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Global Forests -
Little Known or Interesting Factoids About Trees and Tree Physiology

R.I.P Jim Rediker

Karen Rockoff is the only ISA certified
arborist with

BEWARE- There are other persons fraudulently representing These persons are not authorized or licensed to use the name or inject with the chemjet system. Please contact Karen Rockoff immediately if these persons attempt to solicit these services. 

Karen L. Rockoff
Master Certified Landscaper TX 4803
ISA Certified Arborist TX 3308A
Certified Oak Wilt Specialist TX 0291

Phone: 830-955-0304   Email: 



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The picture above of the Chemjet® injectors were purchased from: and being used by the University of California, California Agriculture, Forestry Lab to inject Potassium Phosphate fungicide K2HP03 into oak trees to help prevent infection with the Sudden Oak Death caused by the pathogen Phytophthora ramorum . The Chemjet® injectors work equally well for the injection of Insecticides, Fungicides and Nutrients. To order the Chemjets, e mail: or call 1-800-625-9458. Price $11.75 ea plus S & H $10.95 up to 30 units ..Out of State sales tax not applicable. TX. Sales Tax 8.25%.   PLACE YOUR ORDER TO DAY AND  RECEIVE AN ADDITIONAL DISCOUNT.

Oak Wilt Injection using CHEMJET®  Syringes with the KESTREL®


A simple, hand-held, plastic liquid injector for trees bears a likeness to an overgrown syringe and works on much the same principle. The system is said to be a cost efficient method for injecting insecticides, fungicides, fertilizers, and trace elements into any limb or trunk of 2 in. diameter or greater. After an injector has been filled by submerging its tip in solution and pulling up on the spring-loaded "T" handle which is then twist locked, it is ready to be tightly inserted into a pre-drilled hole and unlocked. The internal spring then applies steady pressure delivering the injector's contents, usually in 3 to 5 hours depending on weather and sap viscosity. Once empty, The Chemjet® injectors with their bright red handles are easily seen, quickly retrieved, cleaned, and ready for use again.


Chemjet® syringe injectors

•Chisel (only needed for large bark furrows)

•Cordless drill with a 11/16’ or a 4.2 mm high speed drill bit

•Kestrel® , Propiconazole 14.3% MEC

•2 ½ gallon bucket for loading & carrying syringes


If using the preventative 10 mil dosage rate -Dilute 1 part Kestrel® with 1 part water and fill the syringe with 20 mils of the solution.

•If using the therapeutic 20 mil dosage rate - do not dilute the and fill the syringe with full 20 mils of the solution however uptake will be slow. I do have a larger syringe available that can be loaded with 40 mils of the 50/50 Kestrel® / water solution and uptake will be normal 3-6 hours.

The Chemjet® syringes should be placed equidistance around the tree 4-6 inches just above the trunk flare. If you inject at knee high place the syringes 3 inches apart. There is no difference in uptake time as Propiconazole, a systemic fungicide, ( XMS .. Xylem Mobile Systemic ) does not require high dilution rates with water, so treatment is considerably faster, and there is less tissue injury at the injection site as it has a near neutral pH factor." It is most important to treat your trees as a preventative application than as a curative application. Once a tree becomes infected is near impossible to save your tree.

The Chemjet® Tree Injectors, delivers the same prescribed volume of the fungicide ( Propiconazole 14.3 % MEC ) at the preventive rate of 10 mils per diameter inch, in a 50% concentrated solution measured at 20 mils per injector. Each injector placed 3" apart around the trunk stem 4-6 inches above the trunk flare. Unlike the MACRO injection system, that utilizes a very high volume water at the rate of 10 mils of fungicide diluted per liter of water. Often times, the tree will not absorb the full prescribed amount of fungicide/water solution, leaving as much as a 1/3 to 1/2 of the total required volume in the reserve tank and lines.  The Chemjet®  procedure with the higher concentration is much like a booster shot of an antibiotic only with far more effective results. The aim of tree injection is to use the tree's natural transport system which uses the water within the tree for dilution to distribute pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers throughout the entire tree to the areas where they are most effective.

The damage factor with The Chemjet® Tree Injectors, are far less invasive and the wound closure, due to the small shallow holes will close within a few short weeks. The macro drill size takes a longer time for closure. The MACRO damage factor is more that 85 % greater than The Chemjet® application. Following the MACRO injection, the dirt is replaced and fills the drill portals subjecting the tree to more peril. This delays wound closure and often causes canker or pathogenic infections in the root flare. Excessive damage to this most critical transition area of the root flares, limits the water and nutrient movement to and from the roots and can cause serious loss of vigor or eventual death.

See drill size comparison of the chemjet 11/64" to the macro 5/16" drill size                                         Chemjet® drill size:  11/64" =  O  which is half the size of Macro drill size:   5/16" = O

You will also use far less drill portals with the chemjet injectors in the trunk stem on the average of one injector per diameter inch or places 3" apart around your tree/. The MACRO injection requires a far greater number of injectors, due to the larger exposed area of root flare area. ( A rule of thumb: ... 3 drill portals for each diameter inch  e.g 16" dia  tree equates to 48 drill portal) . ( See photos below ) The Chemjet® injectors delivers far better results, with only 16 small drill portals at a lesser cost to the tree with smaller drill damage, faster wound closure, very efficient uptake, less intensive labor, and best of all your job is out of the dirt providing the least chance of pathogenic infection. .......  All in All........ Your tree wins ! !

SAFETY : Propiconazole taste nasty. It will sting eyes and cuts, but causes no permanent damage if rinsed immediately. Follow the label directions. It may irritate sensitive skin, so wear elbow length PVC gloves, safety glasses and old clothes when injecting. •••Take care when using sharp equipment such as drills and chisels.

TIMING: Injection is most effective in spring, summer & autumn, on warm, sunny mornings. Early morning is the ideal time as the trees will shut down to conserve water around 11:30 to noon time.  You may also inject your trees in early evening around 7 pm when it begins to cool down. Avoid injecting on days over 100°F. Propiconazole has a two year residual and it is recommended to repeat a follow up treatment approximately 22-24 month later. If your trees are infected with early sighs and survives the first treatment, it is recommended to retreat in a years time. Preventative treatments, before infection has occurred, has been found to be more effective than curative treatments.

Step 1 Carefully load the Chemjet® syringes from a bucket that contains the diluted 50 /50 water - Kestrel ® ( Propiconazole MEC 14.3%) solution. Immerse the tip of the syringe in the solution and pull the plunger back slowly to minimize any air bubbles forming in the syringe. Twist the plunger 1/4 turn to leave syringe in the Locked position.   Note: The Syringes should not be preloaded and placed in the lock position for an extended period of time. The extended time period and spring force may damage the lock position slot. It is best to use the product filled syringes in a minimum time following preloading.

Step 2 When injecting, if the bark furrows are deep, remove only enough of outer bark to get a good seal with the syringe. A chisel can be used, however this is not broadly recommended as it can cause unsightly scars in the bark for a short time until they weather a while. If using a chisel be careful not to go deeper than the bark tissue.

Step 3 Drill a hole into the tree trunk. Injection needs to be into the sapwood, so don't drill any deeper than 1 1/4 ” inch and on a downward 45 degree angle. Drill the hole 4 to 6 inches above the trunk flare or if your knees and health dictate, you can drill at knee height so that it is comfortable to inject, and remember the slight downward angle. Do not inject trees under 2 ½” diameter Note: The syringe will penetrate the sap wood only about 1/2 inch for a proper seal. The screw thread effect on the nozzle is for strength and does not need to be inserted into the tree. If weeping occurs, with the open palm of your hand, apply a gentle, but firm nudge to seat the syringe a little deeper into the sap wood.

Step 4 Drill a hole every 3 inches equidistance apart around the trunk flare (this is almost one hand width). Multi stemmed trees need holes in each trunk.

Step 5 As You insert syringe nozzle into the drilled hole avoiding any twisting to prevent damage to the syringe tip. You will not need to the use the thread at the top of the syringe tip (It is to provide strength to the nozzle). Gently push the syringe tip into the hole to get a good seal. The Injector will seat within a 1/2 inch into the xylem or sap wood. Release the plunger from the cocked position. As mentioned above, you may have to give the red plunger handle a gentle nudge with the open palm of your hand to help get a better seal.

Step 6 Under ideal conditions the syringes should be finished injecting in 3-5 hours. Note that trees can vary on the time taken to be injected depending on the tree's health, time of day and weather and soil conditions. You may have to leave the syringe over night.  If significant leakage occurs try injecting into another hole or delay injection to another day. Remove syringes once all the Kestrel ® ( Propiconazole ) has been injected.

Step 7 Count the syringes before use to ensure that none are lost while injecting. After use clean the syringes with warm soapy water, (above 95 degrees F) rinse in clean water. A regular application of silicon spray inside the syringe's chamber will ensure they will inject smoothly. Syringes should be disassembled at least once a season and cleaned using the manufacturers instructions. 

The Don't 's and some little Tips

Do not drill more than three drill holes at a time, a hot drill can burn the surrounding  wood tissue. and uptake will not happen. Also you can better keep track of the holes as they are small and can be difficult to locate. So, do only a few holes at a time and keep your drill cool !

Do not place the syringes too close together, this may cause phytotoxicity ( leaves turning yellow ) maintain the 3 inch spacing.

If the syringes is not totally empty, you may drill another hole above the existing hole or just leave it for a night or two.

The uptake on the Sunny Side of the tree will be much faster than the shaded side. A cool breeze will also promote a faster uptake and the same following a good a rain.

NOTE:  The root flare is below the soil line and the trunk flare is above the soil line.

MOST IMPORTANT .... DO NOT inject a tree under drought conditions, make sure you water your trees thoroughly the day before injection. Propiconazole under drought conditions will ZAP your tree as it causes ( phytotoxicity ... burning and yellowing of leaves and possible eventual death )

Trunk Flare Wounds 

If you ever want to kill a tree, you would simply have create damage to the trunk flare, into the thin layer beneath the bark it is called the Cambium. By doing so, you cut off the tree's supply line that carries sugars from the leaves of the tree to the root system and the tree could die. The trunk flare is a very sensitive and a critical area, as it is the transition area from the roots to the leaves and vice versa. Any damage is considered substantial to this area. Even a small gouge that penetrates through the bark can cause serious damage to a tree's vigor and limit its long-range health.

Construction equipment, Lawn mowers and Weed eaters cause irreparable damage to the base of the trees. As does treating trees for fungal diseases or insect problems, drilling numerous large holes 5/16" around trunk flare or the base of the tree can cause long term damage, that is not visible to the naked eye. The damage ratio of the  MACRO application is 85% greater than that of The Chemjet®  injection application. Wounds are serious enough by themselves, but the wounded tree must also protect itself from pathogens that invade these wounds. Insects and soil borne microorganisms often attack the injured cambium and invade adjacent healthy tissue, greatly enlarging the affected area. Trees can be completely girdled from microbial attack following injury. Decay fungi also become active on the wound surface, and structural deterioration of the woody tissues beneath the wound will often occur. Wound closure will be delayed or be totally non existent due to this unforeseen damage. When the cambium is damage in this critical area, interrupting the flow of water, food and nutrients between the roots and the leaves, impeding the ability of the tree to grow and may cause eventual death. Be sure to place The Chemjet® Injector Syringes 4-6" above the soil line around the trunk  flare, where there is no chance for dirt and debris to enter the wounds following treatment.

The flare roots are exposed 4-6  inches below the soil level, the injectors and harness are installed and connected to the pressurized reservoir tank, as the injection begins, taking 6 to 24 hours for completion.For a 16 inch diameter tree it is necessarey to drill 3 times the diameter or 48 drill holes.  After removal of the equipment, the dirt is replaced around the root flares,  filling the drill portals with dirt and debris. This will cause serious canker and, microbial infections to the cambium and sap wood tissue. We are trying to save the tree from one disease and by doing the job in the dirt, we inflict more serious problems than  we can possibly imagine. .... DO IT IN THE DIRT ... Out of SIGHT ... Out of MIND....  You maybe without one TREE !!!!!!!

The Injectors are placed  3" apart around the tree at knee high ( 0ne injector for each diameter inch )   For a 16inch diamerer tree just 16 small drill holes. Uptake is within  3-5 hours, relitive to humidity, air temperature, wind conditions, soil moisture and the health condition of the tree. If necessary leave the injectors over night. The job is out of the dirt, avoiding soil borne microbial and canker infections.  Wound closure is within 3-5 weeks due to the smaller  drill portals of11/64",  which is half the size of the required macro-injection drill portals.     Result.... Less Labour... Less Invasive Damage........    A Healthier,   A Happier,   CHEMJET TREE !!!


Meristem cells are plant tissue whose cells actively divide to form new tissues that cause the plant to grow. The originally undifferentiated cells of the meristem can produce specialized cells to form the tissues of roots, leaves, the cambium and other plant parts. The meristem includes the growing tips of roots and stems (the apical meristems) and the tissue layer known as cambium..... Meristem cells play an important role in regeneration and wound closure ....The one most important factor is that wound closure is much faster and more efficient up the trunk stem extending from above the trunk base and into the to upper branches as it is associated with stem growth, the bark tissue, the cambium, sap wood ,which is all part of the annual increase stem diameter.

Wound Closure

There are very good research studies on wound closure. Small, shallow holes should be enough to allow us to inject the needed amount of product into the tree and cause the least amount of damage. A tree in good general healthy condition, these very small shallow wounds ( 4.2 mm  or 11/64" drill portal ) created in the drilling process close very readily and will heal within weeks.  Oaks trees generally have a higher rate of wound closure.  

TO ORDER KESTRE® by the Case 4 x 1 gal jugs : Phoenix Environmental Care, P.O. Box 370, 
Valdosta, GA 31603-0370     KESTREL®  comes in Gallons and Quarts Jugs

Toll: 1.888.241.8845 - Mobile: 1.229.563.4344 - Fax: 1.866.584.4070


Disclaimer: This article may contain pesticide recommendations that are subject to change at any time. These recommendations are provided only as a guide. It is always the pesticide applicator’s responsibility, by law, to read and follow all current label directions for the specific pesticide being used. If any information in these recommendations disagrees with the label, the recommendation must be disregarded. No endorsement is intended for products mentioned, nor is criticism meant for products not mentioned. The Writer assumes no liability resulting from the use of these recommendations. The information given herein is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement is implied.   

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