Using the Tree Doctor App in Everyday Arboriculture

In the August 2014 issue of Arborist News, the article “Tree Problems? There’s an App for That!” features the Purdue Tree Doctor app. As someone who lives and breathes arboriculture, I instantly downloaded the app and began using it on my iPhone. I spend 8 to 10 hours a day looking at trees and shrubs in the urban landscape. Throughout the day, I typically see trees and shrubs that have a problem, but I am not entirely sure of the cause. With the app on my iPhone, I could instantly have a quick reference for tree problems I was unsure of.

I found the app to be a great resource for trees in the urban landscape. There is good detail on individual tree species with insect, disease, and abiotic problems listed. What I especially like about the app is its emphasis on the cultural and abiotic problems that are common to the particular species. For example, Bald-cypress in the app (a species I am currently trying to restore plant health) gives management suggestions for drought, decline, leaf scorch, and soil compaction. The app gives information on how the damage occurs, the stages of the problem, and control measures that could be taken to alleviate the problem.

A great addition to the Tree Doctor would be shrubs and other common small landscape plants. Azalea, rhododendron, cherry laurel, hydrangea, boxwood, and Japanese holly are some examples of very common plants found in the urban landscape that are not included in the app. Many plants I make applications to in the landscape are small ornamental shrubs and plants less than 25 feet in height. Having insect, disease, and cultural knowledge of these shrubs is critical to my success for plant health.

Another limitation is that the app needs to be refreshed often in order to access all the plant problems of a particular species. I have had to close the app and reopen it in order to access information. Maybe I need to reinstall the app, but this has been a frequent problem since I have been using the app.

There are a few plant problems where the Tree Doctor does not recommend a treatment For example, the Tree Doctor says there is not a product available for cytospora canker disease on spruce trees. Based on recommendations from the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories, I have made applications for cytospora canker disease on spruce trees and have had success with plant health.  With this in mind, remember that the Tree Doctor is a support tool and should be combined with practical arboricultural knowledge when making treatment decisions.

Overall, The Tree Doctor app is a good tool for working with trees. Arborists in the field may find some limitations with app performance, species listed and control recommendations.

Leave a comment

Girls Rock!

Just another day at the labPlease don’t misunderstand the title – guys rock too – but working in a field that is dominated by the male of the species, there are few times when I am able to experience what I did earlier this morning.

As a research technician, you will often find me out on the fringes of the Bartlett Tree Research Lab and Arboretum where many of our research plots reside. This morning was one of those times. As I was gathering data and photographing the trees involved in this trial, one of my fellow research technicians drove by on her way to one of the research plots she’s responsible for. Then a moment later, our head diagnostician came along on her way to photograph and document yet another research trial. Three separate research trials. Three women in the field of arboriculture.

So what’s so special about this? Why write about it or give it a moment’s thought? Because it was a lovely moment; in a field dominated by men, here were three independent women doing what they love to do, happily going about their work, trying to make their contribution to the field of arboriculture in their own way. And that was worth noting to me this beautiful morning.

Leave a comment

Prescription Soil Fertilization Treatments

Soil ManagementOur prescription soil treatment service is a customized fertilization tailored to plant species’ nutrient requirements in the landscape. The first step for this service is to take a soil sample within the root zone of a plant to determine what nutrients are deficient to achieve a defined goal. When fertilizing, there is always a goal we are trying to accomplish. These goals can be overcoming an obvious nutrient deficiency, eliminating a nutrient deficiency that is not obvious, increasing growth, and increasing vigor or vitality. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Aerial Rescue Training

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Bartlett Tree Experts is committed to safety and training. This photo was taken at one of our aerial rescue training sessions, courtesy of our Manchester office.

More Galleries | Leave a comment

Bartlett’s MoniTor Program

MoniTor IPMA specialized service offered at Bartlett is our MoniTor® program that involves one or multiple visits by a Bartlett Plant Health Care Specialist inspecting all woody trees and shrubs on a property for insect and mite pests, diseases, and cultural problems that could impact plant health. If insect, mite, or disease problems are found on the plant, a specialized product will be applied to suppress the problem. If cultural problems exist, recommendations will be made.

The MoniTor program’s unique service is customized to the client’s property and expectations. Action thresholds are developed for pests on key plants based on the level of tolerance by the customer and plant species. It’s time to take action when the plant or customer has a noticeable reaction to the pests. The plant, its environment, and customer expectations are three important variables to understand for diagnosis and treatment. Continue reading

Leave a comment