Plant Health Care & Disease Management

Plant Health Care

Plant Health Care

Environmental Designs offers a Plant Health Care (PHC) program to detect and manage potential problems before they become serious. With the use of this program, we can help protect your investment and enjoy more time outside – hassle free.

Plant Health Care & Disease Management

Disease Management

In order to give your plants the best chance of thriving, we offer a fully customized plan for your property and individual needs. Our programs are all curated in order to focus on preventative care and early detection while avoiding having to mitigate symptoms down the road. Never-the-less, the cost of treating a tree that can be saved is substantially less than removal, stump grinding and planting a new tree. You could treat a tree for 20 years before reaching the cost of removal, so let Environmental Designs nurture your trees back to good health!


  • Western Pine Beetle / Ips

    Ips are a group of beetles that embed themselves in tree bark of pine and spruce trees. Typically, this group of beetles don’t target healthy trees, instead, they favor stressed or recently transplanted trees.

    What to look for
    • A yellow or red like dust collecting at the base of the tree and in some of the bark fissures.
    • The color of your tree is starting to fade. This can appear in large areas like the top of the tree or on just a few single branches depending on the progression of the beetle invasion.
    • Woodpeckers! The existence of woodpeckers may be attributed to the presence of IPS as they search for that food source.
  • Fireblight

    Fireblight is a bacterial disease that can kill entire branches and even whole plants if not treated. Fireblight specifically affects many members of the rose family (Crabapples, Pears and Mountain Ash trees). These bacteria can be spread by pruning tools, insects or other pollinators as well as polluted rain.

    What to look for
    • Large dead branches.
    • Leaves turn yellow, then brown, and eventually black remaining on the branch.
    • Branches curling at the end creating a Shepherds Crook.
  • Boring Insects

    Boring insects typically develop underneath the bark of trees and shrubs. Trees that are under stress or injured are more susceptible to boring insects so any means of promoting vigorous growth should always be considered in conjunction with a boring insect treatment plan.

    What to look for
    • Major limb dieback.
    • Holes around tree wounds.
  • Scale

    Scale generally develops on bark on the limbs and trunks of many woody trees and shrubs. Some of which include Ash, Aspen, Willows, Elms and Lilacs. Scale is generally in the shape of an oyster shell with a black, brown or gray color that commonly blend in with the bark it attaches to.

    What to look for
    • Twig and branch dieback.
    • Honeydew underneath the tree – this is a sticky glossy substance that falls off the tree and onto underlying surroundings.
  • Emerald Ash Borer

    Originally discovered in Michigan in 2002, this insect is now considered the most destructive tree insect pest in all North America. It kills millions of trees and the threat to urban forests is a growing concern.

    What to look for
    • Sparse foliage in the upper levels of the tree or canopy dying from the top down
    • “D” Shaped exit holes in the bark.
    • Tunnel-like galleries in the inner bark.
  • Lilac Ash Borer

    Affecting quite a few different types of trees, the Lilac Ash Borer is very similar to the Emerald Ash borer. This is one of the most common insect issues in Ash trees particularly in those that were recently planted, injured or stressed due to drought.

    What to look for
    • Exit holes are larger and round compared to Emerald Ash Borer.
    • Sparse foliage.
    • Major dieback.
  • Dutch Elm Disease

    Dutch Elm Disease is caused by an aggressive fungus spread from tree-to-tree by female Elm Bark Beetles. The newly hatched Bark Beetles emerge from the Elm tree carrying the aggressive fungus on their bodies as they fly to feed on 2 to 4-year-old branches of healthy Elms. The fungus infects the vessels of the tree that transports water. As the tree reacts, it produces internal growths intended to stop the spreading of the virus but ultimately blocking the water flow to the crown of the tree resulting in tree death within a few months to a year.

    What to look for
    • Branches starting to wilt.
    • Leaves turn yellow and become dry and crumble as they start to curl.
    • Dark discoloration or streaks on the wood just under the bark.
  • Spider Mite / Aphid

    Spider Mites and Aphids are among the most common plant pests. Irrigation and water management is one of the most important ways to combat the effects of these pests. We offer a specialized treatment plan to help mitigate these affects more efficiently.

    What to look for
    • Discoloration of the leaves.
    • Leaf loss.
    • Leaf flecking and scorching.
    • Honeydew residue on leaves and under trees.
  • Iron Chlorosis

    Chlorosis is due to lack of chlorophyll caused by insufficient iron. This is a condition often caused by high density compacted soil. Colorado soils are typically very high in iron but due to the alkaline levels, most of the iron is insoluble and cannot be used because it is not available in the form your plant’s needs. This condition is easily diagnosed because chlorophyll provides the green pigment in leaves.

    What to look for
    • Leaf yellowing on the outsides while veins stay vibrant green.
    • Overall yellow appearance of leaves.
  • Tree Wrapping / Sunscald

    Whether you are a native or newcomer to Colorado, we all enjoy the 300+ days of sunshine that help get us through the “winter blues.” Our trees, however, do not always appreciate the sunny, winter days and can suffer from sunscald. To make sure your trees are protected all winter long, contact Environmental Designs Inc. for a consultation and estimate.

    Where To Look
    • Sunscald usually takes place on the south side of the tree-trunk from direct sun rays.
    • Sunscald can also occur on the north side of trees and shrubs due to reflection of white or light-colored structures right next to the trees.
    What To Look For
    • Affected areas could turn red, orange, or yellow at first.
    • This could lead to ugly cracking and scaring of the bark. In extreme cases, it poses a threat to the life of your trees.

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