What to know: Pa. arborist shares tips and tricks for caring for trees

HORSHAM, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "Trees are very unique. I mean, in a lot of ways, they're like people. They need nutrients, they need water to survive," said Jason Parker. "Like people, they can get hurt, you know, they can catch diseases, they can have insect-related problems, and they get old. And when they get old, they need more care than when they're young."

Parker grew up planting trees thanks to his father, who also worked for The Davey Tree Expert Company founded in 1880. Parker typically promotes education about planting trees on Arbor Day, but the pandemic has limited those opportunities.

"The best way to protect your trees is to make sure that they're healthy," he said. "You can do that through soil testing to find out what nutrients are already in the soil and find out what they might be lacking."

An arborist like Parker can conduct those tests in addition to weeding out pests. Just in the front yard of his workplace, he recognized fungus growing on leaves and insects occupying hemlock tree branches.

"The lanternfly is definitely a tough one," he added. "I would recommend that if you are putting sticky trap up something to cover it like a metal grate or some sort of cone to make sure that you don't catch things you don't want to catch."

READ: Popular lanternfly killing-technique endangering backyard birds and other wildlife

Lanternfly season will come paired with a unique emergence of 17-year cicadas towards the end of this spring. Despite the annoying sounds they will produce, these cicadas will not be as harmful to the trees.

"They can hurt things like ornamentals and fruit trees," Parker noted. "You can put netting over them to keep the adults away."

Another tip Parker offered is to check up on potentially dangerous trees after a storm.

"It will often have damage that's up in the canopy that you don't even notice necessarily from the ground," he said. "Having someone inspect the tree after a storm is also a really good idea."

To learn more tips about trees and plants as spring continues to bloom, watch the full video linked in this article or visit The Davey Tree Expert Company website.

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