Professor TreeDoc

History of Sycamore Anthracnose Treatment

In the past, the only real option open to arborists for the treatment of Sycamore Anthracnose was to spray various fungicides on the leaves and twigs to try and control the disease. Timing was critical, and repeated sprays were needed to have any effect at all. The potential pesticide exposure to the applicator that was spraying was huge, and the drift from spraying large sycamores could go way off target and contaminate other areas of the customer’s property, or even the neighbor’s property. Spraying was just not an effective method of sycamore anthracnose control.

Aside from spraying, injection methods in the past also had spotty results. Drilling is never a good method to deliver product into your trees. With drilling, the tree immediately isolates and compartmentalizes the area that is damaged by the drill bit. This reduces the area available for the tree to store sugar for later use. There are many research studies that have been published on the study of drilling damage. For over 30 years, the ‘guru’ of modern arboriculture, the late Dr. Alex Shigo, studied how trees react to damage in the xylem. His opinion on this subject was very simple, “Drilling trees makes no sense!”

Arbor Systems Direct inject Tree injection System

Modern-Day Sycamore Anthracnose Treatment

Sycamore is a thin-barked species of tree. As such, it is difficult to get enough product into a sycamore by injecting under the bark. In the past, this had left arborists scratching their heads searching for other options for treatment that did not involve drilling.

Drilling was the only injection method that existed up until Chip Doolittle, the owner of ArborSystems, Inc., invented the Portle needle tip for use in the Direct-Inject tree injection system. This needle tip, designed originally for conifers and palms, allows arborists to deal with other tree species in unique situations like sycamores with sycamore anthracnose. Arborists can now inject multiple milliliters of product directly into a tree where it is needed. Injections can be done quickly, accurately, and with little damage to the tree because we are not drilling.

How Sycamore Anthracnose Treatments Are Performed

When it comes time for treatment, there are a few steps to perform an injection. First, the Portle needles are tapped into place with a setting tool. The red weight slides on the metal shaft and assists in tapping the needles into the tree. This prepares the sycamore tree to accept trunk injections with multiple milliliters of product at each injection site. The needles are spaced at a distance of 4-5 inches apart all the way around the tree.

Once the needles are set, the Direct-Inject tool is attached by the quick-connect fitting on the end of each needle, and the product is administered quickly and effortlessly. No pumps, air pressure, hoses, or any other equipment is needed. An arborist can work on more than one tree at a time if they are close by. Once the product has been injected into the tree, the needles are tapped back out with the setting tool just a few minutes later.

Sycamore anthracnose treatment - setting toolDirect inject tool treating a sycamore tree for anthracnose

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact me if you would like a Board Certified Master Arborist, like myself, to treat your sycamore trees for anthracnose. Don’t trust your trees to just anyone! Be sure to deal with the best and most qualified arborist for this treatment.

Remember Sycamore Anthracnose is treatable!