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When was the last time your yard had a check-up?

Maureen Sexsmith-West

ISA Certified Arborist, PR-4600A

Every year around my birthday, I schedule my annual physical exam. This ensures that, while I may be feeling pretty good, my doctor can run basic diagnostic tests and monitor subtle changes from year to year. Anything suspect gets a further look. Tree care can be both physically demanding and mentally challenging. Ensuring I am in the best condition possible is essential. A high risk industry, I also take every precaution on the job to minimize the risk of injury that would prevent me from doing what I love so much. Caring for the urban landscape.

So, when was the last time your yard had a check-up? Can’t Remember?



Just like people, plants need periodic examinations and treatments to help prolong their health. Plant health care (PHC) is a vital part of landscape management.


Preventative care, regular check-ups, early detection, informed decision-making, and routine treatments that provide long term, stable solutions are regular duties of plant health care programs. A PHC plan is multi-faceted and customer-driven, focusing on the health, growth, and beauty of a home owner’s yard.


Adopting a plant health care program (PHC) can identify problems problems in the early stages and prevent problems or keep them from getting serious. When homeowners and professionals work together, everyone benefits. Drastic, costly maintenance can be avoided while the value of the entire property increases.


The basic premise behind PHC is that if a plant is taken care of properly, natural defences can be strengthened. Energy that would normally be used up fighting stressful factors can instead be utilized to build up defence systems. Regular check-ups, basic maintenance and the removal of hazardous factors from the environment help to improve the health of a plant, the same as they would the health of a human.



Maintaining a Plant Health Care Program:


First, choose the right professional. You would select a doctor carefully, so be sure to select the best professional to assist you in your PHC plan. Our Certified Arborists ask questions, determine priorities, and discover the tree owner’s expectations (whether you are a residential, commercial or maintenance/construction contractor). Our well-trained professionals are familiar with regional landscape plants, their needs, environmental stresses and the pests and diseases most likely to attack. We employ some of the most experienced and qualified professionals in the region.


Every yard is different so individual care is important. Regular monitoring aids in early detection and is key to the long-term health of plants. Professionals will alert you to any existing or anticipated problems then suggest all possible treatment options and alternatives- just like a doctor would a patient. The best choices usually involve natural processes that are least intrusive. Chemical treatments should be used as a last resort. Homeowners and professionals should work together to decide what is best for the yard.


Expensive remedies are often employed after a yard has already been badly damaged. These practices are sometimes unsuccessful and cost homeowners significant amounts of money. Proactive PHC programs cost considerably less than reactive interventions because they help ensure the health and beauty of plants and landscapes, lowering maintenance costs and increasing property values.


“The long-term savings is virtually guaranteed,” ISA Executive Director, Jim Skiera says. “Not only will a plant health care program enhance the well-being of plants, but it also will improve the mood and bank account of the homeowner.”



Our team of Certified Arborists (Tree Doctors), Risk Assessors and Pest Management Professionals would love to help you care for your trees. Don’t leave your trees health to chance.


We also provide pre-purchase tree assessments, tree valuations for insurance purposes, tree protection plans for construction projects, landscape consulting and home-owner maintenance training.


If you live in the Lethbridge, Alberta area, please give us a call at 403 634-3062 or send us an email to ladybugarborists@gmail.com.


Live elsewhere? Click on this link to find an ISA qualified professional in your area.

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