Integrated Pest Management for trees and forests was developed in the 1980’s to give professional forest managers a way to “integrate” just the right combinations of silvicultural practices that decrease a pest’s risk in the form of prevention and using control only when necessary. When a pest is found, IPM provides a process to determine the least destructive process necessary to solve the problem.
So, a combination of arboricultural/forestry methods should be used to prevent and control pest problems. These IPM basics should help you determine the least invasive assessment method to use for adequate control. Here are the methods you should follow:
The logical place to start is to identify the organism or "problem" that is causing the tree or forest condition. The question to ask yourself is, is the problem an insect or disease, is this an environmental or weather related condition or is it a combination of several problems.
Important: Make sure the condition will actually harm the tree or is likely to cause economic or aesthetic damage. There are many times where a pest or tree condition can easily run its course without assistance or with some minimal tree wellness attention including pruning, fertilization or site amendments.
Review all available control methods and follow all local, state and federal regulations that apply. Evaluate the benefits and risks of each treatment and choose the best solution with the least negative environmental impact. The challenge, when using pesticides, is to pick the one that will cause the least harm to non-target organisms in the forest or landscape.
Make an effort to monitor how the pest is progressing over time by keeping accurate records before the “attack” becomes full-blown and also during the time you are attempting control. This will help your making future IPM assessments and support the effectiveness or your decisions.