TREE LIFE - The New Cure for Oak Wilt???
I am always amazed when, I pick up a newspaper or magazine and read about new miracle cures for oak wilt. Don’t get me wrong, I am an optimist and I believe that there are always alternatives. This does not necessarily mean that alternatives always have to have in-depth research. Nature and Innovation always create accidents, which sometimes provide a simple solution to any problem. However, as an arborist I have an obsession for credible research.
OAK WILT has been researched by Texas A&M and just about every university research center throughout the United States. Scientific research is a long, grueling, arduous task, and the results must be accurate before the findings are made public.
Accuracy is the key word, and here comes TREELIFE, a business with five years experience, and CEO’s with no practical experience or education even relating to plants, trees or oak wilt. They claim a ten years research program using bio-stimulants, microbes, and miracle grow fertilizer. Their data consists of excerpts, quotations from various research books, and papers which are misquoted and construed totally out of context to make them and their product sellable to the Texas Public. Their advertisement sounds like political dirt bashing as if they were running for Congress. I am ashamed that a company must resort to this kind of strategy to prove their varsity is honorable and their product is bonified
If the product is good and effective, then sell it for what the product really is -- Water Bio-Stimulants and Fertilizer. To knock scientific research and products with a long proven track records, this demonstrates their lack of knowledge and good business sense.
I can only agree that they may correctly identify Oak Wilt. Soil samples may vary from time of day, time of year and from season to season. Nothing is consistent. Alkaline soil, phosphorus and potassium, soil based microbes and nutrient levels can be inconsistent.
The availability and solubility are all relative to many varying conditions of moisture, acidity or alkaline levels and other factors.
Refractometer field testing or lab testing of tree tissue is also going to vary due to location and all the reasons mentioned above. A Scientific research is a very meticulous schedule and timing is absolutely critical for accurate results. Random testing will yield random and usually inaccurate results. Trees have a chemical life and these levels vary from time of day, temperature, moisture, sun light, internal growth. A certain chemical balance may be high early in the morning and very low in the afternoon, which is relative to the trees’ growing process. If samples are taken and improperly interpreted or evaluated, any prescribed application may cause detrimental effects.
A year ago Treelife priced itself at a cost of $15-20.00 per tree. In their latest article their new price has escalated to $40-50.00 per tree and they have come up with a price structure that every arborist applying ALAMO would dream of and HELL, one would only need to work no more than a month out of a year to make a living. Also they are now coming up with new standards for the Texas Forest Service to install trenches at greater depths and wider distances.
Arborists strive to provide the best options of treatment and care for trees and to assume that the Texas Public should be subjected to TreeLife’s irresponsible showism and lack of providing true merit of their product is down right despicable business practice.
TreeLife : Bio-Stimulant/Tree Nutrient A Naturally Derived Plant & Soil Bio-stimulant
THE ACTIVE INGREDIENTS:
Extract from plants & minerals....................... 4.2 %
Inert materials...................................................95.6 %
Macro and Micro elements at trace levels..... .2 %
TreeLife can be applied to both healthy and unhealthy trees.
(Is this vigor or un-vigor)?
Apply a 1% solution of TreeLife as a high volume spray to the leaf canopy of the trees at least two to three times per year up to 12 applications per year(one per month) apply to ensure complete canopy coverage.
Apply a 1% solution of TreeLife as a high volume spray to the leaf canopy of the trees at least once a year. Apply to ensure complete canopy coverage.
TreeLife stimulates soil microbes and plant root production. Soil applications can be made year around TreeLife is diluted at 1/2 ounce (15ml) per 1/2 Gallon of water. For every six feet of canopy diameter, one gallon of the diluted mixture is applied to the soil under the tree canopy.
In addition to the above dilution of 1 gallon of TreeLife to 100 gallons of water (this dilution becomes .046% active ingredients from a 4.6% concentration), ten pounds of Miracle grow fertilizer 20-20-20 is added which is about a 2% dilution and will probably do some good. There is no mention of Bio-stimulants, enzymes or microbes and very minute amounts of micro and macro nutrients (.2%) concentration. Lets face it, the water is the primary factor here. It is my opinion, that the water is providing the greatest benefit to the trees due to four years of drought conditions and with the small amount of miracle grow, you will no doubt see some new growth and vigor.
Back in the mid 80’s We went through a similar wonder product that prevented and cured Oak Wilt and was backed by years of truly scientific research. If, I sprayed them they’ll live, and also with the usual testimonials. The end result, a little bit of fertilizer, fungicide and insecticide. A formulation so weak to be completely ineffective to do the trees any good and better still, to do them any damage.
Today, we hear the same story....The name is TreeLife ......We’re Back!!!!!!!
Think of this -- if there are very little active ingredients and you dilute them even further then there are even less effective active ingredients. If ask of the ingredients in the product, that sound interesting or even logical. You look at the answer, which could include, I really don’t know or could include any number of materials on the label. There is a list of items or benefits like complex carbohydrates, bio-stimulants, all-natural ingredients, stimulates beneficial microbes, etc. While there maybe a list of active ingredients, are active ingredients and nutrients percentages clearly stated or defined on the label.
Where have you applied this material, and the usual response is with a long list of testimonials, not science, and according to TreeLife, raving reviews about how well it performs and what wonderful results you will get.
Should You ask if a University has researched and tested the products, here it gets most interesting. You are likely to hear quotations from plant pathologists and research scientist, totally out of context, absolutely misquoted from some unrelated subject and unrelated to their product. Almost any university, for research grant will test any product or material.
Go ahead, try the product, you are concerned about your trees, it won’t hurt anything; after all, it is natural and it just may help.
All too often it is this kind of decision to use a product, which is based on testimonials, claims by the salesman, and quotations out of context and a list ingredients or benefits, without clearly knowing how or if the material really works.
It is easy to claim that a product improves vigor, health and will also solve every stress problem your tree may have. However, an in-depth university testing under all conditions is needed to ascertain any claims and to verify the real findings and benefits of the product.
University research regarding the use of fertilizers and bio-stimulants in the proper ratios and applied at regular intervals will help to improve vigor and growth but, no research has yet to prove that, fertilization should be considered as a treatment or a cure for oak wilt.
Most arborist and tree professionals will research their products for the benefit of their customers and insure that the manufacturer has a bonified product and that it has been thoroughly researched with effective results. We are seeing a greater trend to move more towards organic and natural products and it the arborist responsibility and integrity to ensure the customers are getting the best and most effective product on the market without a lot of false claims.
TreeLife, in your five years of business, we ask which university or universities have done the ten years, of in-depth research on this product ( TREELIFE ™ ) for the specific application and treatment of Oak Wilt and where are the published results? We are not asking for the product results or research from the supplier regarding field crop fertilization and crop response. Simply, just the research data, true science, (NOT TESTIMONIALS) for the treatment of live oak trees, for the cure and prevention of Oak Wilt. It is this research that, clarifies the validity of your product, your claims about the product and the integrity of your business. ......TREELIFE ...... We are waiting!!
The above opinions are written in response to feature articles in “The Texas Farm & Ranch”, Volume 19 and “The Texas Neighbors”, October 1999 Issue, written by field editor, Lana Robinson, published by Texas Farm Bureau. My personal opinions are shared by arborist and professional tree care businesses and concerned consumers throughout Texas.
No endorsement is intended for products mentioned, nor is criticism meant for products not mentioned. The Writer assumes no liability resulting from the use of these recommendations.
TreeLife Website: www.joaquinranchent.us