Keeping America's trees healthy and pest-free is a full-time job and a challenge. One needs only look at the plight of this country's chestnut trees to know that it pays to be vigilant and pro-active when caring for the different trees on your property. One recent, and very effective, tool is tree injections.

What are tree injections?

Tree injections are a method of directing pesticide and fungicides directly to the trees that need them. This treatment is applied by boring a small hole in the trunk of the affected tree and manually inserting a plug filled with the compound necessary to battle whatever is ailing the tree. The chemicals inside the plugs are water-soluble and are thus transported throughout the tree via the tree's sap and natural vascular system. Tree injections have been effective in combating ash borers as well as many less serious tree issues, such as aphids and bark beetles. Tree injections can also be used to apply fertilizer to trees.

Benefits of tree injections

  1. Easy to insert. Tree injections take very little time and training to apply. For relatively minor problems, they can even be inserted by a homeowner. More extensive issues, however, should be handled by a tree professional.
  2. Targeted and less toxic. Unlike spraying, tree injections concentrate the pesticide or fungicide directly to the trees that need it. There's much less danger of the compound accidentally harming other plants or compromising the air for people, pets and wildlife. In addition, with tree injections, you don't have to worry about runoff from your tree treatment polluting nearby streams and other waterways.
  3. Affordable. Since you only have to treat the individual trees that are affected by the pest, tree injections generally cost less than wholesale pesticide spraying, where most of the product falls away from the trees.
  4. Adjustable. Unlike spraying, where every tree gets the same dose of chemicals, tree injections can be adjusted to match the size and the maturity of the individual trees.
  5. Works in all climates. Tree injections are effective in all types of weather. You don't have to worry about a sudden rain storm washing away your tree treatment, nor do you have to be concerned about cold temperatures rendering the pesticide ineffective.

While tree injections aren't the right answer for every tree issue, tree injections are more effective, targeted, and much less toxic tree treatment to the environment than traditional spraying is.