How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Water management

Poor water management is probably the biggest cause of problems in landscape trees and shrubs. Learn the water requirements of plants and the water-holding properties of the soil at each location in your yard. Monitor soil moisture around the plant's root zone and adjust irrigation according to seasonal need. Maintain adequate but not excessive water in the soil to ensure plant survival and good growth. Too much or too little water damages or kills plants.

Insufficient water causes leaves to wilt, droop, and drop. Drought-stress promotes sunburn and sunscald, shoot and branch dieback, bark cracking, cankers, and some fungi. Wood-boring beetle, mites, and chewing or sucking insects may attack drought-stressed plants.

Excess water, especially near the root collar, is a primary cause of root and crown diseases. Poor placement of water also promotes some diseases. Splashing water spreads fungal spores and wet foliage promotes some foliar and fruit diseases, such as leaf spots, rusts, and brown rot.

Basin, sprinkler, and low-volume soaker or drip irrigation systems are common in landscapes. Use low-volume drip irrigation or minisprinklers instead of overhead sprinklers where feasible.

Drip irrigation system
A low-volume drip irrigation system


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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