DIY Emerald Ash Borer treatment?

im1dermike

im1dermike

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I just watched a video where someone said you can treat EAB with insecticides that contain Imidacloprid which you can buy at garden centers. I have a large ash tree which I've been having an arborist treat with injections every other year. EAB infestation levels are apparently high in my area now. The DIY option is appealing solely because it would be so much cheaper. Can anyone speak to the effectiveness of this?
 

ATH

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I've been treating ash trees for about 12 years...we are relatively close to where it was first discovered in Detroit.

What are they injecting with? If every other year, I assume emamectin benzoate (most commonly called Tree-Age, but there are other brands). If so, that is certainly more effective than imidacloprid.

In really high pressure situations I think that makes a difference. However, properly applied imidacloprid is effective in many circumstances. I've actually used both every other year with Tree-Age and every year with imidacloprid. Ash were dying so quick and we didn't have a lot of research about what worked, so a double shot with 2 different insecticides seemed like the best plan. Only lost a few and those looked pretty bad before we started treatment. Everything else is thriving today. Not many "new" trees being killed by EAB because there are almost no ash alive if they were not treated.

The problem with some of the garden center bottles is that you can't legally use as high of a rate. If you are going to DIY, I'd recommend buying a gallon of Merit 2F (or generic Imidacloprid 2F - I buy it from Midwest Arborist supplies www.midwestarboristsupplies.com/

Use the highest labeled rate. For trees over 15" DBH that will be 0.4 ounces of product per inch of DBH. Mix that in a gallon or two of water. Dig a little trench around the trunk of the tree about 2-3" wide and 2-3" deep. Slowly pour that mix into the trench. Do this in the spring before it starts to leaf out or soon after.
 
uniballer

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Soil drench works pretty good. I try to do mine early enough that the weeds (e.g. dandelions) are not doing anything much, especially flowering, to help avoid killing honeybees with the imidacloprid.
 
im1dermike

im1dermike

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Thanks for the input.

This past week a tree company doing work on a neighbor's trees stopped by because they were hoping to go on my property to do the work. I asked them if they could give an estimate for the EAB injections just to see if it was cheaper. I have been paying roughly $350 for two year's worth of injections. The only other estimate I got for the same task was $400. Both figures seem ridiculous, but since they are comparable, I assumed this was the market rate. The guy from the company I spoke to this week said it would be $110 for two years, obviously considerably cheaper than what I have been paying. His estimates for some other tree work (pruning, removing trees) was also super cheap.

Any reason I should not proceed with this new company? Like is that estimate so low that it is suspect?
 
im1dermike

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The DBH is 31".

Here is the new tree company's response to my question about chemical and rate: "The product is called boxer. It's for the injection system that we use. I'm not sure exactly what the rate is, however, based upon the size of the tree, we would do approximately 8-10 injections into the trunk. I believe each injection puts about 1 oz of product in."
 

ATH

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I looked at the Wedgle Direct Inject a while ago, but didn't see a lot of good reviews on it. More prone to blow off bark than other systems. Not that it always does, not that others can't, but my understanding is it causes more issues. I went in other directions.

That to say, I haven't looked at their offerings, so your post sent me digging.

Boxer is the same active ingredient (and percentage of chemical) as TREE-age (4% Emamectin Benzoate).

Their highest labeled rate (2ml per 4" of circumference) comes out to a tad over 60% of what TREE-age has for the lowest rate.

I was using 10ml per inch of trunk diameter on the big trees. Arbor Jet rep told me to cut that back t0 5ml. So on a 31" DBH tree, I'd be using 155 ml of product. Boxer label calls for a maximum rate of 48.7 ml (it would be illegal to do more because that is off label). If they are only putting 1ml per injection site, they are using the lower rate so more like 24ml. I'm guessing that they have it labeled that way because it would be utter misery to inject 155 ml using that system. (Note: every other product is labeled using diameter at breast height (defined as 4.5" high) while Boxer says measure 12" high, so their rates would be a little higher than what I quoted because the tree will be a larger diameter that much lower)

Sometimes you get what you pay for... It sounds like the offer is for 1/6 of a dose for 1/3 of the price??? But maybe there is something I am missing...confirm the chemical and rate the other company was using.

From how I understand the label, they should be using 16-24 injection sites. The label seems to switch language:

DOSAGE
1 ml per 4” to 6” of trunk circumference
measured within 12” of the ground.
Dosage may be increased to a maximum
of 2 ml per injection site for trees with a
circumference greater than 38” (diameter
greater than 12”), for challenging insect
infestations or for remedial or longer
residual control.


So they say 1ml per inch of trunk circumference then switch to 2ml per injecion site. I think that implies one injection site per 4-6"???

https://www.arborsystems.com/material_updates/pdf/BX_BK.pdf

http://arborjet.com/assets/pdf/TREEageG4Insert8.5x11.pdf
 
im1dermike

im1dermike

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Very helpful. Thanks for your input.

The new tree company used to just prune and remove trees, but recently went into the business of treating EAB. I say this because I would expect a rep to rattle off these numbers off the top of their head, but apparently he can't. I don't even think the rep took a measurement and he said 1 oz per injection, but 1 oz = 29 mL so that can't be right. The previous company uses Tree-age 2 FWIW, which calls for injection sites every 4-8" and they were using the maximum rate.

Let me see if I can get the new tree guy to confirm numbers.
 
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ATH

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Oh yeah...I didn't catch that oz instead of ml. Probably did mean ml. Easy mistake to make.
 
im1dermike

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Oops. Looks like I was just a little confused as well. The Boxer directions don't specify how close the injection sites should be. It just says 1-2 mL per 4-6" of trunk circumference. I thought it was saying the injections should be every 4-6" inches...

With a DBH of 31", the circumference is around 97". The maximum dosage (2 mL for every 4") would be 48.5 (is this the 48.7 max you referenced?).
 

ATH

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Oops. Looks like I was just a little confused as well. The Boxer directions don't specify how close the injection sites should be. It just says 1-2 mL per 4-6" of trunk circumference. I thought it was saying the injections should be every 4-6" inches...

I think that it means injections every 4-6"...but that is unclear.

With a DBH of 31", the circumference is around 97". The maximum dosage (2 mL for every 4") would be 48.5 (is this the 48.7 max you referenced?).
Yes...maybe some rounding differences to get that 0.2ml difference.
 
Woody912

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I just watched a video where someone said you can treat EAB with insecticides that contain Imidacloprid which you can buy at garden centers. I have a large ash tree which I've been having an arborist treat with injections every other year. EAB infestation levels are apparently high in my area now. The DIY option is appealing solely because it would be so much cheaper. Can anyone speak to the effectiveness of this?

Have been doing several for myself and neighbors now, only one tree was partially successful and it had been subjected to a trimming previously. Also treated a badly afflicted tree that had also been trimmed, 2 years down the road and it is holding it's own. Started with Merit, now buying generic by the gallon and since we are at peak infestation I am using .4 oz per inch of diameter. In your case 12 ounces for less than $10. Lot of money could have been saved on urban removals in this county if people had gotten ahead of the game.
 
STLARBORIST

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Imidacloprid is a decent active if you use the correct dosage every year. Granted its not the best on the the market but I believe it will do the job. However if your in a high pressure area with infestation I would use tree'age at high dosage or write the tree off and enjoy it while you can. My experience has been as some point unless you have a personal reason for keeping the tree the cost to remove it and put some thing else there is less than the continued cost of protecting it.
 

ATH

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.... My experience has been as some point unless you have a personal reason for keeping the tree the cost to remove it and put some thing else there is less than the continued cost of protecting it.
I disagree with that math. Treatment isn't terribly expensive, especially if the owner does it on their own and doesn't count their time. Not like a new tree has $0 inputs... Also, account for the lost benefits of the trees whether emotional or the shade it casts on the house. That is not to say every tree should be saved - plenty of ash trees (and others) I recommended "probably not worth treating - even if we save it, it is not a good tree", but it is always up to the owner.
 
STLARBORIST

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I agree with most of that, I've seen EAB rage through a sub-division and wipe our nearly 150 trees, the company that was supposed to be caring for the tree was doing typical BS bifenthrin sprays every where and did not have the experience to identify the damage much put a plan together to control the insect. The neighborhood became a hatchery of sorts for EAB. Now if we have trees in that area we recommend removal. This area is a development approx 10yrs old so they are not mature natives or large trees so we feel removal and choosing a different tree is best for containment.
 
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SimonHS

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Thought you all might be interested to read this article:


There is hope for the ash.

Has anyone seen any of these lingering ash trees, still fighting to survive amid the devastation?
 

ATH

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Thought you all might be interested to read this article:


There is hope for the ash.

Has anyone seen any of these lingering ash trees, still fighting to survive amid the devastation?
I've run across a couple.
 
STLARBORIST

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its always been true that the healthiest trees stand the best chance of surviving, those lucky enough to to be planted in an area that has had a diverse group of trees planted to reduce infestations of any insects. Hopefully the ash will survive. But they are taking a beating in some of my sub-divisions, some areas that have big mature natives and others that were planted as landscape, they have not discriminated.
 
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