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At Nature’s Turf, we strive to provide our customers with a trustworthy and effective partner to care for the fertilization and pest control needs of their landscapes and homes. In addition to our comprehensive list of turf care services, we also offer treatment programs for the ornamental trees and shrubs in your landscape. When comparing these programs, you may wonder which fits your landscape best. Let’s take a look at one of key differences between our basic and premium programs: the drench application of an insect control product named Merit.

A Drench: How Merit is Applied to Ornamental Trees and Shrubs

At Nature’s Turf we use Merit, a pest control product developed for many uses in landscapes, as an application to woody ornamental plants to control pests that can be difficult to control otherwise. Merit’s ability to translocate makes it keenly suited to meet and eradicate leaf-feeding pests where they eat.

Translocation is fascinating. In a nutshell, it means that a product can be applied to a plant, absorbed, and moved all over that plant from that absorption point. Some products translocate after being applied to leaves. Merit, however, is upwardly mobile, translocating after absorption by the root system.

To get an application to the roots, a drench is in order. While many pest control products are applied to ornamentals by spraying the leaves of the trees and shrubs, a drench is sprayed at a higher volume around the base. The rate is based on the labeled recommendations for the caliper size of the tree, and it must be applied by an experienced professional.

Why Merit Works Better for Some Insects

Merit is strategically suited to control frustrating insects such as Whiteflies, Aphids, Soft Scales, leaf-feeding beetles like Japanese Beetles, and more. While each of these bugs looks very different, they each feed on the leaves of ornamental trees and shrubs. Because Merit is upwardly mobile in translocation, it travels from the roots up through plant tissues, ending up in the leaves as they bud. When pests consume leaves, they also ingest the active ingredient in Merit.

Controlling bothersome insects via their food source reduces the impact a species’ defenses have on our treatments. Whiteflies are tiny insects that feed on the underside of leaves and can simply fly away. Aphids are also tiny and can easily shelter in damaged foliage. Scales have built-in shells that deter treatments. All of those defenses and more can be circumvented by meeting them where they feed.

  • Important Takeaways:
  • Merit is an insect control product developed for use in many landscape applications, and at Nature’s Turf, we use Merit to successfully control insects on ornamental trees and shrubs.
  • Merit is translocated, meaning it’s absorbed and moved through every part of the plant. Merit is best absorbed at the roots and translocated upwards.
  • In order to apply Merit to the roots, it’s applied via the drench method, which enables it to percolate into the rootzone and be absorbed.
  • Merit’s use is particularly important to the control of leaf-feeding insects that are difficult to control with contact applications. By treating them at their food source, we are able to circumvent natural defenses.
  • For more information about this application or our tree and shrub care programs, please give us a call at 770-461-4156 or email us at We look forward to partnering with you to help you have a beautiful and healthy landscape.