What is a Tree Injection?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A tree injection is an approach to some tree diseases that involves injecting compounds into the tree through a large bore needle inserted through the bark. Historically, arborists sometimes drilled trees in order to introduce treatments to the heart of the tree. Tree injections are faster and much easier. However, there are some precautions that must be considered when administering them or hiring someone to diagnose and treat sick trees.

Tree injections can be used to prevent sick and dead trees.
Tree injections can be used to prevent sick and dead trees.

Trees that are failing as a result of poor nutrition can be given a tree injection of vitamins and other nutrients. This introduces the compounds directly to the circulatory system of the tree, allowing it to take up as much as possible. Once the tree is stabilized, changes can be made to the fertilizer and soil management plan to prevent malnutrition in the future.

Tree injections can also be used to treat trees with fungal infections and insect infestations. Compounds designed to kill the organisms can be injected and allowed to circulate throughout the tree for a penetrating treatment. If the right medication is administered, the diseased tree can recover from the infection or infestation.

One problem with a tree injection is that it creates a wound in the tree. Since the tree is already unhealthy, this can pose a risk to the health of the tree. Furthermore, tree injections that are administered too late or contain the wrong compounds may provide no benefits to the tree. Treating with the wrong fungicide in a tree injection, for example, will not resolve a fungal infection and will put the tree at increased risk because of the hole created at the injection site.

It is important to time tree injections properly. Certain times of the year are better than others, depending on the species, and prophylactic treatment for some things is more effective than treatment after the fact. A highly stressed tree that is close to death may not recover even if the tree injection does contain the right ingredients and is administered appropriately.

Consulting services that can examine and diagnose sick trees are available in many regions. People should ask to see the qualifications of people they consult about their trees, as there are no firm standards of practice and someone who lacks experience and training can still advertise as an arborist. It can be advisable to ask a local college or university for a referral in order to locate someone who is fully trained and has a reputation for providing appropriate care to sick trees.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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