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My technician recommended a pesticide injection right into the trunk. Is that a good idea?

Direct Injections are methods of applying pesticides and nutrients to allow the material direct access into the trunk of the tree. They have been developed to control pests or diseases that have infested or infected the sapwood of a tree, to control tree pest without having to spray pesticides into the environment, or for immediate, short term treatment of nutrient deficiencies.

This can be beneficial because:

  • little or no pesticide is released into the environment;
  • and the material is delivered directly into the vascular system where it can remain active for a longer period of time.
  • Conventional spraying of tree foliage:
  • offers little or no control of pests that have invaded the sapwood of a tree;
  • releases pesticides directly into the environment.

Micro-Injections and implants do require holes to be drilled into the trunk, causing some wounding to the tree. This wounding should be taken into account and weighed against the possible benefits of the injection or implant. Direct-injection is the least invasive, not requiring drilling and no doing any damage to the Xylem, as done by micro-injection

If you have concerns about drilling into the trunk, alternatives to injections and implants do exist. Direct injection, soil drenches or soil injections of certain pesticides are used. They allow the pesticide to be absorbed by the plant roots and taken into the trunk without having to cause wounds in the trunk.

Some trunk injections provide protection against difficult to control diseases such as Dutch Elm Disease, Oak Wilt, and Bacterial Leaf Scorch. These injections generally provide protection for a limited amount of time, such as 2-3 years, depending on the disease. They then need to be reapplied to continue the protection.