The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has just designated August as Tree Check Month, and farmers, as well as the general public, are being asked to plan on scouting trees on their property or common areas such as parks for the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB).
The idea behind Tree Check Month is to help preserve the iconic shade trees of the nation and limiting or eradicating the devastating ALB.
What was interesting on the same day as the USDA was announcing Tree Check Month, Brandt, a leading manufacturer of agricultural specialty products, announced it acquired an ownership stake in Fertinyect, S.A. The Fertinyect company is headquartered in Cordoba, Spains, and is known for its patented low pressure tree injection (LPTI) systems for use in global agriculture and landscape markets to promote tree health. The injection system will be marketed in the U.S. as Brandt enTree.
Rick Brandt, president and CEO of Brandt Consolidated, Inc., said, “We have been working with the technology in the U.S. for almost two years, and we see tremendous potential in all tree businesses from ag to parks to lawn and garden to forest environments.”
The Fertinyect transaction gives Brandt exclusive distribution and manufacturing rights for the use and sale of the injection device in the agricultural industry in the U.S. Additionally, Brandt was granted co-exclusive rights for use and sale of the device in the arboricultural (landscape/forestry) and home and garden markets.
Through the investment with Fertinyect, Brandt will be able to deliver pesticides, nutrients and bio-stimulants to trees through a patented injection device that was developed at the University of Córdoba, Spain. The company classified the tree injection system as highly efficient and environmentally-friendly. Initial customers include the agriculture and aboriculture commercial applicators but will eventually include products for homeowner use.
If there is the potential for the tree injection system to help save hardwood trees from the ALB, it will be a major coup for Brandt.
The ALB could destroy 70 percent of our nation’s tree canopy within the next few years, it was noted by the USDA. August is a peak time of emergence for ALB. Since its discovery in 1996, the invasive pest has destroyed more than 80,000 trees in Massachussetts, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Ohio. But all states of the nation are at risk.
Early detection is critical to stopping the spread of the ALB and the USDA has provided scouting methods for use by the public.
1. Look Up
Stand back and look at the top of the tree. Do you see any dead or dying branches?
2. Look It Over
Now focus on the tree trunk. See the beetle? See any dime-sized exit holes, or shallow scars in the bark?
3. Look Down
Do you see any sawdust-like shavings at the tree's base or on the branches? That's a sign the ALB has been busy eating.
August will be a very active time for the ALB and damage easier to spot than most other times of the year. USDA is urging everyone to “keep our nation's trees strong and healthy for future generations.” To report signs, call 1-866-702-9938 or report online at www.AsianLonghornedBeetle.com.