Plant Health Care

Keep your trees strong and healthy with proactive, preventative expert tree care from Shady Lane

Ensuring your trees and shrubs are healthy demands proactive management. Healthy trees and shrubs are more resistant to insect infestations and disease because their natural defence mechanisms are strong.

Our plant health care process takes advantage of all aspects of the arboriculture industry’s recommended best practices, including smart planting techniques, pruning, fertilizing, and proactive monitoring. These practices can eliminate or help to reduce the factors that stress or predispose a tree to insect infestations, fungus, and disease.   

In addition to pruning and fertilization techniques and our plant monitor program. We can provide a use of generic injections to address problems such as root system damage, groundwater and drainage concerns, frost damage and recovery, and disease recovery.

When a pest does arrive....dont worry, we have a solution. We treat each issue individully to ensure the most appropriate products are used at the most effective time. Contact Shady Lane today for a free quote!

Common tree diseases across Ontario include:

Pear Trellis Rust. Widely distributed across Europe, Asia, and North Africa, pear trellis rust (PTR) first appeared in Canada in the 1960s in British Columbia. It has since spread to southern Ontario. PTR is caused by a fungus called Gymnosporangium sabinae. It inflicts major damage on fruiting pear trees. PTR causes yellow-orange spots to appear that turns bright red on the leaves of both ornamental and edible fruit pear trees. Like many rust diseases, two alternate hosts – juniper (winter host) and pear (summer host) – are required to perpetuate the disease from year to year. Pear trellis rust is a regulated disease. It can result in complete defoliation and crop loss if not properly managed. There are no fungicides registered in Ontario to control PTR disease on pears or juniper; however, some of the fungicides applied to control other diseases will have some impact on the disease.

Read More About Pear Trellis Rust


Verticilium Wilt. Verticilium wilt is a fungal disease that affects over 300-broad leaf species of trees and woody plant species. Common in soil, verticilium wilt can spread internally within a plant or tree. It can also be difficult to detect as many infected plants show no symptoms of infection, although symptoms include slow growth, wilting branches, and abnormal red- or yellow-coloured leaves. Verticilium wilt often infects trees such as maples, elms, aspen, ash, beech, catalpa, and oak. 



Needle Cast. Needle cast is caused by a fungus known as Rhizosphaera kalkhoffii that causes pine and spruce trees to shed their needles. The symptoms of needle cast first appear on needles as light green to yellow spots before they become mottled and turn red or brown. Trees stricken by drought and poor planting practices are susceptible to needle cast. 

Read More About Needle Cast




Apple Fireblight. A serious and contagious disease indigenous to North America that affects apples, pears, and other edible fruit-producing trees and plants including peaches, raspberries, plums, and cherries. Fireblight kills off branches from the tips downward. Controlling the disease is difficult and requires a combination of pruning, treating, and injections.



Apple Scab. A serious disease that attacks apple trees in Ontario, apple scab is caused by the ascomycete fungus Venturia inaequalis. The disease manifests as dull black or grey-brown lesions on the surface of tree leaves, buds, or fruits; tree leaves are most susceptible to infection until they are fully mature. Apple scab also attacks flowering crab apples, mountain ash, and firethorn.



Black Knot. Caused by the fungus Dibotryon morbosum, black knot is a serious disease that afflicts cherry, plum, and apricot trees. It can spread rapidly throughout an orchard if all knots are not removed. Black knot severely impacts the yield of infected trees, and controlling black knot requires pruning and treating buds with a fungicide. 




Box Tree Moths Boxwoods are planted as ornamentals and typically used for edging, as hedges, and/or clipped into different shapes to make topiaries (Figure 1). However when infested, the plants are disfigured by the loss of leaves, by webbing spun by the larvae, as well as larval excrements

Read More About Box Tree Moths




Anthracnose. Anthracnose is a collection of fungal diseases affecting a large number of tree species. It causes dark, sunken lesions or cankers on leaves and twigs. Chemical treatment is not recommended for controlling anthracnose. Cleaning up fallen leaves can help reduce the spread of anthracnose. Green ash, elm, sugar maple, white oak, and black walnut trees are commonly infected by anthracnose.


According to Natural Resources Canada, there are more than 200 native tree and shrub species, and almost 300 insects and 200 diseases found in Canada's forests. Shady Lane thwarts tree insect infestations using environmentally friendly, non-toxic, and low toxicity products strategically by treating insects only when they’re vulnerable in their development. In addition to treating, we use pheromone traps, bio-friendly insect repellents, and beneficial insects for effective pest control.


The common types of invasive insects degrading trees in Ontario include:

Euonymus Scale. Eunonymus plants –  are deciduous or evergreen shrubs with leaves and small flowers, and which bear fruit that have a reddish, pink, ivory to yellow capsule that splits to show orange-red seeds. The euonymus scale is a key pest of deciduous and evergreen euonymus and pachysandra (an evergreen perennial or subshrub, and celastrus (aka bittersweet or staff vine). Vine-type euonymus are extremely susceptible to attacks by this scale. The armoured scales feed on leaf tissue, causing stunted growth, curled leaves, and death.


Emerald Ash Borer. An invasive species, the emerald ash borer is a highly destructive insect that infests and destroys ash trees. First detected in North America in 2002 in Windsor, Ontario, it is responsible for killing tens of millions of ash trees to date. The emerald ash borer can kill a tree within one to four years of infestation, and is a difficult insect to detect.




Aphids. One of the most destructive insects on cultivated plants in temperate regions, aphids – aka plant lice – are sap-sucking insects that are typically noticeable on shade trees and ornamental plants. They attack almost all species of plants, damaging the underside of leaves to leave spotty, yellow discolourations. 




Woolly Aphids. Woolly aphids – aka beech woolly aphids or beech blight aphids – are small insects that feed on the sap of American beech trees. They feed on the fluids in leaf tissue, causing leaves to curl and distort. They also produce a sticky substance called honeydew which can stain patio stones, wooden furniture, and walkways.




Boxwood Leafminer. Regarded as the most serious pest to attack boxwood trees and shrubs, the leafminer feeds on the inside of the boxwood leaf, leaving a hollowed out area between the leaf surfaces which usually appears orange in colour. 

Read More About Box Leaf Miner





Birch Leafminer. Birch leafminers are sawflies that attack all species of birch trees. The insect larvae consume areas inside the leaves they infest rendering the tree incapable of producing food. Damage appears as a small brown or reddish-brown patch on the surface of a leaf, and the leaves of birches under siege by leafminers will often curl at the edges.




Eastern Tent Caterpillar. A species of moth, eastern tent caterpillars feed on deciduous trees including apple, birch, poplar, willow, and wild cherry trees. They cause extensive defoliation. These caterpillars appear hairy, brownish black, with a light stripe down their backs, and they construct silken “tents” on one or more of the branches of the tree where they are feeding.




Magnolia Scale. The magnolia scale is one of the largest scale insects. It feeds only on magnolia leaf tissue fluids, stunting growth and causing distorted leaves. A by-product of scale feeding is honeydew; a sticky substance secreted by the scale. A black mould then grows on the honeydew, causing the magnolia to look even worse.




Mountain Ash Sawfly. This exotic pest only attacks mountain ash. Although its larvae can cause rapid, severe defoliation, it seldom seriously injures trees. 






Does the health of your trees appear to be waning? Speak to one of our experts or book a consultation. Call us at (905) 773-5906, or fill out our online form and one of our courteous client support team members will get in touch with you.


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