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Plant Health Care Case Studies

Plant health care is about more than treating insects and diseases; the process is about creating and maintaining the best environment possible for all plants. At Burkholder, our plant health care programs are designed to help your plants, shrubs, and trees, thrive and look beautiful. Our work has resulted in dramatic transformations of our clients’ properties, with the benefits of plant health care being clear. Below are some examples of plant health care transformations, where our work has improved the appearance and health of our clients’ plant life.

Cherry Laurel

This cherry laurel in Newtown Square, PA, was underperforming. The cherry laurel also sits on a foundation bed, screening a backup generator.

  • Symptoms: The leaves had holes and showed signs of chlorosis (yellowing of leaves) and necrosis (leaf tissue death, blotches of dead tissue on leaves). The laurel also exhibited stunted growth and dieback.
  • Diagnosis: Upon inspection, we diagnosed the cause of necrosis to be cherry leaf spot (also known as shothole fungus). We also found poor root establishment and a nutrient deficiency in the soil, along with a mechanical burn from the generator.
  • Treatment: For the soil, we used 3 soil disease suppression treatments, improved conditioning, and applied a pH adjustment. We also applied 3 treatments of foliar fungicide, flushed the root with potassium phosphate, treated the area with a biostimulant blend, and pruned branches.

Atlas Cedar

This particular tree is a blue atlas cedar in Newtown Square, PA that was suffering from browning needles, a fairly common problem for these evergreens.

  • Symptoms: The tree was showing foliar browning, as well as needle drop.
  • Diagnosis: Upon inspection, we diagnosed the causes of the needle browning/dropping to be transplant shock, general stress/failure in vascular flow, and poor planting depth.
  • Treatment: Our treatment consisted of suppressing diseases in the soil, flushing the root with potassium phosphate, treating the root zone with a biostimulant blend, and a root collar excavation.


This pachysandra bed in Gladwyne, PA is another good example of our plant health care transformations. The bed consisted of a groundcover with a sugar maple and a stone feature.

  • Symptoms: The pachysandra showed signs of chlorosis (yellowing of leaves), stunted growth, and patchy development in the bed due to poor plant fill.
  • Diagnosis: We found that the pachysandra tested positive for phytophthora root rot and Volutella Blight. We also found a nutrient deficiency in the soil, along with a high pH level.
  • Treatment: Our treatments consisted of 3 separate treatments of soil disease suppression, granular soil amendment, and reducing the soil’s pH level.

Topless Maple

This topless maple that we worked on in West Chester, PA, is a hybrid maple, likely an autumn blaze.

  • Symptoms: The tree exhibited delayed or failing upper crown development and had an excessive amount of spotted lanternfly egg masses
  • Diagnosis: Our diagnosis found that the tree had an insufficient planting depth, developed girdling roots, and suffered from general stress and failure in vascular flow. The tree may have also suffered from “psylla shock” from spotted lanternflies feeding in 2020.
  • Treatment: For the soil, we suppressed diseases and used systemic spotted lanternfly control treatments. Our other work involved the root. We flushed the root with potassium phosphate, treated the area with a biostimulant blend, and excavated the root collar to remove the girdling roots

Contact Burkholder PHC for Your Own Plant Health Care Transformations

Do you have concerns about your landscape’s plant life? Are you seeing pests or trees that are failing to thrive? Contact Burkholder PHC today for a free consultation to learn what is wrong with your plants or trees. We have up-to-date knowledge of the latest best practices for plant health and if your plants can be saved, our experienced plant health care specialists will create a plan to bring about plant health care transformations on your property. For a free consultation or more information about our services, contact us today.

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