Spraying is a treatment usually reserved for fruit trees. Fungicide and pesticide components in the spray keep disease and bugs from ravaging the fruit crop. You can, however, also have shade trees sprayed. Most of the time, shade trees don't need spray, but if you're noticing the following signs, your shade tree could benefit from a few visits from the sprayer in your area.
1. The tree's leaves are developing spots.
If there are any black or white spots on your tree's leaves, it probably has a minor fungal infection. Black spots typically indicate an infection called anthracnose, while white spots are often caused by powdery mildew disease. Neither condition is terribly dangerous, but they can cause leaves to fall off prematurely, which will weaken your tree and make it more prone to more serious diseases. Having the tree sprayed should clear up either infection pretty quickly, which is good for your tree's health overall.
2. You've seen caterpillars on and around the tree.
Caterpillars might be cute, but they are the larvae of moths. A number of moth species can invade trees, laying their eggs on their bark. Tent caterpillars love willows and oaks, for example. When the eggs hatch into the larval caterpillars, those caterpillars eat the leaf matter, which can do quite a number on the tree when the insects are present in large numbers. If you have the tree sprayed when there are only a few caterpillars, you'll be saving it from a more serious infestation down the road.
3. The neighbors' trees are infested.
If you notice any insect problems on your neighbors' trees, have your shade trees sprayed as a preventative measure. Insects of all types move easily from tree to tree, so without spray, your own trees are likely to be infested within a matter of weeks. You'd have to spray then anyways, so why not do it now and save your tree the pain of an infestation?
4. The tree has been losing leaves prematurely.
There are a number of reasons for premature leaf loss. Lack of irrigation and lack of sunlight are two of them. However, leaf loss can also be due to a fungal infection. If your tree is losing leaves and you're pretty sure it's not because of a lack of water or sunlight, then have it sprayed.
Spraying a large shade tree is quite cumbersome and is a project best left to the professionals. Luckily, with their ladders and equipment, they can have it done pretty quickly. Contact a tree spraying service near you to learn more.