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Sick Trees In Your Yard? What You Need To Know About Plant Injections And Implants

While trees provide aesthetic and environmental benefits to your property, if the large plants are sickly or structurally unsound, they can be a safety hazard. You have several options for treating a diseased or pest-ridden tree. However, some methods, such as injections and implants, are more effective and less toxic to the environment than others. If you have a tree that is in desperate need of treatment but you are unfamiliar with the benefits of injections and implants, the following guide can provide you with a primer on the methods.

How Injections and Implants Work

A tree that undergoes an injection or implant receives water soluble chemicals in the cambium layer of the plant. The cambium is the layer right beneath the outer bark.

During an injection, a licensed arborist will insert a liquid solution into the tree via drilled holes or a heavy duty needle. If you have a tree that lacks nutrients, the tree specialists may suggest providing the tree with a soil injection. This treatment involves inserting liquid fertilizer directly into the tree roots.

During the implant process, a gelatin capsule is inserted into the cambium. Once inside the tree, the capsule dissolves so the liquid it contains can travel through the tree.

Injections and implants require precision. While you can purchase injection kits from some nurseries, if you are not a licensed tree professional, you risk damaging the tree. If you drill too far into the tree's core or apply the wrong amount of chemicals, you may end up causing further harm to the plant.

You also need to make sure that you insert the chemicals at the right time of the year.  Furthermore, some chemicals used in injections and implants are only available to licensed arborists.

Effectiveness of Injections and Implants

While injections and implants require more skill and precision than other pest and disease control methods, for some situations, they may be your only option for saving a tree. Injections and implants may work better on larger trees and have a faster uptake than other methods such as spraying and soil treatments.

Fast uptake is crucial when you are dealing with pests, such as the emerald ash borer, that can spread rapidly and kill a tree within a few years.

If your tree shows signs of a nutrient deficiency, such as iron chlorosis, an injection treatment will show results within a few weeks and provide long-term benefits. The effects of spraying on malnourished trees are temporary and do not protect new growth.

In addition, soil treatments might not be practical if your lawn has compacted, sandy or wet soil.

Environmental and Health Advantages

Even though it may be tempting to rely on over-the-counter spray pesticides to try and control a pest infestation or disease, there are many environmental reasons why investing in injection or implant treatment is a better solution.

When you use a spray pesticide, you risk harming non-target plants and killing beneficial organisms such as bees and earthworms. In addition, the spray drift can also damage plants on neighboring property, negatively affect the health of your family, infiltrate groundwater sources and seep into nearby waterways.

Inclement weather can also limit when you can apply sprays. It is not practical to treat trees with spray during rainy or windy weather. However, injections and implant treatments are not affected by bad weather.

Follow-up Treatments

Eradicating a harmful pest or disease from trees is a long-term project. Unfortunately, harmful pests like borers and beetles cannot be eliminated with a one-time treatment, no matter what method of application you choose.

An arborist should provide you with a detailed schedule of treatments after conducting an initial analysis of your tree issues. A variety of factors including disease or pest type, tree health and plant species can affect how often you need to schedule follow-up treatments. Some types of injections will be effective for a year. However, some pesticides can protect a tree for several years.

For more information, contact a local tree service like Schulhoff Tree & Lawn Care, Inc.