fall is a decreased risk of trees falling or dropping heavy limbs. Pruning promotes healthy growth, which means all parts of your trees will be strong and capable of supporting themselves. Sick or infested trees are far more likely to become weak, which promotes toppling or fallen limbs that can cause massive property damage and personal injury.

Fall pruning is especially important in Jacksonville because it addresses any damage from hurricanes and tropical storms that rolled through the area during hurricane season. Unattended damage persisting through the winter increases the risk of falling branches and uprooted trees and leaves your trees more prone to pest infestation and disease.

A Florida home surrounded by palm trees.

Reduced Risk of Pest Infestation

Annual pruning will reduce the likelihood of your tree getting infested with pests. In Jacksonville, that includes pine bark beetles, tent caterpillars, dogwood borers, and Asian citrus psyllids. Perhaps most importantly, arborists will cut away any branches that are touching or at risk of touching your roof or siding.

When limbs and branches touch your home, they create a bridge for a variety of pests that thrive in trees. These include carpenter ants, spiders, roaches, and even rodents. Having a professional trim away low-hanging branches will help reduce the risk of these pests making their way to your home, will limit any resulting damage, and will reduce your need for extermination services.

Why Tree Maintenance Limits Pest Infestations

Tree maintenance in the fall can drastically improve your trees’ chances of resisting pest infestation, something that is particularly important in Jacksonville, where invasive species are so prevalent. There are a few reasons seasonal maintenance helps keep pests away.

Improves Your Trees Natural Resistance

Trees are naturally quite adept at protecting themselves from pest infestations, but they become susceptible when they’re stressed or weakened. In Jacksonville, tree damage from hurricanes and tropical cyclones, root rot from the above-average annual rainfall, and damage from the intense sun and heat can all leave your trees more vulnerable. Seasonal maintenance will help maintain healthy trees that are protected from pests.

Identifies Problem Trees

If one of your trees does contract a disease or gets infested by a pest in the Jacksonville area, the issue is easy to miss or ignore. As the problem worsens, your tree will be at a higher risk of dying, and the disease or pest will very likely search for a new host. Nearby trees will naturally become targets, and you’ll soon have additional trees needing removal or care or putting your property at risk of damage.

When you have a professional perform routine maintenance on your trees once a year, they can identify issues before they become severe and carry out proper treatment to prevent the spread to other trees on your property.

Tree pruning servicemen on a lift cutting limbs off a tree.

Keeps Pests Outside Where They Belong

As mentioned above, low-hanging branches that touch your roof or siding can act as easy access points for insects and rodents to infiltrate your home. Pruning services will always include cutting branches back away from your house to a safe distance where the threat of infestation is significantly reduced.

Fall Maintenance Tips for Healthy Trees

There are a few things you can do yourself to limit the risk of tree issues on your property. Below are three tips for maintaining healthy trees in Jacksonville and avoiding pest infestation.

Remove Leaf Litter

Fallen leaves create leaf litter on your property, which serves as a source of food and shelter for pests. Leaves on the ground also maintain a moist environment below, which will attract insects like ants, spiders, millipedes, and other pests to your property.

Mulch Around the Trunks

Putting in a bed of mulch around your tree trunks will limit grass growth and competition with your trees, and it will also help keep the soil moist to maximize the nutrients your tree can take in from its root system. Mulch also keeps landscaping equipment like weed whackers — which can damage the bark and leave your tree prone to pest infestation and disease — away from your trees.

Contact a Professional for Pruning Services

Finally, contact a professional tree trimmer for pruning every fall. Pruning promotes healthy growth, boosts your trees’ natural immunity to pests and diseases, and helps keep pests away from your house. Pruning will also improve the appearance of your property and help avoid fallen trees and limbs that can damage your home or injure your family, especially during hurricane season in Jacksonville.

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