Take action to protect your elm trees from Dutch Elm Disease with “do it yourself” tree injection! DED is one of the most destructive shade tree diseases in North America and has been killing Elms since 1928 when the invasive species arrived on logs imported from the Netherlands. The disease has since spread killing a large percentage of all the elms in North America. However there are areas of central and western Canada with large elm populations that are DED free. Substantial eradication and preservation programs have been pursued which are protecting valued urban trees with focused and continued effort. This map shows the original native distribution of the American Elm.
How Dutch Elm Disease Kills Trees
Dutch Elm Disease is a tree affliction caused by a fungus that clogs up the vascular system of elm trees, restricting flow of sap, and usually killing the tree within one to three years of infection. The fungus is transmitted from tree to tree by interconnected root systems and by elm bark beetles.
Although the DED is widspread and aggressive, many large elm trees remain uninfected, and there are measures you can take to protect them. If you still have large live elm trees on your property, you do not have to sit by and wait for your precious old elm trees to die. You can easily treat against infection and death of trees by DED using trunk injection of the fungicide Propiconazole 14.3 using reloadable Chemjet® Tree Injectors.
Lighly infected elm trees with DED may be treated by cutting off the affected parts of the tree, as described in this article from the USDA. The idea is to remove portions of the tree that are infected and dying from the fungus, if possible, so that it may not spread to the rest of the tree. This method is used on concert with chemical treatments using a fungicide to protect the uninfected portions of the tree from the fungus.
Elm trees can be treated using the fungicide Propiconazole 14.3 to protect from infection by DED. This is easily conducted using Chemjet® Tree Injectors to inject the fungicide propiconizole into small drilled holes at multiple locations around the base of the tree. The chemical is then carried throughout the tree, from up to the leaves down to all of the roots, effectively inoculating the tree from infection by DED for a limited time. According to the labeled instructions for Propiconazole 14.3 injecting with the treatment rate described in the injection procedures detailed below will provide 24 to 36 months of control. This would protect from root graft infection from adjacent infected trees and also infection from fungus brought in by elm bark beetles with tree injections every two or three years.
With the relatively simple implementation of tree injection using the inexpensive Chemjet Tree Injectors, it is feasible to inject and protect many more elm trees. This brings to reality an economical option of DIY injecting all of the healthy elm trees on your woodlot to inhibit expansion of the disease to your trees.
It takes a few minutes to a few hours for the chemical to go in the tree. If you have one or two trees to treat you could get by with six Chemjets (re-use them as you drill around the tree) and a quart of Propiconazole 14.3. If you have many trees you will need 20 or more Chemjets and you can buy Propiconazole 14.3 more economically by the gallon.
Get Chemjet Tree Injectors online here: chemjettreeinjector.com/products/
Get Propiconazole 14.3 online here: domyownpestcontrol.com
Treating for Dutch Elm Disease is easy and relatively cheap! The fungicide costs about $0.25 per 10 ml injector dose and Chemjets cost about $12 each and can be reused for years.
Injection Procedure for Dutch Elm Disease
- Confirm with a qualified Arborist, or Biologist that this procedure is appropriate for your tree. You may not have a Dutch Elm Disease risk or there may be other circumstances that would cause this procedure to be inappropriate. Also confirm that you are able to follow the label instructions on the fungicide that you are using. There is always the risk that this procedure may harm your tree, or that your tree is already diseased or infested and the chemical injection will be of no benefit.
- Only inject trees that have green leaves indicating there is transpiration and sap circulation.
- Only inject trees after a good rain or after substantial watering. Do not inject trees during drought conditions.
- Plan for use of one Chemjet® injector every three inches around the circumference of the tree.
- Put on rubber gloves and safety goggles for use during mixing and all injection work.
- Disinfect Chemjet® injector and drill bit by washing and scrubbing in diluted bleach solution or Lysol disinfectant solution. Pull disinfectant solution through the nozzle filling the injector several times. Rinse inside and out with clean water.
- Prepare 50/50 solution of the fungicide Propiconazole 14.3 Use distilled or filtered water.
- Drill the first three holes at three inch intervals around tree at 45 degree angle downward no more than 1.25 inch deep. Only use a 11/64 drill bit. Drilling more than three holes may heat up the bit and scorch the wood which will inhibit injection.
- Pull the chemical mix into the injector until full at 20 ml and lock the handle back while twisting.
- Insert into recently drilled hole. Push into place and seal (don’t twist because the nozzle may break off).
- Using both hands, hold the Chemjet® in place and then twist and release the red plunger so that injection begins. If there is leakage push the nozzle in harder to seal. Repeat for remaining two holes.
- After all chemical is in tree, pull injector straight out of hole. If chemical starts oozing back out of open hole, replace Chemjet® and leave there for another half hour or use a plug.
- Repeat with three more holes, going around tree.
- If an injector is taking chemical slowly, leave it in place and move on. It could take up to 24 hours.
- IMPORTANT: Disinfect drill bit and all Chemjets (inside and out) before using on any other tree per step 6. Disinfect your hands and put on new rubber gloves to avoid potential for transferring diseases to next tree.
- Take Care of your Chemjet Tree Injectors after the work is done (or during long term work at least once per week) so they keep working smoothly by disassembling, washing all parts with hot soapy water, rinse and air dry, then lubricate the nozzle barrel and rubber plunger washer with silicone lube or vegetable oil before reassembly.
Here is a video
For information on how to treat other tree diseases and pests check out the links below:
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