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Help with set up for deep root fertilizing please

Flycaster

Flycaster

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Hi
New member here. I belong to a conservation club in the Pocono mountains. We are trying to set up a system for root fertilizing hemlock trees on parts of the property. We have a trailer with a 60 gallon tank. I want to get a gasoline powered high pressure pump to inject liquid fertilizer. Can someone please advise me as to what kind of pump/engine, injector and hose to buy and suggestions as to where I could purchase such?
Thanks in advance.
Flycaster
 
lone wolf

lone wolf

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Hi
New member here. I belong to a conservation club in the Pocono mountains. We are trying to set up a system for root fertilizing hemlock trees on parts of the property. We have a trailer with a 60 gallon tank. I want to get a gasoline powered high pressure pump to inject liquid fertilizer. Can someone please advise me as to what kind of pump/engine, injector and hose to buy and suggestions as to where I could purchase such?
Thanks in advance.
Flycaster
@ATH
 

ATH

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Welcome to AS flycaster. Just curious why you need to go deep with fertilizer? Most of a hemlock tree roots aren't that deep. A good granular broadcast at the dripline for trees should work.
I'd say you da man here @farmer steve

But I'd go one step further back...why fertilize at all? Are there diagnosed (soil and/or tissue samples) nutrient deficiencies?

If you decide you are going to fertilize, get a soil test first.

You need a diaphragm pump. At least 4-5 gallons per minute. At least 250 PSI. 3/8" or 1/2" hose depending on how much GPM and PSI you have. Don't need half inch until you get closer to 500PSI and 10GPM.

I really like this injection needle to meter how much per hole: https://mkrittenhouse.com/us/rootfeeder-soil-injector-with-or-without-flow-meter (get it with the flow meter)
 
Flycaster

Flycaster

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I'd say you da man here @farmer steve

But I'd go one step further back...why fertilize at all? Are there diagnosed (soil and/or tissue samples) nutrient deficiencies?

If you decide you are going to fertilize, get a soil test first.

You need a diaphragm pump. At least 4-5 gallons per minute. At least 250 PSI. 3/8" or 1/2" hose depending on how much GPM and PSI you have. Don't need half inch until you get closer to 500PSI and 10GPM.

I really like this injection needle to meter how much per hole: https://mkrittenhouse.com/us/rootfeeder-soil-injector-with-or-without-flow-meter (get it with the flow meter)
Thanks for the info. I appreciate it. Our hemlocks have been damaged by wooly adelgid but many are recovering due to other controls so we are trying to give them all they need to recover.
 
pdqdl

pdqdl

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Welcome to AS flycaster. Just curious why you need to go deep with fertilizer? Most of a hemlock tree roots aren't that deep. A good granular broadcast at the dripline for trees should work.

Yep. Glad you beat me to it.

That deep fertilization is something the grounds maintenance industry pushes off on the unsuspecting. It started many years ago with drilling holes in the ground. That was actually a bit beneficial because it did do some aeration. Then they discovered how much easier it was to "deep inject" a liquid into the ground with a fancy pipe mounted onto a trigger. The rich folks really loved those dark green grid patterns out on their luscious lawn; proof that Chemlawn had done what they promised. Of course, that was mostly back in the day when lawn applications were routinely done with a liquid application.

In reality, the trees compete for most soil nutrients in the upper soil, especially for nitrogen, where the animals are doing fertilization the natural way. Anything other than surface fertilization is likely going to do as much harm as good, and it will certainly be a lot more work and trouble.

That being said, I have rescued a tree or two by drilling deep holes into heavy clay soil and filling them with peat & fertilizer mixed with the drillings. But that really only works for trees planted in heavy clay and are effectively root-bound.

If your hemlock is planted in clay, you will need a lot more than deep feeding the fertilizer. You will need to deep feed them some different dirt to grow in. Hemlocks don't like clay soil.
 
pdqdl

pdqdl

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I'd say you da man here @farmer steve

But I'd go one step further back...why fertilize at all? Are there diagnosed (soil and/or tissue samples) nutrient deficiencies?

If you decide you are going to fertilize, get a soil test first.

You need a diaphragm pump. At least 4-5 gallons per minute. At least 250 PSI. 3/8" or 1/2" hose depending on how much GPM and PSI you have. Don't need half inch until you get closer to 500PSI and 10GPM.

I really like this injection needle to meter how much per hole: https://mkrittenhouse.com/us/rootfeeder-soil-injector-with-or-without-flow-meter (get it with the flow meter)

A big YES on the why and if.

I'm not so sure about the rest of the stuff, unless they are going to start selling deep root feeding to somebody with more money than sense. Then they are sure to be ready to rake in some dough.

Why specify diaphragm? I've been using the same FMC D020 piston pump since 1984. They are quite reliable, and all the parts are still available. Quite a bit more $$$ to buy new, nowadays. :eek:
 

ATH

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....

Why specify diaphragm? I've been using the same FMC D020 piston pump since 1984. They are quite reliable, and all the parts are still available. Quite a bit more $$$ to buy new, nowadays. :eek:
I'm not a pump expert, but my understanding is that diaphragm pumps handle corrosive chemicals better.
 
pdqdl

pdqdl

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Probably better than a cheap roller pump or perhaps an all steel piston pump. The cheezy little roller pumps don't get high enough pressure, either. Of greater concern with diaphragm pumps is not the corrosion, but abrasion. They are a definate design advantage when it comes to pumping abrasive materials, which aren't too common with fertilizers or herbicides. Not many folks use wettable powders, but the diaphragms are supposedly better at that.

My FMC pump has ceramic cylinders, and doesn't seem to care about abrasives. Or corrosive materials, either. But it is too expensive for most folks to consider buying.

Funny thing is, that was the first pump & spray rig I ever bought. Over 35 years later, it is still the only one I own, and works as good as the day I bought it. (After no small number of new pump parts, though. They do NOT like to be frozen, and the valves do wear out). The stainless steel tank is as clean on the inside as after the first month that I used it. Apart from a tiny amount of grunge that sticks to the inside, it is almost ageless.
 
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