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

Karen Rockoff is the primary contact 
Jim is in the hospital & will take calls through Karen.

Karen Rockoff is the only ISA certified
arborist with 
oakwilt.com.

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

Contact:  Cell: 830.955.0304
                     Karen Rockoff  Arborist  - TDA Certified
email:
klrockoff@yahoo.com
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Trunk - Micro-Injection

The roots anchor it in the ground. They absorb water and dissolve minerals.
The trunk and branches carry sap and hold the leaves in the sunlight. The leaves make food
.

For Injection Application of Fungicides, Insecticides or Nutrients.
Vascular trunk injection using the right chemistry is the future for the control of previously incurable Trees diseases.

Plant protective fungicides, insecticides and nutrients applications has become an indispensable component of quality assurance in arborculture, in which the control of insect pest, fungal and canker infections. CHEMJET, microinjection targets the problem directly within the tree itself. This environmently friendly-neutral direct application system eliminates drift losses of volatile dispersion into the atmosphere, soil contamination, wash and run off into adjacent water bodies. Eliminating contamination and protecting the environment is held to be an equally important goal. Control sanctions on chemicals, application methods of plant protection will become more severe in years to come. It is this new awareness for the enviroment, that will demand and dictate, the use of better chemicals and application methods in the treatment for trees.

 
Photos and illustrations - Copyright Chemjet Trading Pty,Ltd, Australia


IMPORTANT NEWS  More than 40 years of suppressed research !
Trunk Stem Injection / Infusion

Trunk stem injection / infusion was the first injection method used, probably because it was convenient for the applicator. It was found to be problematic in Dutch Elm Disease because injection ports were deep, ( penetrating several growth layers or sap wood ), uptake was not guaranteed and the ideal sink was often missed.  Injection ports were later developed and applied a shallow-pit trunk injection technique in which fungicides were pressure injected into very shallow drill injection ports of the three outer most growth rings. This technique found high comparability in the translocation uptake relative to root flare injection method as water movement is very rapid up the trunk stem which, moves at the rate of 92 feet per hour. 
 
Although wound closure of the shallow portals that are drilled in the trunk stem 4.5 ft above the soil level was relatively quick within 6-8 weeks. However, clients often objected to the visible, large, open injection ports which were 1/2 in diameter placed 3-5 inches around the trunk stem. Thus, it was concluded that the next best injection site would be the root flares 4-5 inches below soil level which, indeed, has become the chosen technique and standard site for tree injection. This was ideal, as it quelled the client from any further objection since the damage was no longer visible and also the extent of damage was totally out of sight as well. It was not important to research the uptake, the damage factor nor the effects of microorganisms, pathogenic infections and eventual decay at the injection sites, as it's only purpose was to appease the objections from the customer.
 
The drill port !  Is actually 1 inch  scale - I----------I                                                                 
I----------I   The 1" shallow pit port.     Later comes the 1/2" O portal and  years later, it was reduced to the 5/16" dia.   Now, imagine these gapping holes all around the trunk stem.  It was sure best to hide something like that, all for the benefit of science!   
 
 There you have it, the real facts were stalemated to cover up the lack of research, a sort of cook the books situation. Would it not have been better to just have the injector tees made smaller to reduce the unsightly damage in order to maintain the integrity of the trunk stem micro-injection research ? The real research was suppressed for 40 plus years with, a don't tell, don't explain and see no evil policy  so that, the root flare MACRO-INJECTION would appear to be the result of indepth research. No further explanation was necessary. Political agenda and VERY - VERY Shanky Science?

Correct Location for CHEMJET- Micro-Injectors Placement

DO NOT INJECT your trees below the soil level, as the injection holes will collect dirt which could introduce soil borne pathogens, microbial infection and insects into the trunk. These exposed drill portals when covered and filled with soil, will delay wound closure, cause canker infection and the wounds may continue to weep for more than a year or so. Under normal circumstances the healing or wound closure starts immediately when a wound occurs. Filling the portals with dowels, wedgecheckplugs, silicone and rubber caulking, caused more harm than good. Wounds seldom closed properly and tissue rot was evident around many of the portals. The smaller wound will close quicker than a large drill wound.

It is not surprising that the original flare root injection methods and protocols are over a century old. However, just because it was one of the first methods, does not mean it is the "best" in all situations. It is time to look at new ideas with a more scientific and practical approach.

One should inject above the trunk flare well above the soil line. The trunk stem from knee to waist high is the best location as wound closure is faster than at the base of the tree. The root flares is the critical transition area from the roots to the canopy and repetitive wounding will ultimately cause deterioration in the trees overall health. As water moves from the roots up the trunk, which is slightly restricted, this movement is relatively rapid up the trunk. The time of day and time of year and water stress is probably more important as that often determines the efficiency of the uptake. Remember, there is a high volume of water in the roots from overnight re-hydration. Photosynthesis, induced by light, has the effect of increasing the water pressure in the guard cells that border each stomata, pulling apart to widen aperture and thereby increase water loss. Transpiration becomes most active in the morning hours, creating rapid water movement through the xylem, often no root pressure can be detected.

Translocation is the movement of organic solutes through plants. These solutes are generally produced at photosynthetic sites (source) and are moved to either growing or storage sites  (sink) depending on the time of the year. As growth or storage sites may exist anywhere in the plant simultaneously, flow must be able to be bi-directional within a phloem element. The downward gravitational pull in the pholem has a direct relationship to the uptake transpirational pull in the vascular system. 

"The Sap Sucker invades the trunk for best results and keeps his sap taper out of the dirt.
Learn from natures best:  http://www.pnjwood.com/fotoblog/index.php?curr_month=9&curr_year=2006&showimage=484

Trunk Flare Injection - It seems that it has always been prescribed to inject trees at the root flares below soil levels for the reason that the water volume in the roots is high due to over night re-hydration. This causes increase root pressure that will force the water up the trunk to the canopy. This is wrong, root pressure fluctuates, but is not sufficient to force water very high up the trunk or to even reach near the canopy. Water movement up a tree has nothing to do with push, it is all about PULL. This transpirational "pull" on the water from transpiration is increased as a result of cohesion and adhesion of water molecules, as described in the “Cohesion-Tension Theory”  http://www.tvdsb.on.ca/westmin/science/sbioac/plants/cohesion.htm

Mauget followed up with the idea of lower trunk flare injections, some 40 years or so, with effective results, reducing the labor and getting the job out of the dirt so to speak. One great step forward to reducing health hazards for the trees reducing infection from soil borne pathogens, and insects and their product offered smaller drill size reducing wound closure. The Mauget injector vials are non re-usable and that creates a big disposal dilemma. After researching the various methods of tree injection, micro-injection is becoming the most popular procedure here in the USA. as in many other countries. However, in Australia, NZ, South Africa, Israel, Germany, France, England, Russia and Italy, to name only a few, arborist are injecting trees at the practical height from about knee to waist high. This practice has been applied for more that 25 years with very effective results and trees injected on an annual basis continue good vigor and heaalth.  It all comes down to the water movement in trees and the trunk is like a restricted bottleneck corridor area that all the water has flow from the massive root system, up through trunk flare (Xylem, the conductive tissues of the tree) to the canopy, to the limbs, twig and finally to the leaves. Australian and European arborist are most concerned about the drill sizes, reduce wound damage, closure time and the reduce the number of drill portals. The trunk stem application not only produces effective results, it is very practical, logical, time and labor saving. It is backed up by science and not because someone got lazy. Old ideas change as new discoveries are made. 

Reduced drill size and number of drill portals: With the below soil level, on the average 12 inch diameter tree, you drill approximately 35 portals using a 5/16" drill size.  With trunk flare injection, applying a 10 mil dosage rate per dia inch, it would require only 12 injector syringes equally spaced  3" to 4"  apart around the trunk stem and reducing the drill size to 11/64". This would require less than a third of the total portals and the drill size reduced by half the diameter. It would be the same number of portals for the the 20 mil dosage rate, as you can fill each syringe with 20 mils of chemical. To make the appliaction a littlle simpler when appling the 10 mil dosage rate, the syringes can be filled with 20 mils of a 50-50 amount of chemical and water. This is a substantial difference to the amount of wounding, both number and size of the drill portals and the tree can better cope with the reduced amount of wound effect. Injuries or wounds in the root flare below soil level tend to be slow to recover because; of the dirt and debris filled over the drill wounds, and the trees lack of ability to stimulate rapid wound closure at this critical transition life line area from the roots to the canopy. You gain far greater distribution to the canopy, as the trunk flare is beginning of the constricted bottleneck of the upper trunk.The Resultis using far less injectors to acquire the same level of chemical delivery. So, your tree wins !

Transpiration - Water and minerals travel up from the roots to the leaves in the new layers of wood inside the cambium. Hence this part of the trunk is called sapwood (or xylem). Other sap (solutes) carries food down from the leaves through a layer called phloem inside the bark, Transpiration creates a tug or tension within the columns of water in the tree. This tension, pulls water from the roots all the way up to the leaves. Transpiration increases until it out-runs the root's ability to keep-up. As water column tension increases, a point is reached by mid-day when the tree closes many stomata on many leaves for several hours in-order to conserve water.

Factors affecting rate of transpiration : The rate that a tree loses through transpiration water depends upon: humidity, - soil moisture, - temperature, - wind, - size of tree, - age of tree, - species of tree, - and tree position in the forest canopy.

 The rate of transpiration of broad-leaved trees is several times greater than that of evergreens. Birch, Oaks and Ash have a particularly high rate of transpiration. For example, water movement in feet per hour in ring porous trees are: oak = 92, ash = 85, hickory = 62, elm = 20.

On a summer day a large oak tree may take up a hundred gallons of water or more, enriched with minerals and nutrients from the soil. Root pressure does not adequately explain the rise of water in the tree trunk. In fact, the pressure required to force water up tall trees would greatly exceed the force of root pressure. In addition, root pressure does not operate when soil moisture is low, and even when soil moisture is high it is too weak to force water up a tall tree. Water molecules are actually pulled up from the roots to leaves through minute tubular cells of the xylem tissue or vessels (sapwood).
 
The rise of water in tree is a function of the polarity of water molecules and the small bore diameter of tracheids and vessels in xylem tissue. Water molecules have a positive and negative end, and literally stick together (cohere) like molecular magnets. When water is confined to tubes of very small bore, the force of cohesion between water molecules is very strong. Tensions as great as 3,000 pounds per square inch are needed to break the column of water molecules. This is roughly equivalent to the force needed to break steel wire of the same diameter. In a sense, the cohesion of water molecules gives them the physical properties of solid wires. As transpiration takes place it creates a "pull" or tension on water columns, drawing water from one molecule to another all the way through the entire span of xylem cells. The cohesion required to move water to the top of a 300 foot redwood tree is considerable.
 
Conclusions - Water movement and control in trees can be summarized as a physical process of evaporation-controlled by temperature and humidity-being utilized to move essential materials from root to shoot. This process is partially biologically controlled by opening and closing leaf valves called stomata. Water is the most critical of the site resources trees must gather and control. Stomata help conserve water while allowing for food production. Stomata help convert atmospheric evaporative pull in a supply highway of the tree.
 
It is not my intention to disparage scientific research on the methods of the flare root injection. I am merely drawing to your attention the merits of  CHEMJET® MICRO-TRUNK INJECTION
 
The Simple Logic: I have used the macro flare root (below the soil level)  injection for over 15 years and have retreated many of the same trees a year or two years later. Often times, the wounds were still weeping or would leak the chemical back out the previous drill portals. That was part of the difficulty of retreating for the second time. We would have to re-drill the old wounds and insert injection tees to get a seal tight circuit. The drill shaving were discolored or contain dirt and bio-debris and not white xylem tissue. Also there was bark separation, and dead wood, that created problems to locate living xylem tissue in the root flares and we had to drill extra holes to find viable injection sites. On an average 12" diameter tree, you drill approximately 40 portals in the root flares using a 5/16" drill size and two or three years later you again impose the same number and only half of the previous drill holes have proper wound closure. You have created a lot of damage at the base of the tree and left the tree to defend for its self against more wound damage and the disease you were trying cure.
 
I could not find any conclusive evidence to explain or justify, Why below soil level root flare injection? I got answers like, root pressure and the high volume of water in the roots from over night re-hydration would push the chemical up the tree and down into the roots. The root flares were the transition area from the roots to the trunk and vascular uptake was adequately effective. Also there was bi-directional chemical movement into the roots as well. Tree injections are applied into trees in ways that place the target material beneath the bark and into the tree’s water conducting system or sapwood, with the flow of water distributing into the tree's crown due to the evaporation through the leaves. Since the sap of the tree carries the product material, it generally moves upward, not downward.  Movement downward occurs only when the water column in the tree is broken by air that is allowed into the tree during drilling. This movement downward is not extensive and should not be counted on to provide significant control below the injection site.
 
The wound closure was supposedly faster at the roots, but not taking into account the dirt and debris, the size and number of drill holes used at the root flare versus the reduced number in the above trunk flares. No one wanted to discuss the dirt, the insect, wound closure failure, canker growth or soil borne pathogens. I searched the web and realized that numerous countries were injecting trees from knee high to waist high. Why so high up the trunk?, out of the dity and away from the root flares. What was their motive? I was fortunate enough to contact two Plant Pathologist from Australia through Mr. August Gorissen of Chemjet®. They did not have too many favorable comments about  below soil level root flare injection. They both explain the logic and reality of trunk injection, in simple terms of getting the job out of the dirt, reducing the drill size, the number of drill portals and the faster wound closure. Most important of all was the uptake from trunk injection, it achieved greater efficiency and distribution throughout the tree's canopy and bi-directional movement to the root system.
 
The damage factor to the root or trunk flare as mentioned numerous times in the Tree and Turf magazine articles, that the damage by mowers and weed eaters, to this very critical transition zone from root to shoot. The damage has been very well documented that; wound closure is much slower in this area than in the upper trunk stem, cambium damage becomes irreparable from these repetitive incidents, as this zone is the life line of the tree and can and will result in eventual death. After 15 years of macro-injection to the trunk flare, on the basis of two or possibly three repeated injections, I have seen the same or similar results of bark separation, discolored dead sap wood, weeping cankers and fungal infection. This damage limit’s the trees ability to transport water, minerals and nutrients to the canopy for the food production thus causing a slow and eventual decline in overall vigor and health. Many of these wounds are not closing as they should, and I believe it is due to the number and size of drill portals at this most critical transition zone. One can conclude that this amount of damage, and the slower rate of wound closure is certainly not sufficient to provide adequate protection and will only accomplish death and destruction.
 
After using the injectors for a year and injecting at different heights from the trunk flare level to the waist high level. Some aspects were favorable and other not so favorable. Mid trunk injection worked well on smaller live oaks but on the larger trees, the thicker bark pose a problem and it was difficult to locate a viable injection site without gauging deep into the bark forrows or crevices. The trunk flare level 6-8 inches above the soil line provided good drill sites, as the bark in most cases was much tinner and untimately provided a good choice for the overall injection location.

It is the result of this search that prompted me to strongly consider trunk injection. In my search, I came across various trunk injection methods. I was familiar with the Mauget system and there were some very cumbersome systems on the market, that are also very expensive. Then I came across the Chemjet® Injector Syringe, (Australian made),one of the best and most user friendly micro injection systems that is now available on the market, Chemjet® has more that twenty five years of field application and is widely used throughout Australia, in Europe and Canada. It is a re-usable spring loaded syringe which is very practical, versatile user friendly. I purchased some and used them for more than a year and I became convinced they were the best invention for injecting trees. Everyone of the injectors completely emptied unlike the pre-charged vials that often leaks or did not discharge at all. These pre-filled injection vials are one time use disposable products. There are other mechanical injections systems can cost several hundred up to thousands of dollars.

Below are excerpt statements from earlier research here in the USA. with reference to the Bole or Trunk injection methods and research results that were ignored and opted for below soil level, root flare injection. I believe the intention here was,  "that more is better" (more and bigger drill portals, the more volume of chemical uptake and possible better distribution)   ......BUT, it only achived greater damage at the risk of the tree, as absorption is relative to transpirational pull and not the number  and size of drill holes. "I am not against tree injection but, I am against bad flare root injection" . . . . . . A smaller number of drill sites and drill size, properly placed above the trunk flare, will achieve the same  distribution at a lessor cost to the tree. There was a lot of research dollars that directed the out come of the disired research results. 
 
"Fungicides were most effective when injected directly into large limbs where an infection had been found, as well as into the bole." 
 
"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." 
 
Bole:  Or trunk, the main stem of a tree below its first major branch. This practice was used here in Texas in the late 80's as a precursor to the oak wilt injection. The choice of root flare injection below soil level was more likely to meet with someone’s agenda rather than consideration to the overall health of the tree. If you are treating a tree for a disease, the damage is certainly considered as secondary and insignificant. So, lets treat the tree and using the Chemjet injection syringes that is specifically designed to minimized the damage factor.
 
Systemic:   Affecting the whole plant or organism. A systemic compound is carried throughout the entire plant to all parts through the vascular system and the phloem. 
Imagine a big Live oak tree standing in front of you, look where the roots are, thousands of them en-mass just below the soil, covering a large circled area about 75 feet from one side to the other. The roots beyond the drip edge are the feeder roots collecting soil moisture and nutrients. Osmosis and Transpiration is pulling the water from all directions towards the wide base of the tree. From there it continues to move up the trunk, (xylem conductive tissues) which is a sort of a restrictive multi lane corridor and then spreads out again in-order to cover the needs of all the branches, twigs and then to the leaves, to be processed into food or solutes.  (See: "Translocation"  statement above)  From there the solutes are redistributed throughout the entire tree. It is understandably fair to say that the most rapid movement of water is up through the truck flare, and the trunk stem (XYLEM conductive tissues ) as water moves from the roots and then branches out to the canopy above. Concluding in simple terms, the trunk is the most effective location for injection sites providing bi-directional movement of water and solutes, maximizing uptake and distribution, and at the same time minimizing wound effects.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Micro-injection Procedure With The Chemjet® Syringe   

1. Using a cordless  electric drill at 600- 800 rpm with a sharp, clean 11/64-inch (4mm) drill bit, the installer should drill evenly spaced holes to a depth of 3/4 - 1 inch through the bark into the xylem on a downward 45 degree angle.

2. After reaching the proper depth range, the drill bit should be withdrawn carefully to avoid dislodging bark fragments around the exterior opening of the hole.

3. Disinfect the drill bit between trees with household bleach (20% solution), ethanol, Lysol disinfectant or  WD 40. Rinse the bit with clean water after disinfecting.

4. Each hole should be drilled and a micro-injector unit installed as soon as possible after the hole is drilled. A small amount of water squirted into the drill hole will help form a tight seal.

The Chemjet® Syringe .....  Easy to use!  ..... 

  • Scientifically Proven!  Chemjet® has been field tested for over 25 years. Chemjet® micro-injection is the treatment of choice for professional arborists ! Today the device is used in many countries.
  • Environmentally friendly!  By injecting fertilizers, insecticides and fungicides directly into the sap stream of the tree, micro-injection utilizes the tree's own natural transport system. No air, soil or groundwater contamination occurs--unlike other method, birds, fish and beneficial insects aren't harmed. Traditionally, the only way to deal with the problem was to spray the tree with pesticides and other chemicals.
  • Economical & Efficient!   Micro-dosages of fertilizers, insecticides and fungicides can be pre-measured in to the chamber in dosages 5, 10, and 20 mils. No drift, no spill, no waste!
  • Fast and Effective!  Since materials are injected directly into the conductive tissues of the tree, the chemical  treatment movement is bi-directional the delivery and distribution is maximized using fewer injectors.
  • Longer Lasting.  Injection products will last up to 2 years.
  • Damage Factor!  The reduced size of the drill bit from 5/16” to 11/64” and the reduced number of drill portals required for flare root Macro-Injection verses the fewer portals required for Micro-Injection into the tree trunk.
  • Robust Tool!  Nylon body, fiberglass plunger and handle, neoprene plunger rubber, stainless steel compression spring. With careful handling and with normal use, Chemjets® have surpassed 1000 injections and still counting. 
  • Totally Recyclable! Easy to clean in water, pull the plunger up and down. then spray the nozzle with Lysol Kitchen Disinfectant.
  • Easy to Maintain!  Lubrication do not pull apart, just pull plunger and lock, squirt some silicone spray lubricant through front nozzle.

Chemjet® Micro - Injection   http://www.oakwilt.com/oakwilt/macroinjection.htm

Follow The Chemjet®    "How it Works"   directions:

http://www.chemjet.com.au/home.htm   -  http://www.chemjet.com.au/chemjet_brochure.htm     http://www.chemjet.com.au/ChemjetBroucher2.pdf                                                            

Chemjet®  Micro-Injector Syringe                                           

Chemjet® is an economical alternative to other injection methods. 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 5 cm (2 in.) diameter or greater. After an injector has been filled by submerging its tip in solution and pulling up on the spring-loaded  Red "T" handle which is then twist locked, it is ready to be tightly inserted into a pre-drilled 4.2mm (11/64") hole and unlocked. The internal spring (105 Newton or 23 lbs force) then applies steady pressure delivering the injector's contents, usually in 25 to 45 minutes depending on weather, sap viscosity, when transpiration is high and water is moving rapidly through the xylem and phloem, often no root pressure can be detected. Once empty, injectors with their bright red handles are easily seen, quickly retrieved, cleaned, and ready for use again.   

 

 
Photos and illustrations - Copyright Chemjet Trading Pty,Ltd, Australia

Now available here in the USA - TEL: 1-830-257-8871
Cell: 1-830-459-8216


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