While some aspects of tree health arise from visible causes such as pests, others may be affected by organisms that are hidden underground, too small to see, or both. Here are some of the ways that microbes could affect tree care and tree health.
Not all microbes cause tree diseases. Some bacteria and fungi are actually beneficial for your tree's health. One fascinating example of this is mycorrhizal fungi, which help tree roots to absorb nutrients more easily so the tree can thrive. Another example is nitrogen-fixing bacteria. These make nitrogen available for plants to use as energy. Since nitrogen is a big component of fertilizer, a healthy complement of these bacteria could potentially reduce your tree's fertilizer needs.
You can encourage good microbes to grow in the soil around your trees by choosing regenerative landscaping practices. Talk to your tree services contractor about adding compost to the area and avoiding chemicals like pesticides and herbicides to help encourage these beneficial microbes.
Pathogenic microbes (those that make your tree sick) are also common. They can often be found in the soil and can be spread between trees by pests. If you see signs such as spots on your tree's leaves, wilted or dead sections of the tree, early leaf drop, or lesions on your tree's bark, your tree may have run afoul of detrimental microbes. In that case, be sure to call your tree services expert for a diagnosis and treatment.
These types of microbes can be very bad for your trees, but you don't have to keep the soil environment sterile to avoid them. On the contrary, encouraging beneficial microbes in the soil around your tree can help protect your tree from diseases. This is another reason to choose organic tree care and regenerative landscaping practices.
Some microbes don't really help or harm your tree. An example is lichen. Although you could easily come to the conclusion that lichen hurts your tree when you see it growing on dead branches, that's not the case. The reality is that's just where lichen likes to grow, and the branch was already dead or dying. You don't need to have your tree services contractor remove the lichen itself; however, you should investigate why these branches died and have your contractor remove the dead wood so it won't attract pests.
As you can see, not all microbes are bad, and many of them can actually promote tree health and growth. So talk to your tree services contractor about using natural, organic methods for tree care. And consider using regenerative landscaping practices around your trees. Go online to websites like https://www.hodgsontreeservice.com/ for more information about what tree services can do for you.