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Global Forests -
Little Known or Interesting Factoids About Trees and Tree Physiology

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Jim is in the hospital & will take calls through Karen.

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Contact:  Cell: 830.955.0304
                     Karen Rockoff  Arborist  - TDA Certified

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TreeLife, pulled their web site within twenty fours hours from the time they received an E-mail link of the article, "TreeLife - The New Cure For Oak Wilt????"

This has to tell you something. They didn’t like the criticism nor truth and obviously they didn’t want their quotable quotes scrutinized. I have a compete print-out of their web and also the paid advertising articles from the Texas Farms & Ranch, Texas Neighbors and other advertising flyers. One would think that responsible media would print the truth. However they will print whaterver they are paid to print

Texas Neighbors Oct 1999. Lana Robinson, Field Editor.

Lets introduce the TreeLife players, CEO, Kevin Collier, owner of a trucking company in Marble Falls. Friend and VP Linvel Baker, a preacher with a strong verbal approach. The results over the past four years of working with Collier in treatment of symptomatic trees, convinced Baker that he was on to something. "It is not a miracle cure by any means, but I’ve seen trees that were going down hill, turn around and go the other way." I see this every single year , it is call leaf fall or leaf drop and sure enuff, trees refoliate. Baker, teamed up with Collier in 1998 ( two years ago).

Their scientific research, is to read books of "agronomy" and microbiology. ( Reading and knowledge is good, but where is the university research on the relationship with soils, nutrients, pathogens, and bio-stimulants to oak wilt?) Further, consult with the scientific community to formulate a solution to restore tree health and cope with environmental stress could help combat oak wilt. (oak wilt attacks healthy trees and moves faster throughout the tree than in stressed trees - environmental stress is oak decline.)

Their information about Oak Wilt is relatively accurate and accountable since it was provided by Texas A & M University. However, they have come up with a couple of juicers. (1) The fungus (Ceratocytis fagacerum) TreeLife now have it as a "virus".No one will ever find a cure, as TreeLife keep changing the rules and players (2) "This particular fierce fungus can survive in dead tissue, which is why Baker recommends the removal of dead and severely damages trees." (3)"In lieu of trenching, we recommend using a herbicide (dump on the toxic waste) to kill the fungus left in the root system, to prevent the fungus from continuing on in the dead wood and infecting adjacent trees."

(Fungicide kills fungus and herbicide kills trees and plants)

Ceratocystis fagacearum has to have a living host to survive ( i.e. to live within a living organism). It can not live in dead wood or the soil like other types of fungi. This fungus can survive in the root system possibly up to four years, relative to environmental conditions. When the moisture content of the tree or root system is below 38% then the pathogen is totally destroyed, the pathogen moves only in live vascular tissue and never in dead wood tissue. e.g. trenching severs the roots and bull dozing the tree stumps dries out the roots in less time without toxic waste added to the ranch land.

Burnet County Extention Agent Wade Hiber says the product may help the prevention of oak wilt. "I have been very impressed with what I have seen. I have seen trees that have been treated once in a year or have received two or three applications. What this does is flush the tree and stimulate new growth. (Flush the tree? Very Interesting!) It helps get its immune system up and going." "HEY" !! One look, one observation and one evaluation??"

" HOUSTON !!! WE HAVE A CURE." Can we trust his judgement as an extension agent?

Jim Luther is their prime man for testimonials. A buddy might say what you need said?

According to Baker, TreeLife has 10 years of research behind their product and four-and-a-half years of available references. TreeLife, founded & incorporated in 1995 makes 5 years of business and Baker going into 3 years. 

However, according to their web page "TreeLife was founded in 1998", another example of they can't get their facts straight, in order to keep everyone confused, no one really knows what they are talking about to divert the attention from the real facts. Your trees are only being sprayed with basically water, fertilizer, bio-stimulants and industrial anti-freeze (humectants).

Texas has gone through 8 years of drought and the last 4 years of severe drought. Water is a very important factor. We just received more rain in one month than we have the entire year, the fields have produced lush green growth, and trees stop dropping leaves. When plants and trees receive water, they respond with growth and vigor.

Texas Farm & Ranch "The Premier Ranch & Country Estate Magazine" - summer 2000

This article, "Overcoming Oak Wilt" covers two pages by Lorie Woodward "Cantu".

At the top of the page: ‘’ADVERTISEMENT ‘’ is an article with more he said, we said and they said than all the confusion in our Election 2000. There are the usual land owner testimonials as well as a Real Estate Broker’s statement about the desirability and value of having trees in our landscapes, which is usually a contributing factor for buying any piece of real estate.

Here are some more good juicers. Texas red oaks are also susceptible. (All species of oak are susceptible to OAK WILT in varying degrees). Unlike the live oaks, infected red oaks form fungal masses underneath their bark. (the word is Fungal Mat and create a pressure pad under the bark) The bark splits to expose these spore-containing masses, (again it’s Fungal Mats) emits a sweet odor that attracts the sap sucking beetle. It is believed these flying beetles transport the spores spreading disease overlong distances..... etc..

(The Nitidulidae beetle is attracted to the odor of oak sap and carries the spores to a healthy tree that has open wounds, that are caused by vectors, such as wind, birds, and squirrels).etc.

They quote a Dr. George N. Agrios, a plant pathologist about environmental factors that has no regard nor research concerning oak wilt. Imagine the time it takes to gather all these quotes !

Texas A & M recommends setting trenches at 4-6 ft. deep depending on the soil conditions. However, most trenches are 4-1/2 ft. and it’s rare that roots are below 3-1/2 ft. Also, the trench should be installed 100 ft from the oak wilt center and sometimes as an extra precaution (and since the equipment is there) a secondary trench can be installed beyond the 100 ft.

TreeLife’s new guidelines recommend trenches be established at 150 ft. away from, and at a depth of 14 ft. I can not imagine a piece of equipment to cut through Hill Country rock to that depth. "Alamo Treatment" costs from $15.00 to $50.00. (Pretty good, when the top price is around $10.00 per dia. inch and the average is $6.50 to $8.50.) Their new guidelines now recommend the Alamo injection should now be retreated very six months and to drill the injection portals now 6 inches apart instead of the recommended 3-4 inches. Remember their price was $17-20. per tree in Oct 99. Now, Summer 2000, soil analysis is $50.00 and treatment costs $40 to $50 /tree. That is more than 100% increase in 6 months. It takes 4-5 minutes to spray a tree that is about $ 600.00 per hour. When you make that kind of money, you can make any rules and have any players you want.!

Their Quotes about soil based microbes, soil pH, fertilizers and Humectants, (HUMECTANT ! - what ever that is? Definition: Glycerin - proplene glycol use hydrogen bonds to hold moisture commonly used in cosmetics. It is really industrial anti-freeze and the major ingredient in brake and hydraulic fluid, strong systemic shin irritant, can cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage in humans and lethal to dogs and cats.) and the inter-relationships, is some what limited or more to the point very limited. Their information is more on the agricultural side regarding herbaceous plants, in which they try to relate a comparison to woody plants and more specifically shade trees. It all sounds very good, logical, believable and very harmless.

Harmless ? Antifreeze, could this be the secret ingredient of their formula for the cure? New vectors for causing oak wilt ? Which appears to be environmental changes, that has compromised our trees, the loss of the great Buffalo herds which has reduced the methane gas levels and the expanding population along the I-35 corridor are unable to sustain sufficient levels of the methane gas to keep the balance in check. Lets not discriminate, we need all people in Texas to help out to help out here. This one you will like: The inadvertent creation of the live oak monoculture is particular susceptible to an epidemic. What does all this mean? Don’t you wish! It made me speechless, I am baffled ! Texas A& M should consider this one for more in-depth research. But who should do it, the English Dept or Plant Pathology ?

There is a story about discolored, curled and sticky leaves diagnosed as oak wilt and with a TreeLife application, the trees survived. My experience is the sticky leaves are an aphid problem and the discolored and curled leaves is a leaf curler, which curls the leaf for shelter and protection from insecticides. Bio-stimulants have electrolytes and act as a bio-pesticide for aphids.

Treelife, raves on with the testimonials, no research data, quote after quote about soil tests, soil based microbes, fertilizers and tree response to TreeLife treatment. We have been hammered constantly with testimonials as the best way to sell a product and we become convinced we don’t need facts, truth, or research because testimonials are the truth.

When the words are the same, what meaning do we want them to say? A simple sentence can mean one thing - change the punctuation - the meaning changes

The teacher said,  " the boy is stupid " .                     " The teacher,"   said the boy,  " is stupid."

Dr. Arden B. Anderson, D.O. Ph.D. "Organic solutions from companies like TreeLife Technologies can be very beneficial. I commend TreeLife for its approach in the fight against vascular wilting disease." I believe, he truly enjoyed his business related 1999 hunting trip to Texas.

VASCULAR WILTING DISEASES : Fungi Fusarium, -- Fusarium Oxysporum , Verticillium Alboatrum. and Sclerotium Rol fsii; all are soil borne pathogens, and cause wilting diseases in trees, shrubs, crops, vegetables and fruit. Ceratocystis Fagacearum, however is the living host pathogen which causes Oak Wilt. Was vascular wilting disease, a careful wording to imply or to mean something different? Aha just fuzzy finance or something like that !!!

I also believe that, there are good products on the market that can have a positive and effective application. TreeLife may have a place in creating vigor in oak trees, but sell it for exactly what it is, water, bio-stimulants (enzymes help stimulate the soil based microbes, sugar feeds the enzymes and the microbes ) nutrients, plant extracts and sugars, which will produce vigor in herbaceous and woody plants, and yes it may have some benefits and help to combat oak wilt, but lets see the research. It is the new step forward, in moving toward organic solutions to help nature, but remember you are always dealing with living organisms and just when you think you have control and a handle on it, Mother Nature steps in and everything changes. In short, TreeLife is just a fertilization program lacking of in-depth research, in the response, and relationship to oak wilt. I believe.!!!

Here is an oxymoron - oak wilt attacks and moves faster in healthier oak trees, than in sick or stressed trees. Researchers learned in 1972 that "Propiconazole," a systemic fungicide in the triazole group, have cytokinin-like-bio-stimulants, growth regulating properties, that are antagonistic to bacteria, fungi and insects. Alamo is one of these such Triazoles (cytokinins are plant growth regulators, a plant hormone.) Don’t expect an instant miracle cure. It takes time to let research follow it’s course and find a cure.

Texas Wildlife: Sept 2000 by Lori Woodard Cantu

Four more pages of Testimonials, Quotes and because we don’t have any truthful or bonified answers due to our lack of research, our promise is: we will always continue our dirt bashing and de-bunking of true science. Is this what America is about or is this what TreeLife want us to believe?

Mr. Langford, TWA executive (Texas Wildlife Assoc.)

The Tree at the Grave Side, well the silhouettes says they are not the same trees, but two different trees and the problem looks more like a lot of BALL MOSS or something, perhaps a better picture, and after TreeLife’s application it turned the tree BLUE, a halo like aura, well looks as if the ball moss seamed to have liked it.

Sterilize equipment with alcohol? Need to be careful, rubbing alcohol would be interpreted as the one to use, since it is so ready available to the public, but it is really just a degreaser and has no disinfectant properties.

Oh ! What about the new symptoms of Oak Wilt, an initial appearance of a yellow or brown herring bone pattern through the leaves along the veins? Where did venial necrosis go to. Another new player? No, their just confused. I love this one; To Jump Start the trees Metabolism ? Hell, slap it in gear and give a push down hill and then pop the clutch or try the battery booster cables for a little of the old Frankenstein technology, that will work !!

Remember, they had the fungus living in dead wood, now it can continue to live with as little as 14% moisture, but where does it live now? Then, there is the number-one problem is lack of nutrition. Trees have been around for a few million years and they adapt to every region because of very specific genetics and ecosystems. Ever notice that, live oaks grow one place, post oaks another, black jacks grow in the poorest of soils and lacy oaks along a canyon rim. Here comes a genius with the solution, the number-one answer is nutrients. Who said fertilizer? With all the verbal run-off we hear, that sounds like a lot of fertilizer to me. Excessive fertilizer could damage or kill trees. Trees run out of food? What, did the Sun stop shining, how about a fast food place in town, or better still we got lots more verbal run off ?

TreeLife, believe they have come up with a new science within a biological and an ecological system with all the problems solved and we need only, to place our trees within this new systems, in which they have discovered and Texas will have no more tree sickness.

The proponents and proactive preventative champions of this protocol are Treelife’s founders and technicians (a truck driver and a preacher) focuses of remedying........

WHAT THEY BELIEVE to be the underlying causes: nutrition and environmental stress.  Environmental stress can be defined as Oak Decline.

I have questioned TreeLife many times throughout this article about research of their product and its relationship to oak wilt. The only constant words that keeps coming out, in all the various articles is " Believe " " Discovered " "They believe the cause etc." " They discovered etc. " It sounds like words you could use instead of research and results. To me, it’s a reminder of the biggest lie ever told or heard, in the simplest of three words, a short tiny sentence. ‘‘ I believe you ! ’’

My theory is, I think a little more practical knowledge about trees, how they live, how they die, their energy source and energy demands. Growth vs. Survival. If TreeLife invested those big advertising dollars and some of that $600.00 per hour, by-annual spraying fees into bonified research by a reputable university, then the Texas Public just may get some honest answers.

The only university talk we keep hearing from is the:


"Their Curriculum ?"

To lie, to use and to manipulate

the use of science, research and truth


TreeLife's foliar application October 2000 tree had a full dense canopy.
November 2000 canopy thinning leaves dropping, oak wilt symptomatic leaves.

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