How To Protect Trees From Wood Boring Insects

Wood boring insects like emerald ash borer
have been a hot topic of discussion in the lawn and landscape industry as of late. With
the death of millions of ash trees since first being found in 2002, there is now more than
ever an increased emphasis on finding insecticide treatments that can help stop and prevent
further damage from wood boring insects like EAB. EAB is a bright green metallic insect that
feeds on all ash species, but prefers to feed on green and black ash. The adults seek out
healthy trees where they lay their eggs, and then once those eggs hatch the larvae go inside
of the tree where they feed on the phloem, which is the nutrient pathway inside of the
tree. The good news is there are several different
insecticides and application techniques that can be used to prevent damage from wood boring
insects like emerald ash borer. The primary three methods used are the soil drench, tree
injection, or also the basal bark band application. The application method that we’re going to
focus on today is the basal trunk spray, which literally means spraying the insecticide on
the base of the tree. The primary benefits of this application method
are the speed of the uptake of the insecticide and also the ease of the application, with
only needing the sprayer, an insecticide, and an organosilicone surfactant. Dinotefuran
is a systemic insecticide which is marketed as Zylam or Safari. When applied to the base
of the tree, it is absorbed into the vascular system and then translocated up through the
tree. Once an insect comes into contact with it or ingests it, they die shortly after. To begin, you want to read the complete label
to make sure you have all the proper personal protective equipment. The product application
rate for Zylam is 16 fluid ounces per one gallon of water. For Zylam insecticide, it
is also recommended that you add one fluid ounce of an organosilicone surfactant like
Pentra-Bark, which greatly increases the absorption into the tree. After you’ve added together
your organosilicone surfactant and your Zylam, you’ll want to make sure and mix them well
together before adding them to your sprayer. Next, you’ll want to pump up your sprayer
to a pressure of around 10 to 20 psi. You’ll want to make sure that the pressure is low
enough to prevent any type of runoff, drift, or back-spray from occurring while you’re
making the application. Once you have your spray solution ready, now
you’re ready to begin your application. Start at about five feet, or chest height, moving
slowly side-to-side as you work your way down the tree. Again, you want to make sure that
your pressure is low enough that all of the solution is sticking to the side of the tree.
Keep working your way down toward the base of the tree, and once you reach it, you’ll
want to continue working your way down the root flares with the solution as well. If you need more help finding an insecticide
for your needs, feel free to stop by your local Ewing Branch. Or for more information,
visit us online at

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