• August 18, 2019

GARDENING: Plant Health Care programs - Odessa American: Gardening

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GARDENING: Plant Health Care programs

Floyd is a horticulturist with Texas AgriLife Extension Service. He can be reached at 498-4071 in Ector County or 686-4700 in Midland County or by email at Jeff.Floyd@ag.tamu.edu

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Posted: Sunday, July 21, 2019 12:45 am

Just like us, long-lived plants like trees, shrubs and perennials need more than a once-and-done visit with the doctor when they get sick. The best way to keep you and your plants healthier is with small actions throughout the year. Plant Health Care (PHC) programs and are ideal for preventing landscape problems.

When it’s hot and dry, trees may need more water. When it looks like they lack nutrients, trees may need additional nutrients. Your plants need you, their keeper, to keep an eye on them for potential problems. Like people, trees need regular health care too.

The simple solutions identified by comprehensive PHC programs may prevent costly treatments commonly used to return your landscape plants to health. Experienced PHC experts, familiar with local conditions and plants, do this by first identifying the specific types of plants in your landscape. Then they develop a custom program to address problems that may arise based on the response of those plants to their exact conditions.

Arborists are particularly well suited to perform PHC inspections. Your local tree expert can predict and prevent the types of problems your trees and shrubs are likely to face. These are the most valuable plants in your landscape and the ones whose loss cause homeowners the most distress.

The magic ingredient of PHC is the program’s site-specific customization and frequent inspections. By having an experienced landscape professional perform regularly scheduled ‘physical exams,’ for your trees, shrubs and perennials, problems can be prevented or caught very early in their development.

Proactive PHC tree care programs are almost always less expensive than the cost of treating a problem once it becomes advanced or removing a large tree. Contact the County Extension office at 432.686.4700, or email jeff.floyd@ag.tamu.edu to learn more about Plant Health Care programs.

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