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The Evolution of Pest Management - Injection Managing disease and insect pests has evolved over the years. When I first became a certified arborist in the mid-seventies sprays were still applied on a calendar schedule using pesticides with long lasting chemical residuals left on the plant. Everything on the property was treated. This was more than a decade after Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was published. The late seventies spawned Integrated Pest Management in agriculture an approach to reduce the amount of pesticides used in the environment while still producing a profitable crop. Understanding the lifecycles of disease pathogens and insect pests and targeting treatments only when thresholds are met are goals of an IPM program. Utilizing non-chemical products such as oils, soaps or biologicals is the preference. A chemical treatment is only to be used when there is no other alternative. Integrated Pest Management succeeded in agriculture in the late seventies and early eighties greatly reducing the use of pesticides and saving the farmers a lot of money. In the mid to late eighties IPM techniques and concepts were adopted in the care of the urban forest. At first the cost for managing pests with IPM cost more than traditional calendar sprays. This was because it required more visits on a property to monitor for insect populations and disease conditions. The nineties brought the concept Plant Health Care (PHC) to the urban forest. Plant Health Care is a politically correct way of saying Integrated Pest Management. It manages insect and disease problems with pesticides as a last resort. Unfortunately tall trees still had to be sprayed and non-target properties would still be exposed to spray drift. Throughout the nineties injection technology for tree pest management improved. Ninety foot trees could now be injected with a treatment to manage an insect or a disease without any drift. The product stayed inside the plant and moved systemically throughout protecting the plant from significant damage. This was fantastic but expensive. Since the millennium the injection technology has improved and is more affordable.  New environmentally friendly products have arrived. Some products can be injected into the root systems of trees or shrubs and deliver long lasting management. In 2011 there is no need for a tree or landscape company to spray a pesticide on your tall trees that can drift onto non-target plants or non-target properties. 

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