9 min read
Tree and shrub care can be incredibly complex and if you’re searching for information on trees and shrubs—or perhaps speaking with a Tree and Shrub Care Specialist—then you might find some terminology you’re not familiar with. For that reason, you might even be searching for how to understand trees & shrubs for dummies.
Of course, we don’t think you’re a dummy at all.
In fact, we think you’re incredibly savvy for wanting to know more about the trees and shrubs on your Cincinnati, Dayton, OH, or Northern KY property. We commend you for wanting to truly understand what’s going on with your trees and shrubs by searching for trees & shrubs for dummies and potentially landing on this article.
That’s why we’re writing this article. There are actually quite a few books with similar titles to Trees & Shrubs for Dummies but those get pretty extensive or may be highly specialized. What we’re trying to do with this article is share all of the possible tree and shrub terms that you might hear from a specialist so that you can have a better understanding of what’s going on in your landscape.
While you won’t be getting tested on your knowledge, we wanted to provide a thorough list of tree and shrub terms that you can refer to if needed! Any of these terms might come up when talking about the trees and shrubs at your Ohio or Kentucky home.
How trees are classified or grouped can get confusing. One of the reasons for the confusion is that people often use the terms “Evergreen” and “Conifer” (or “Coniferous”) interchangeably.
In reality, trees are classified as either Conifer or Deciduous, and Evergreen is a type of Conifer.
Here’s a bit more about those terms.
There are also a number of terms thrown around in making tree and shrub health diagnoses. A “diagnosis” is important as it’s the first step in implementing the proper treatment.
In making a diagnosis, a Tree and Shrub Specialist would want to know if this is happening from a biological entity or not. Biotic causes would be when a living organism is causing an interaction with the plant, such as an insect, a fungus, or a bacteria.
An abiotic cause would be a non-living cause like pollution, shade, construction damage, or soil structure.
In diagnosing a tree or shrub problem, you might hear the terms mites and insects thrown around. It’s important to note that mites differ from insects in that they have only two main body parts. Mites actually belong to the Arachnida class, which includes spiders.
Many homeowners don’t even realize that mites are a potential threat to their plants. Spider Mites, in particular, can be a serious problem. But not all mites are harmful. In fact, there are some beneficial mites that exist in the ecosystem which feed upon the harmful mites. That’s why it’s so important that your Plant Health Care professional is utilizing products that attack the harmful mites while leaving the beneficial ones alone.
Another potential problem that can plague trees and shrubs is a disease. Contrary to what many believe, not all diseases have fungi associated with them.
“Disease” is the primary category and fungus and bacteria are subsets of that. It’s important to determine whether it is a fungus or a bacteria that is affecting your plants as the treatments will differ.
Once a diagnosis is made, there will also be terms used around treatment options. Let’s look at some of those.
When it comes to applying products, there are different modes of delivery.
There are also a number of terms related to the plant’s health (and the maintenance of its health).
First and foremost, we want to mention both of these terms since you might notice we use them interchangeably. Both of these refer to the care of trees and shrubs using a combination of best practices and treatment protocols. At Oasis Turf & Tree, we call it our Tree and Shrub Care program, but also sometimes refer to it as Plant Health Care.
Integrated Pest Management (or IPM) is a term used for an eco-conscious strategy that focuses on the long-term prevention of pests with various solutions. Oasis Turf & Tree does not solely use IPM as we do incorporate control products when needed, but we do employ many practices that fall under the IPM approach.
Let’s look at some of these.
As we mentioned above, trees and shrubs can benefit from some extra care. But the way that you fertilize these plants will make a difference.
Finally, let’s look at some terminology around the professionals who care for your landscaping.
“Licensed” and “Certified” are two terms that both have to do with the qualifications of the people caring for your landscape.
The state of Ohio’s minimum requirement is that someone on the team is Licensed. But Oasis Turf & Tree goes far beyond the bare minimum training requirements.
We encourage all of our team members to become Licensed, and the majority of them are.
On top of that, we also take the next step and encourage team members to become “Certified,” which is done through our industry’s national trade organization, the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP).
In looking at who will take care of your landscape, you might also find there are both arborists out there and companies like ours that are lawn care companies with a tree and shrub care program.
Arborists are typically tree-centric and more specialized. They would handle pruning and also work on large and mature trees.
At Oasis Turf & Tree, we are working on ornamental trees and shrubs, which would be those that are 20 feet or less in height. We don’t handle pruning but instead are focused on services that will improve the overall health of the plants in your landscape like fertilization, insect control, soil health, and specialized mite control.
At the end of the day, we know that you’re no dummy. You know that your choices have a direct impact on the health of your trees and shrubs, which is why you’re making the effort to learn more about what’s needed (and what it all means).
At Oasis Turf & tree, we are here to assist in any way that we can. If you have any questions on terminology that weren’t answered in this article, we’re always here to help.
We understand that your trees and shrubs are a valuable part of your property and you are committed to protecting them. With the help of Oasis Turf & Tree, we want to help you get the full enjoyment out of your landscape without the worries!
If you want to find out more about tree and shrub health care for your Cincinnati, Dayton, OH, or Northern Kentucky home, call us today at 513-697-9090 to get your quote, let us help you choose a stand-alone program or bundle it with other services, and then sit back and relax knowing your new trees and shrubs are in good hands.
Image Source: Spider Mite, Thousand Cankers Disease
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