The Value of Christmas Trees

"...there is no reason why the joy associated with the Christmas evergreen may not be a means of arousing in the minds of children an appreciation of the beauty and usefulness of trees; and keen appreciation of the beauty and usefulness of trees is a long stop toward the will to plant and care for them (Arthur Sowder, US Forest Service, 1949)."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Putting Out Systemics

Today Jerry Moody and I put out Movento and Safari, both systemic materials, at two different farms.

Movento is a systemic that is supposed to be quite mobile in the plant. It requires the use of an adjuvant to help it be taken up. We used a product called Liberate. The last couple of years that we've worked with Movento it provided great control of balsam woolly adelgid, decent control of twig aphids, but hardly any control of elongate hemlock scale. In one tree last year, it also looked like it control rosette bud mites so we were interested in that too.

This year we applied Movento in two fields that had it all -- twig aphids, scales, rosette buds and woollies. We used a rate of 10 ounces per acre of Movento and 2 pints per 100 gallons of Liberate. Both of these are the highest rates. At the one field the trees were small and we sprayed about 200 GPA. The other field had denser, larger trees so we used double that.

The Safari applications were the new trunk sprays. These may control both woollies and scales but we don't anticipate them having any activity against twig aphids or rosette bud mites. We used a rate of one pound per acre.

Dr. Richard Cowles from Connecticut has been doing this technique for several years. He talked about it at the NCCTA in Boone this spring. He has been recommending an application with a backpack sprayer, wetting the trunk of the tree from about 10 inches to the ground. The rate he uses is 3 1/2 ounces Safari in 3 gallons of water. You use 1 ounce of this solution on each tree, treating the tree from both sides. That is because the Safari will move up the tree, but not from one side to the other.

His recommendations are based on lighter density trees that are also butt pruned. That's not the type of tree we grow here in North Carolina. So we only used this backpack application at one farm. We decided to also apply Safari to the trunk of the tree North Carolina style! We treated the trees with a high pressure sprayer. Again we aimed for about one pound per acre, treating each tree from opposite directions. But since we are putting out more water per tree (about 50 gallons per acre) we mixed the Safari differently. We ended up using 6 ounces of Safari in 20 gallons of water. This should treat 4/10ths of an acre. This type of application went very quickly.

A short video of Jerry applying the Safari this was is seen below. The respirator is not required on the label. On a couple of trees he sprayed twice -- that's because he missed the trunk the first time! He said you could tell when you hit the ground and not the trunk by how it sounded.

At the one farm we also used an Onyx knock-off called Sniper. This is a bifenthrin product (same active ingredient as Talstar) but it is mixed differently. It uses a different carrier, and it has 2 pounds active ingredient per gallon instead of 0.67 pounds. That means you don't need as much. We tried using the same amount of chemical as the full 40 ounces per acre of Talstar -- that ends up being almost 13 ounces of Sniper. We haven't seen that bifenthrin gives much control of scale in NC, but Cowles has said that the Onyx works well, so we'll see.

Unfortunately, it may take several months before we know how well any of these treatments work. I'll keep you posted.

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