Biological Tree Services

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2036 20th Street | Sarasota, Florida 34234

Phone: 941-706-1414 | Fax: 941-706-1415

Resources to Help You Grow

These resources pertain to some commonly encountered landscape health issues, and instructional handouts on proper gardening techniques. You can also see our new How To Section for instructions, illustrated diagrams, and tips on common household landscaping activities. If you have a question on a topic not listed, please let us know.

Agriculture Resources

Resource Title Description File
Blueberry Crop Production
Citrus and Tropical Fruit Production
Commercial Flower Production
Commercial Palm Production
Cucurbit Crop Production
Pecan Crop Production
Pepper Crop Production
Strawberry Crop Production
Tomato Crop Production

Citrus Resources

Resource Title Description File
Avoiding Chemicals with Citrus

Avoiding the use of chemicals on consumable crops is not only environmentally responsible, but cost effective as well. The use of Integrated Pest Management Practices, such as those offered by Biological Tree Services, reduces the need for chemical insecticides and fungicides, while still maintaining the good health of your citrus plants. Integrated Pest Management involved a combination of biological control, cultural practices, and pesticides when absolutely necessary. It helps to maintain the balance of the delicate biological control systems enacted by nature, without upsetting them as Chemical Control can.

Dooryard Citrus Production: Citrus Greening Disease

Also known as Huanglongbing (HLB), Citrus Greening Disease is the most devastating of all citrus diseases. It is caused by the bacterium Candidatus liberibacter, which is carried and spread by the Asian Citrus Psyllid. Mature trees decline rapidly, and cease fruit production, while young trees which become infected will never come into fruit production. Symptoms generally manifest as non-symmetrical yellow blotches across the two halves of the leaves, as well as non-symmetrical fruit growth, coupled with a decrease or cessation in fruit production. The most effective, and least harmful management practice is the introduction of beneficial insect predators to the psyllids, such as ladybeetles and the parasitic wasp, Tamarixida radiata.

Your Florida Dooryard Citrus Guide – Common Pests, Diseases, and Disorders of Dooryard Citrus

With all of the different insects, fungi, and bacteria which can affect citrus crops, it can be hard to keep track of them all. Luckily, the University of Florida’s IFAS Extension Office has compiled a great reference, which is a must for any homeowner with a citrus plant on their property. While the large number of potential issues with citrus may seem daunting, it is very rare that a new, unknown condition arises, which means that over time you can easily begin to recognize any problem may be affecting your crop.

How Tos

Resource Title Description File
How to Transplant/Plant a Palm Tree

When choosing a palm to plant or transplant, it is important to first choose a species and size which will work for the location you will be planting in, considering projected height and canopy size, and how this may interfere with power lines, gas lines, buried cables, etc. It is also important to assess if the tree will create a hurricane hazard once it is fully matured. You should also assess the type of soil the tree will be planted in, and address any potential nutrient deficiencies before they arise in order to help ensure the palm’s survival. Once you have decided on a species and appropriate location, transplanting is quite simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. If transplanting, remove the palm by digging a trench around the trunk approximately 2 1/2 ft. deep, severing any roots which extend beyond this. Trim the roots into a ball approximately 2 ft. in diameter, and place tree on a tarp until ready for transplanting.
  2. Dig the new planting hole similar size to the one the palm was removed from, or slightly larger than the root ball. Place the tree in the hole, and backfill with soil mixed with a nutrient additive to ensure survival. Create a soil “dam” about 2-3 inches high, several inches from the trunk to direct future water flow down into the roots.
  3. Apply a heavy layer of mulch; cypress, wood chips, lawn clippings, etc., up to the soil “dam” several inches from the trunk. This mulch will decompose, and provide nutrients for the palm, so it should also be replaced as it dissipates.
  4. The palm should then be watered regularly for the first several months, never letting the area completely dry out. Avoid overwatering, however, as this promotes root disease, and discourages establishment of new roots in the surrounding soil.

Suggested products to help ensure survival:

  • PHC Palm Saver

Landscape Architect Specification Sheets

Resource Title Description File
Flexx FL Specifications
Flower Saver Plus Specifications
Natural Start Specifications
Palm Saver Specifications
PHC Injectable Specifications
Terra-Sorb Specifications
Tree Saver Specifications
Turf Saver Specifications
Vertimulch Specifications

Palm Resources

Resource Title Description File
Ganoderma Butt Rot of Palms

Caused by the fungus Ganoderma zonatum, Ganoderma butt rot degrades the lower 4-5 feet of the tree’s trunk. While the condition cannot be confirmed until the formation of a basidiocarp (conk) on the trunk, symptoms may include mild to severe wilting, or a general decline.

Maintenance Program and Treatment Schedule

At Biological Tree Services, we offer full palm maintenance and recovery programs, as well as inform our customers of potential diseases encroaching near their property.

Palm Calendar and Program Description

At Biological Tree Services, we offer full palm maintenance and recovery programs, as well as inform our customers of potential diseases encroaching near their property. This is an outline of our maintenance program and treatment schedule.

Pestalotiopsis (Pestalotia) Disease of Palm

Pestalotiopsis is a fungus which causes disease of both the palm leaf petiole, and the leaf blade. Symptoms manifest as very small, yellow, brown or black spots that enlarge in size, usually turning gray with a black outline.

Petiole (Rachis) Blight of Palm

Caused by a number of fungal pathogens, symptoms of this disease are a brown or reddish-brown elongated lesions or streaks along the petiole (stalk or stem portion) of the oldest (lowest) leaves of the palm.

Texas Phoenix Palm Decline

A new disease to Florida, Texas Phoenix Palm Decline (TPPD) is caused by a phytoplasm, which is a bacterium without a cell wall. The first obvious symptom on mature palms is the premature drop of most or all fruits at one time (within a few days,) followed by flower death. If the palm is not mature enough to produce fruit, or it is not the season for production, the next symptom is discoloration of the foliage, beginning with tips of the oldest leaves. The leaves will turn varying shades of reddish-brown to dark brown or gray.

Thielaviopsis Trunk Rot of Palm

A trunk rot condition caused by the fungus Thielaviopsis paradoxa. The condition generally causes the trunk to collapse on itself, or the canopy to fall off the trunk, both without warning. Only fresh trunk wounds will become infected, and apart from “stem bleeding,” there may be no symptoms prior to the collapse of the palm.

Turf Resources

Resource Title Description File
Mycorrhizal Fungi Can Reduce the Effects of Drought on Plants

Drought is a major problem, especially in the arid Southern environments. The sporadic rainfall, and increasingly strict watering regulations, can be extremely detrimental to the health of your lawn. You can help to buffer your lawn against this, as well as reduce your lawn’s overall watering needs, by using mycorrhizal inoculants, which help your turf to more efficiently absorb water and nutrients by increasing the effective root zone. You can also view a full line of turf-specific mycorrhizal products at Sustainable Landscape Supply.

Nematode Management in Residential Lawns

Nematodes are un-segmented roundworms. Nematodes which live in the ground are very small, and generally can only be seen through a microscope. They damage grass by consuming their root system, making the plant less able to absorb water and nutrients. Infestation can usually be characterized by irregular patches of declining grass which can often be mistaken for “hot spots” or patchy areas of drought. The appearance of Sedge, a weed, can also signal a nematode infestation. Proper soil core sampling must be done to conclusively assess a nematode infestation.

Take-All Root Rot of Warm-Season Turf

Although commonly confused with a fungal disease called Brown Patch, Take-all root rot is caused by the fungus Gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis. The fungus primarily damages the turf’s roots while the plant is weakened during moist and warm conditions of the early spring and summer. Other contributing factors are high soil pH, soil compaction, improper fertility, improper cutting height, and herbicide injury. Symptoms include irregular patches with yellowing. While there is no product currently available which destroys the fungus, and excessive treatment of any kind can actually strengthen the infestation, control and management with proper nutrient and fertilizer application, and prudent cutting practices can help cull the damage and spread.