12, 2007 10:25 PST
I received word that the Massachusetts DCR has
banned the use of that great chemical Will and others
are using to save hemlocks, claiming it pollutes groundwater.
I did suggest to one of them a while back to use the
method that Matt Largess has used successfully in Southern
New England, namely injecting into the tree rather than
spreading it on the ground.
The foresters made a statement a few weeks ago that they
are going to preemptively harvest some hemlocks on the Mount
Holyoke range, since "they are going to get adelgid anyway,
we are taking them while they have some value".
Lets hope they stay out of the old growth. There is language in
many of these reserve "plans" allowing harvesting to
avoid spread of
something like adelgid.
12, 2007 15:02 PST
I know that a lot of the fear is based on old information and
applied chemical. They need to update their libraries!
12, 2007 17:46 PST
from what I was told by two seperate sources. Bob Leverett
mentioned it first to me.
12, 2007 19:08 PST
I would say, if you cannot inject it into an apple tree which
from, then it would not be suitable for trees that wildlife eat
have been an arborist for over 20 years and still have not found
injections or systemic. I don't know. many people agree and some
Its too easy to place a tourniquet around a neck for a nose
John A. Keslick, Jr.
12, 2007 20:02 PST
I am not exactly sure what you are trying to say. Imidacloprid
does not kill
everything, destroy the entire soil biota that hemlock (or ash)
nor any bird that lands on the tree. It is non-toxic to
mites and mammals (although some mites are a terrible pest).
There is another option to control HWA, and that is foliar spray
of soap or
dormant oil. This method "wipes the slate clean" of
all invertebrates on the
tree, is not applicable to forest stands, and has to be repeated
often than a soil injection of imidacloprid. It is also far more
the long run. I rarely use this option since the hemlock
typically has just
one lethal pest, the HWA. Imidacloprid destroys HWA very
adverse effects on other species or wiping out the soil biota.
convinces me otherwise, I feel it is the best option at the
I know you are an avid follower of the late Dr. Shigo, but I
YOU stand, as you quote Dr. Shigo repeatedly, seemingly without
personal input. I agree with most of Dr. Shigo's work, but
arboriculture has new facets perhaps he wasn't prepared to deal
could be wrong but the loss of an ecosystem is a far greater
impact than the
death of some critters in the immediate injection site. The
retention of the
ecosystem and all viable components should be the goal, not the
impacts on a
single tree. It is time to see the forest, not the trees.
13, 2007 12:09 PST
all, enclosed is a proceedings paper presented at the last HWA
meeting in Asheville, NC (2005). As suggested previously,
is mobile, and may enter water supplies, however, as Will points
the concentrations found were extremely low, and this paper
how low in reference to what are considered harmful levels. thanks
13, 2007 13:14 PST
Thanks for weighing in. I'm not sure that people on this list
that you are one of the foremost researchers in the country on
hemlock woolly adelgid. Any posts you would care to make on the
of the adelgid or approaches to slowing it down will be greatly
appreciated by all.
Back to imidacloprid. I am troubled by DCR's
banning (total, I
presume) of the use of this chemical. Based on what I'm
decision seems to be highly pre-mature. I hope DCR's attitude
to the willingness of the timber community in Massachusetts to
hemlock population crash. The hemlock's low value as a timber
of course, the reason. But the hemlock has immense ecological
value as a
species and DCR should recognize that. I'm starting to worry
"green certification" label is on its way to becoming
a license for
restructuring our forests around early successional species,
for wildlife, and a few high value timber species. I hope I am
13, 2007 18:26 PST
Wasn't one of the main critiques of this article the lack of a
control) water sample? I could be wrong but I think there are
that may drain into the lake.
13, 2007 15:58 PST
Currently, almost all my work is in old-growth eastern hemlock
top to bottom. I am working on fairly large-scale conservation
areas in the
Smokies (soil injections of Imidacloprid) and the Tsuga Search
document the superlatives. I am literally immersed in the
forests of the Great Smokies almost daily. I am also personal
13, 2007 18:01 PST
I just got off the phone with Jim DeMaio, Chief Forester DCR
Forestry for MA. The news about the state's use of imidacloprid
Three years ago when the state was developing an HWA response
they looked at using imidacloprid as part of the plan. They
the time because Nassau County in NY had chosen to not allow
application due to ground water risk (Nassau Co does not allow
product to be applied to soil) that they would not use it on
park, forest, and watershed management land either. He said they
aware of trunk injected imidacloprid but the state has not used
did not ask him what the management plan for HWA in MA did
entail, but I
am assuming it is the "preemptive harvesting"
suggested by Ray earlier.
In summary, imidacloprid is still a registered product in MA
arborists and private forest managers, just not by the state who
used it to begin with. Nothing is scheduled to change in the
Brandon Gallagher Watson
Plant Healthcare Specialist
ISA Certified Arborist MN-4086A
Disturbing info APPLES AND ORANGES
13, 2007 18:16 PST
There is a subtle but crucial difference in your argument:
1) Apples are not native, and may "need" extra help be
it chemical or
"organic". Also, apples are highly genetically
selected for resistance
traits and varieties. Apples are not on the verge of local
late frosts, various rots or fire blight.
2) The eastern and Carolina hemlocks are native to the US, and
with native pests for millennia. The non-native hemlock woolly
adelgid is a
fatal pest that the hemlocks have never had to deal with. They
killed and in the case of Carolina hemlock, likely driven
extinct in the
wild without chemical treatment.
In both scenarios we (humans) have introduced new species to our
one invited, the other not. But to answer your question- yes,
you can inject
chemicals into an apple tree, but I wouldn't eat it. There is
not a fair
comparison between the two actions. Apples to oranges.
From: John Keslick, JR. [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2007 1:37 PM
Subject: Re: Disturbing info
So you are saying the chemicals can be injected in apple trees?
John A. Keslick, Jr.
13, 2007 19:29 PST
That is terrible news as I thought a good portion of
the state's old growth are Hemlocks. This would open
up a good excuse for the harvesting of them.
14, 2007 04:18 PST
I wholeheartedly second your comments. Will
Blozan has personally
donated literally tens of thousands of dollars of his money to
efforts to save the eastern hemlock from extirpation from an
insect. I know of no human being on the planet who has made a
effort in terms of personal commitment to the species. He has
money where his mouth is and we all are the richer for it.
Whether or not we let a species
disappear due to our own neglect is
a matter of individual conscience. But, I take inspiration from
efforts of people such as Will who accept the challenge of
species from extirpation while our species as a whole plows
trashing the planet.
In terms of time spent in old-growth,
Will is one of the foremost
eastern old growth researchers in the country. I say that
moments hesitation. That is how I first met him. He was plowing
mountains of rhododendron documenting the hemlock and Northern
stands of the Smokies as a NPS employee in advance of the
gypsy moth infestations. He had fire in his belly then and that
grown steadily as has his accomplishments.
Edward Frank wrote:
Will's company, Appalachain Arborists, provides a
variety of tree
related business services not just treatments for
adelgid. They do tree
trimming and removal and similar arborist services.
Actually many of
the areas that have been treated for the adelgid has
been paid for by
his company and by Will personally out of pocket. The
reason for pursuing the treatment of the hemlocks is to
save the species
and related ecosystem from extinction, rather than to
make a large
profit. I fully support and applaud his efforts as does
with concern about the future of our eastern and
14, 2007 06:15 PST
et al, we take our hats off to Will, he is dedicated, and
miracles to save the old growth hemlocks in the smokies.
The arborist our group works with raves about his great work
Great work Will, keep it up.
14, 2007 10:02 PST
I have this growing fear that premature
harvesting has been the underlying plan all along.
14, 2007 10:44 PST
The rapid change of e-mails on the scientific
imidacloprid reflect different points of view. Below, please
extracted information from a DEC letter to Bayer CropScience
in Suffolk county, NY.
The New York State Department of
(Department) registered the active ingredient imidacloprid in
1995. The professional nursery, turf, ornamental and
were registered in the spring of 1995, while the consumer turf
registered in January 1996. As indicated in our registration
letter dated March 24, 1995, after review of the technical
submitted, the Department had concerns regarding the long-term
environmental fate and environmental persistence of the active
ingredient imidacloprid and degradates when used over sole
aquifers. Groundwater modeling performed by the Department prior
registration of imidacloprid indicated the potential for
and persistence of imidacloprid and its degradates in
repeated annual applications. The Department was especially
about the use of imidacloprid on Long Island which has been
as a sole-source aquifer. The letter also stated that the
registration of all imidacloprid products within New York State
dependent upon the annual review of groundwater monitoring data
collected within the Long Island aquifer.
registration letter dated October 24, 1996, the Department
again expressed its concerns. Imidacloprid is persistent and
potentially mobile. Soil degradation is slow, with half-lives
from 120-365 days. While photolysis in water is very rapid, with
half-life of 4.2 hours, imidacloprid is stable to hydrolysis.
dissipation studies performed by the registrant for the Merit
indicate that imidacloprid can dissipate fairly quickly from the
application zone. Due to the leaching potential, combined with
persistence, the potential distribution and widespread use of
imidacloprid in New York State, both the Department's Division
and the New York State Department of Health expressed concerns
the potential for multi-year residue build-up in groundwater.
has been working closely with the Suffolk County
Department of Health Services (SCDHS) and has provided funding
county for groundwater monitoring in Nassau and Suffolk
the Quality Assurance Project Sampling Plan (QAPP) entitled
"Imidacloprid Groundwater Monitoring Project Plan" was
representatives from Bayer CropScience and the Department in
"action threshold" of 25 ppb (half of the New York
State drinking water
standard) was discussed and agreed upon. The intent of the
was to detect levels of imidacloprid in the groundwater directly
the site specified and being used at maximum label rates in
with the groundwater monitoring project. In a Bayer CropScience
dated May 22, 1998, Bayer stated that if multiple groundwater
occurred at or above 10 ppb, mitigation steps would be taken.
"action thresholds" were intended for groundwater
samples taken from the
monitoring wells established for the imidacloprid groundwater
project. While the Department expected to find imidacloprid in
groundwater monitoring wells immediately under and adjacent to
sites, the Department was surprised to find that imidacloprid
rapidly migrated down gradient to private homeowner wells. The
detection of imidacloprid in a private homeowner well (far
the intended monitoring zone) was in April 2000. To date,
has been detected at concentrations (0.2 to 7 ppb) in 12
wells and 16 down gradient private homeowner wells. Imidacloprid
also been recently detected at 0.24 ppb in two Suffolk County
water supply wells (85 feet and 90 feet deep). Additionally,
imidacloprid has now been detected at a golf course monitoring
(0.43 ppb) and at monitoring wells near trees (0.2 to 5.1 ppb)
been treated with imidacloprid by trunk injection for the Asian
Longhorned Beetle (ALB).
The New York
State Department of Health is concerned about the
presence of any pesticides in private or community drinking
supplies. Impact to community supply wells at depths of 85 and
is of particular concern to the Department of Health.
imidacloprid is fairly resistant to breakdown once it moves into
groundwater. So far, monitoring has only shown the presence of
parent imidacloprid compound. It is unknown if any degradates
present in the groundwater. This concern is heightened by the
imidacloprid pesticide products have been registered for a short
of time (nine years).
Given the above, both the Department and
the New York State
Department of Health are concerned about the continued
of all nursery, turf, ornamental, agricultural and consumer
use patterns. Consistent with the United States Environmental
Protrection Agency's (USEPA) philosophy of developing Best
Plans (BMPs), when impacts to groundwater/drinking water are
the Department intends to be proactive and ensure the
responsible use of
the affected products. While the detected level of imidacloprid
groundwater samples has not reached the action thresholds, the
Department is troubled by the increasing frequency of detections
parent compound with respect to the short duration of
its use at less than maximum labeled rates in New York State.
Department is particularly concerned about the increasing number
detections in samples from public and private drinking water
with Bayer CropScience, Cornell Cooperative
Extension, representatives of regulated users and the
targeted BMPs for imidacloprid have been developed. The
take steps to evaluate the impact of various use patterns on
groundwater. The Department's goal is to manage the current
uses of all imidacloprid products in order to protect the
resources of Long Island and, at the same time, preserve its use
crops and other use patterns where no alternatives for insect
exist. The Department intends to maintain the registration of
critical uses (in conjunction with the BMPs) of imidacloprid on
Island while also gathering more information so that we may
first met with Bayer CropScience on July 30, 2002
to discuss our concerns, and possible use pattern modifications.
CropScience was also informed in a letter dated July 11, 2002
this issue is resolved, the Department will not register any
imidacloprid products (basic or supplemental distributor).
meetings and conference calls have taken place on October 1,
November 4, 2002; July 28, 2003; May 18, 2004; July 15, 2004 and
The Department received a letter
dated October 21, 2004 from Bayer
CropScience expressing dissatisfaction with the Department's
position. We interpret this letter as Bayer's final positions on
various imidacloprid product related registration matters that
been negotiating for some time. We find Bayer's positions
with many of our previous discussions. Our discussions on the
related concentration agreement thoroughly highlighted the
between such concentrations being present in near surface waters
deeper aquifer zones. The New York State Health Department was
to aid in understanding the concerns associated with the
results from the drinking water wells. Such data is not
of the agreed upon "mitigation triggers" as your
You also stated in your
October 21, 2004 letter that only 1% of
the samples collected by Suffolk County have detected
However, the detections that the Department is most concerned
not from the monitoring wells established for the imidacloprid
groundwater monitoring project. As noted above, there has been
increasing number of detections in private homeowner wells which
removed from the intended monitoring zone.
shared the sound scientific reasoning behind our
intentions to limit the application of imidacloprid products to
professional and agricultural use by classifying the products as
"restricted use" while we further evaluated the means
by which this
compound migrates through the soil matrix. As we discussed,
the application of this product to those persons who are
applicators would also ensure that we would receive annual
information on use location and amounts. To provide further
products which are classified as "restricted use" in
New York State are
restricted in their purchase, distribution, sale, use and
New York State. Furthermore, restricted products may only be
sold and used by a certified applicator in New York State.
According to New York State Department
of Environmental Conservation
Regulations 6 NYCRR 326.3(a): "It
shall be unlawful for any person
to distribute, sell, offer for sale, purchase for the purpose of
or possess for the purpose of resale, any restricted pesticide
said person shall have applied for, and been issued a commercial
Also, the Pesticide Reporting Law (PRL)
in Article 33 Title 12 of
the Environmental Conservation Law requires all certified
pesticide applicators to report information annually to the
regarding each pesticide application they make.
Commercial pesticide retailers are required to report all sales
restricted pesticide products. If no sales are made within New
State, a report must still be filed with the Department
is the case.
There is no practical
mechanism for obtaining annual reporting
information on use location and amounts for imidacloprid
are currently registered as "general use" in New York
State and used by
the general public. Therefore, in order to protect the
obtain accurate use data which can be tabulated and used in
analysis, the Department maintains that the consumer products
prohibited from use on Long Island. In order for the affected
products to be registered, use modifications must be made. An
of label language that addresses these concerns is: "Not
For Sale, Use
or Distribution In or Into Nassau, Suffolk, Kings or Queens
New York." Affected currently registered consumer products
placed into discontinued status. The island of Long Island is
physically comprised of these four contiguous counties. The
believes that due to the inherent difficulties of controlling
distribution and use of "general use" consumer
products, the prohibition
should be extended to the natural physical boundaries of the
In all of our communications, our
position has been shared openly
with Bayer in the realm of sound environmental management based
available scientific data. We find the notion that this was an
"arbitrary decision" to be without basis.
The Department does not
consider the use of imidacloprid consumer
products to be critical on Long Island. Homeowner lawns, and
flowers and shrubs will still be able to be treated with
licensed trained applicators. As New York State restricted use
products, all professional use and commercial sales will be
the Department in accordance with the Pesticide Reporting Law.
dates, amounts and specific locations of imidacloprid
be provided to the Department annually. This information, along
eliminating the consumer use (of which the Department would have
application or reporting records), will allow the Department to
the other use patterns and attempt to determine which uses are
problematic. This will allow further use decisions to be made if
Therefore, as a result of the
Department's intention to continue
registration for the critical uses to professional applicators
be protective of human health and the environment, we register
aforementioned products as restricted use products, in
accordance with 6
NYCRR 326.23(e), in New York State. The Department intends to
the groundwater/drinking water of Long Island, while still
the use of imidacloprid where no viable alternatives exist.
Department has received and reviewed your October
21, 2004 letter, our technical concerns remain and have not been
adequately mitigated by Bayer CropScience's proposed
With regard to imidacloprid products, the
Department will proceed to:
1. Classify as "restricted use" in New York State, as
of January 1,
2005, all currently registered professional use products. Our
for this action lies in 6 NYCRR Part 326.23(e). This includes
professional turf, ornamental, nursery and agric
ultural use products, except seed treatments and fly baits.
Robert T. Leverett
Cofounder, Eastern Native Tree Society
14, 2007 13:03 PST
As a retailer of imidacloprid (Xytect) I can tell you the
applies to CA and NY, which means we can only sell the product
professionals. It is not a federally restricted product so if we
chose we could sell to the general public in every other state
don't because we believe ONLY professionals should be applying
chemicals). Even Bayer's homeowner version (Advanced Tree and
Care) is specifically labeled for no distribution, application,
into the Long Island counties.
These are specific to Long Island because of the unique
hydrology of the
The label clearly states the risk of groundwater contamination
but it is
really up to applicator to use his/her judgment for determining
soil treatment is proper in a particular situation. This really
to the importance of environmental education for those
"professionals" in our industry. The fate of many of
these products, all
the EPA/university science aside, is in their hands.
Brandon Gallagher Watson
Plant Healthcare Specialist
ISA Certified Arborist MN-4086A
Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements
14, 2007 13:11 PST
I was an applicator of pesticides commercially for 2.5 years in
the DC/metro area. I always thought it would be wise to restrict
the use of all pesticides, except maybe round up in a premixed
solution, from all residential use (homeowner use) The american
idea of more is better causes many folks to over apply
pesticides or just use them improperly altogether. A man in Md.
poisoned a boatload of Canadian Geese when he dumped the
majority of a container of insecticide in his lawn in an effort
to kill ants. I realize that many of us can do it properly, but
it sure would cut back on improper use. I realize that some
commercial applicators are bozos too. I guess you can't stop
14, 2007 14:08 PST
sap suckers visit hemlock trees?
HWA are not
the only organisms to eat hemlock parts. Like I said. I
base my decision on the fact that a chemical that cannot be
injected into apple trees for human consumption is not suited
for trees which their associates eat their parts.
My search is showing that some birds do eat hemlock seeds. Deer
browse also on the foliage.
(Western Hemlock) Seeds eaten by squirrels, chipmunks and birds
in the winter. Deer and elk browse twigs.
Tsuga martensiana (Mountain Hemlock) Seeds eaten by siskins,
juncos, finches, crossbills, squirrels, chipmunks. Dense foliage
Hemlock seed is a preferred food for American goldfinch, boreal
chickadee, ruffed grouse, pine siskin and red-winged and
white-winged crossbills. Many other species of birds and mammals
also eat the seeds, and snowshoe hare browse young shoots.
Large, old hemlock are used by raccoon for dens and provide
cavities and nesting sites for a wide variety of birds. Hemlocks
also offer great cover and protection for both small and large
birds and at Macphail Woods the largest hemlock contains a hive
of honeybees that has overwintered for many years. As large
trees start to break up and die, red-backed salamanders are
common under the loose bark on standing trees. Amphibians can
also be found under and around hemlocks that have fallen to the
John A. Keslick, Jr.
14, 2007 16:03 PST
It is not ALL about what eats the seeds of leaves. You obviously
realize that we are talking about an ecosystem collapse here.
You also must
not realize that these associated species, some perhaps Tsuga
will have to make some quick adjustments to find alternative
food sources as
their preferred hosts die and crumble. The amphibians, trout,
else (some species perhaps not even discovered yet) will die or
move on with the loss of the forest. If they are niche
hemlock forests they are toast.
Disturbing info-- Wait a minute!
14, 2007 16:17 PST
I have been involved with OG work for quite some time but
continue to learn
from folks far more knowledgeable than me. Jess Riddle and Josh
immediately to mind. I may have more miles in the Smokies than
Jess or Josh
but they have more miles with the fine tuning and keen eye I did
early on. I still do not have the skills of these two and likely
I am fine with that as we all have our skills, interests, and
is no competition here anyway!
I bring the funding and exposure for ENTS and the Tsuga Search
my NPS contacts and passion for the species. I am proud to be
able to do it
and don't regret a dime spent even though it has been a huge
for me. We have but ONE chance to do what we are doing with
eastern hemlock. I saw the chance and took it with much
the funds to get it done. It was a whim that has proven to be
Plus, I love to climb huge trees!
14, 2007 17:56 PST
of sawlog size are notoriously subject to wind-shake (481), to
radial stress cracks, and, following sudden exposure, to
sunscald of the bark, and to death. These reactions may be the
result of many adverse effects associated with a changed regime
of solar heat and soil moisture and culminate in a decline often
referred to as post-logging decadence. When hemlocks are left as
residual trees following partial cutting, and when they are
exposed, through road or other construction or clearing, they
often die, even when their root area is covered with understory
brush (661). Eastern hemlock is also considered to be one of the
species most sensitive to sulfur fumes from smelters (1933). An
interesting type of hemlock ring-shake follows sapsucker injury
Reference: Hepting, George, H. July
Disease of Forest and Shade Trees of The United States
US. Dept. Agric. Forest Service Handbook Number 386 658
14, 2007 17:58 PST
should we pollute their food supply with these chemicals? That's
unheard of. As I said: a tourniquet around the neck will stop a
severe nose bleed.
What are we
talking here? Injecting chemicals which find their way to seeds
and needles, which many eat, that no one would think of
injecting in their own apple tree and feeding the apples to
their children. Hemlocks do not tolerate fragmentation. Maybe
that's the problem to address.
John A. Keslick, Jr.
Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree
Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep
reminding us that we are not the boss.
14, 2007 18:20 PST
will not survive HWA. Fragmentation is not a relevant point. I
agree that we disagree.
One more difference I would like to point out. You feel it is
poison an apple tree and feed the fruit to our children. I
agree, but I also
feel it is wrong and irresponsible to not leave my children a
hemlocks to visit, climb, and enjoy (not to mention the myriad
of research and further ecological and mechanical studies- that
you quote so
I have taken the opportunity to leave a legacy of hemlocks in
Appalachians for the future. Down here, the untreated groves
will be dead
(along with much of the critters that depend on them). I may
this mission wrong, but I doubt it.
14, 2007 18:33 PST
would say that the chemicals injected are in the sap. What about
the sap suckers?
John A. Keslick, Jr.
14, 2007 19:14 PST
Hemlocks do not tolerate death or mass extinction, either. I
think it's important to balance the potential incidental damage
to some generalist feeders on hemlocks or those up the food
chain from there, in very minor and localized amounts, to the
loss of an entire species. Any hemlock-specific species will die
along with the hemlocks.
Yes, yes. The tourniquet comment. Very clever. How can you
correlate the logic to the situation at hand? Please elaborate.
14, 2007 20:23 PST
MICHAEL DAVIE wrote:
Yes, yes. The tourniquet comment. Very
clever. How can you >correlate
the logic to the situation at hand?
Nah. Not very clever, at all. Rather reactionary, in my opinion.
The simple fact is that, barring an amazing discovery and
the next couple of years, both species of hemlocks in the east
become extinct. If this happens, every creature that depends
for survival will also likely go belly-up. Barring some amazing
their habits (doubtful). By treating some groves with the
you're at least giving them a few more years for some new and
tactic to come to the fore. Putting up with short-term toxicity
long-term survival seems a mild risk.
15, 2007 05:17 PST
Okay, how many species are obligate or facultatively obligate
and/or the environmental conditions that they create? I remember
doing a presentation at the Forest Summit regarding the HWA and
identified the other TREE species that would most likely
Also, I know that Lee Frelich has been writing about
neighborhood effects of
species like Tsuga so in that instance I would image that other
would become established, exert their neighborhood effects, and
would shift to a more deciduous-based system.
15, 2007 05:20 PST
am just catching up with my email today after a short hiatus and
discussion interesting. Has anyone provided a synopsis of the
of imidacloprid? Half life of biodegradation, intermediate and
metabolites, LD50, etc?
15, 2007 05:21 PST
Yes, you are absolutely correct, the sap that results from their
attracts insects which are then fed upon by the sapsuckers, I
yellow-bellied sapsuckers doing this.
15, 2007 05:25 PST
Any evidence out there that there are resistant individuals?
genetic variation in any population will provide a long-term
solution to the
presence of a pollutant, that is unless the pollutant or
pathogen is just so
damaging that no individuals survive. Has anyone seen resistant
in the field? Dave Orwig?
15, 2007 05:31 PST
is an analogy to help think through this imidacloprid
Pharmaceuticals are given to people despite the fact that MANY
potentially toxic to the body (and the trick is to keep the drug
effective dose (ED50) but below the lethal dose (LD50). The
liver and other
organs metabolize the drug. Think specifically about
are many chemotherapies which have short-term toxicity to the
body (and that
is why they kill cancer cells) but unless they are mutagenic or
the body recovers afterwards.
I think the analogy may be appropriate here. If the imidacloprid
"pharmaceutical" is biodegradable within a relatively
short period of time,
if it doesn't biomagnify/bioaccumulate up the food chain, and if
metabolic byproducts are innoculous then the short term toxicity
adlegid may outweigh any short-term risk to the ecosystem. I'll
try to get
some ecotoxicology data on the chemical.
15, 2007 05:35 PST
Can you please give us a synopsis of the toxicology and
Xytect? Are the application levels of the chemical for HWA below
for most test organisms?
15, 2007 06:23 PST
Sapsuckers DO eat sap as a primary source of food. They also eat
stuck in the sap, as well as capturing them apart from sap. It
interesting that they often dip their prey in sap before
Their favorite tree species are Yellow and Paper birch. Second
would be linden, maple, cherry, and white pine. Hemlock is
likely used, but
not as a primary source.
Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, the only type likely found in the
area, make two types of feeding holes in trees. One utilizes
xylem, and the
other phloem sap. The 'sap well' area can be used for up to four
drying up. At any given, time several trees are being used as a
There is a sub-species endemic to the Appalachians.
To further complicate the issue, a whole host of animals and
these same 'sap wells', to include several types of
nuthatches, warblers, finches, squirrels, various flies and
I have included information below concerning toxicity.
TRADE OR OTHER NAMES: Imidacloprid is found in a variety of
insecticides. The products Admire, Condifor, Gaucho, Premier,
Provado, and Marathon all contain imidacloprid as the active
REGULATORY STATUS: Imidacloprid is a General Use Pesticide, and
classified by EPA as both a toxicity class II and class III
agent, and must
be labeled with the signal word "Warning" or
"Caution" (223). There are
tolerances for residues of imidacloprid and its metabolites on
additives ranging from 0.02 ppm in eggs, to 3.0 ppm in hops
INTRODUCTION: Imidacloprid is a systemic, chloro-nicotinyl
soil, seed and foliar uses for the control of sucking insects
hoppers, aphids, thrips, whiteflies, termites, turf insects,
and some beetles. It is most commonly used on rice, cereal,
vegetables, sugar beets, fruit, cotton, hops and turf, and is
systemic when used as a seed or soil treatment. The chemical
interfering with the transmission of stimuli in the insect
Specifically, it causes a blockage in a type of neuronal pathway
(nicotinergic) that is more abundant in insects than in
(making the chemical selectively more toxic to insects than
animals). This blockage leads to the accumulation of
important neurotransmitter, resulting in the insect's paralysis,
eventually death. It is effective on contact and via stomach
Imidacloprid based insecticide formu-lations are available as
powder, granular, seed dressing (flowable slurry concentrate),
concentrate, suspension concentrate, and wettable powder (223).
application rates range from 0.05 - 0.125 pounds/acre. These
rates are considerably lower than older, traditionally used
can be phytotoxic if it is not used according to manufacturer's
specifications, and has been shown to be compatible with
used as a seed treatment to control insect pests (329).
Acute Toxicity: Imidacloprid is moderately toxic. The oral dose
grade imidacloprid that resulted in mortality to half of the
(LD50) is 450 mg/kg body weight in rats (223), and 131 mg/kg in
The 24-hour dermal LD50 in rats is >5,000 mg/kg. It is
non-irritating to eyes and skin (rabbits), and non-sensitizing
(guinea pigs) (1). Some granular formulations may contain clays
ingredients that may act as eye irritants. In acute inhalation
tests with rats, the airborne concentration of imidacloprid that
mortality to half of the test organisms (LC50) is > 69
mg/meters cubed air
in the form of an aerosol, and >5323 mg/meters cubed air in
the form of
dust. These values represent the maximum attainable airborne
Signs and Symptoms of Poisoning: Although no account of human
found in the literature, signs and symptoms of poisoning would
to be similar to nicotinic signs and symptoms, including
cramps, and muscle weakness including the muscles necessary for
Chronic Toxicity: A 2-year feeding study in rats fed up to 1,800
resulted in a No Observable Effect Level (NOEL) of 100 ppm (5.7
weight in males and 7.6 mg/kg in females). Adverse effects
decreased body weight gain in females at 300 ppm, and increased
lesions in males at 300 ppm and females at 900 ppm. A 1-year
in dogs fed up to 2,500 ppm resulted in a NOEL of 1,250 ppm (41
Adverse effects included increased cholesterol levels in the
blood, and some
stress to the liver (measured by elevated liver cytochrome p-450
Reproductive Effects: A three generation reproduction study in
rats fed up
to 700 ppm imidacloprid resulted in a NOEL of 100 ppm
(equivalent to 8
mg/kg/day) based on decreased pup body weight observed at the
250 ppm dose
Teratogenic Effects: A developmental toxicity study in rats
given doses up
to 100 ppm by gavage on days 6 to 16 of gestation resulted in a
NOEL of 30
mg/kg/day (based on skeletal abnormalities observed at the next
tested of 100 ppm) (329). In a developmental toxicity study with
given doses of imidacloprid by gavage during days 6 through 19
resulted in a NOEL of 24 mg/kg/day based on decreased body
skeletal abnormalities observed at 72 mg/kg/day (highest dose
Mutagenic Effects: Imidacloprid may be weakly mutagenic. In a
battery of 23
laboratory mutagenicity assays, imidacloprid tested negative for
effects in all but two of the assays. It did test positive for
changes in chromosomes in human lymphocytes, as well as testing
genotoxicity in Chinese hamster ovary cells (331).
Carcinogenic Effects: Imidacloprid is considered to be of
carcinogenic risk, and is thus categorized by EPA as a
"Group E" carcinogen
(evidence of noncarcinogenicity for humans). There were no
effects in a 2-year carcinogenicity study in rats fed up to
Organ Toxicity: In short-term feeding studies in rats, there
lesions associated with very high doses of imidacloprid (331).
Fate in Humans and Animals: Imidacloprid is quickly and almost
absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, and eliminated via
urine and feces
(70-80% and 20-30%, respectively, of the 96% of the parent
administered within 48 hours). The most important metabolic
the degradation to 6-chloronicotinic acid, a compound that acts
nervous system as described above. This compound may be
glycine and eliminated, or reduced to guanidine (1).
Effects on Birds: Imidacloprid is toxic to upland game birds.
The LD50 is
152 mg/kg for bobwhite quail, and 31 mg/kg in Japanese quail
(223, 1). In
studies with red-winged blackbirds and brown-headed cowbirds, it
observed that birds learned to avoid imidacloprid treated seeds
experiencing transitory gastrointestinal distress (retching) and
(loss of coordination). It was concluded that the risk of
to birds via treated seeds was minimal. Based on these studies,
appears to have potential as a bird repellent seed treatment
Effects on Aquatic Organisms: The toxicity of imidacloprid to
moderately low. The 96-hour LC50 of imidacloprid is 211 mg/l for
trout, 280 mg/l for carp, and 237 mg/l for golden orfe. In tests
aquatic invertebrate Daphnia, the 48-hour EC50 (effective
cause toxicity in 50% of the test organisms) was 85 mg/l (1).
containing imidacloprid may be very toxic to aquatic
Effects on Other Animals (Nontarget species): Imidacloprid is
to bees if used as a foliar application, especially during
flowering, but is
not considered a hazard to bees when used as a seed treatment
Breakdown of Chemical in Soil and Groundwater: The half-life of
in soil is 48-190 days, depending on the amount of ground cover
down faster in soils with plant ground cover than in fallow
Organic material aging may also affect the breakdown rate of
Plots treated with cow manure and allowed to age before sowing
persistence of imidacloprid in soils than in plots where the
manure was more
recently applied, and not allowed to age (335). Imidacloprid is
stepwise to the primary metabolite 6-chloronicotinic acid, which
breaks down into carbon dioxide (336). There is generally not a
high risk of
groundwater contamination with imidacloprid if used as directed.
chemical is moderately soluble, and has moderate binding
affinity to organic
materials in soils. However, there is a potential for the
compound to move
through sensitive soil types including porous, gravelly, or
depending on irrigation practices (337).
Breakdown of Chemical in Surface Water: The half-life in water
greater than 31 days at pH 5, 7 and 9. No other information was
Breakdown of Chemical in Vegetation: Imidacloprid penetrates the
moves from the stem to the tips of the plant. It has been tested
variety of application and crop types, and is metabolized
following the same
pathways. The most important steps were loss of the nitro group,
hydroxylation at the imidazolidine ring, hydrolysis to 6-
acid and formation of conjugates (1).
Analytical Methods: Methods are available for determining
residues (the 6-chloropicolyl moiety) in plant materials using
u.v. detection (338).
15, 2007 06:39 PST
The important points below(understood by me) is that birds learn
to use a
different source for food, if they sense any adverse affects,
Imidacloprid is already being used on food crops.
15, 2007 06:44 PST
Thanks Ed, I stand corrected regarding the sap-sucking behavior.
the name DOES suggest that I had never actually observed in the
Considering the ingredients in imidacloprid (nicotinyl) perhaps
all start smoking around hemlock trees when we work.
Incidentally it is the
chlorine atom that makes pesticides very persistent, just as
until they get into the stratosphere and are broken down by
I wonder if a formulation with just NICOTINE would be effective
may not hang around long enough to kill the adelgid without the
Before synthetic pesticides nicotine was actually one of the
ingredients in natural, biodegradable pesticides.
Thank you for the toxicological data.
15, 2007 06:48 PST
interesting! Are they all clones? So..the one's that were
released were all female? What about the BALSAM wooly adelgid?
The shallow gene pool for hemlock trees suggests that resistance
likely in any population.
From: Will Blozan
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2007 9:28 AM
Subject: RE: Imidacloprid Wars
From what Lee has said, eastern hemlock resides in a shallow
gene pool. The
adelgid, all clones, don't even have a pool to swim in.
15, 2007 07:18 PST
Are you suggesting that birds can "sense" the presence
Generalists will obviously have an easier time of shifting food
what about any specialists (hemlock-obligate species) that need
nest in, feed in, etc.?
Imidacloprid Wars - Toxicity info
15, 2007 08:06 PST
attached the MSDS for Xytect 75WSP (same as MERIT 75WSP). It
includes decomposition products, toxicology, and ecological
If you are interested in learning more about LD50 ratings you
out this link. http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/ld50.html
thing to remember is the higher the LD50 number the less toxic
Imidacloprid (used as directed) is less toxic than many things
encounter in life. Xytect has an LD50 oral of >4500 mg/Kg.
you would have to ingest 4500 mg of active ingredient for every
body weight to kill half a population of the animal you were
By comparison, you would have to ingest 50 mg/Kg of nicotine,
of table salt, or 2080 mg/Kg of my beloved ethanol alcohol.
ratings can be found by doing some Google searches. It is quite
interesting to see where many of our common household products
The point is not that you should be eating or drinking
if used under all the guidelines required by the label the
minimal toxicity for people and non-target animals. Sapsuckers
have to suck a lot of sap to get enough active ingredient to be
The toxicity to aquatic organisms is clearly stated on the label
MSDS. Don't get it in water! The biggest issue our sister
Rainbow Treecare, ever had to deal with was a broken rig hose
sprayed MERIT into a client's koi pond!
As far as the conversation surrounding the treatment of apples
crops foods...read the label. The EPA allows treatment of
up to a week before harvest in pome fruits and up to the DAY of
in grape. We did not seek agriculture labeling for Xytect (we
arborists) so you cannot apply OUR product in commercial
vineyards but there are many imidacloprids out there that have
ag on the
label. Ours can be used by homeowners wanting to protect their
vines and want to consume the fruit.
Hopefully this was helpful.
Brandon M. Gallagher Watson
Plant Healthcare Specialist
ISA Certified Arborist MN-4086A
15, 2007 08:14 PST
Gary et al. there is ongoing work searching for hemlock
citation below is a paper that was recently presented by
the University of Rhode Island, University of Massachusetts and
that is basically the initial protocol for such an effort:
Examine heavily hit stands, find remaining trees, take cuttings,
propagate seedlings, introduce HWA, evaluate for
It is still too early to tell for sure, but initial work
there may indeed be resistance out there, but much more work is
2007. Poster presented: 18th U.S. Department of Agriculture
research forum on gypsy moth and other invasive species.
“Production and Evaluation of Eastern Hemlocks (/Tsuga
potentially resistant to the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (/Adelges
with T. Caswell, R. Casagrande, E. Preisser, B. Maynard, J.
and D. Orwig.
There may be other research projects that are investigating
this, but I
am not aware of them. thanks DAVE ORWIG
15, 2007 09:02 PST
I think Ed is saying there is a feedback/aversion mechanism - ie:
discomfort = don't eat seeds from that tree anymore. It would be
interesting to see if a Black-capped Chickadee (for instance)
stop eating ALL hemlock cone seed or would learn not to feed on
particular treated hemlock. The current scenario as you all know
that Will (and hopefully others) are treating only specific
a short-term holding action. Knowing that birds are
intelligent I'd expect that hemlock feeding birds would learn
to avoid a particular treated tree.
More detailed info would be helpful as to how much imidacloprid
up in hemlock cone seeds and other "consumable"
following soil injection treatment. As far as YB Sapsucker
habits goes, I expect they drink more sap from the tastier
species as opposed to the conifers. The avian imidacloprid
feedback/aversion mechanism described in Eds post might be
to sap drinkers as well as seed eaters.
Jamaica Pain, MA
15, 2007 09:50 PST
Nesting Black-throated Green Warbler is often associated with
hemlock. In woods in eastern Massachusetts if you want to find a
singing BTG Warbler in breeding territory just find a hemlock
or individual large tree. Unfortunately I'm finding many less of
these delightful birds on breeding territory the last three
was sad to find a lone male BTG Warbler singing in a decimated
hemlock grove a few seasons ago.
Jamaica Plain, MA
15, 2007 11:00 PST
In the body of Imidacloprid information it states that
and Brown-headed Cowbirds will change food sources that cause
experience vomiting and or loss of coordination.
15, 2007 19:53 PST
What you need to think about is what are the benefits and costs
of each of the options of a) Not Treating the hemlocks, b)
Treating them with Imidacloprid, and c) Other options.
In summary a) No Treatment.
a.. Almost all of the hemlocks will DIE and become EFFECTIVELY
b.. The species that are obligate tsugaphiles will ALL DIE
c.. Creatures that get much of their food from hemlock will need
to find other sources with SOME MORTALITY. There should be no
loss of species in this group
d.. Creatures that occasionally feed on hemlock will need to
find other food. There should be no loss of species in this
e.. Creatures that shelter in hemlocks will need to find other
f.. Plant ecosystems associated with the canopies of the
hemlocks and associated insect communities will ALL DIE. There
may be some LOSS of unknown plant or LOSS of arthropod species.
g.. The microclimate generated under the hemlock canopies will
h.. Plant communities in the understory of the hemlock groves
will be disrupted.
i.. If plant species are dependant on the floor niches
surrounding hemlocks they will have SIGNIFICANT LOSES.
j.. Older specimens representing the oldest and largest of the
species WILL DIE FIRST.
b) Treatment will imidacloprid
a.. The hemlock groves and individual specimens treated will
survive for at least 5 years
b.. Hemlocks that are not treated will die
c.. Obligate tsugaphiles in the treated hemlocks may or may not
die depending on whether they ingest large amounts of
imidacloprid or not.
d.. Creatures that get much of their food from treated hemlocks
may be poisoned by the imidacloprid or they may be forced to
move to other food sources. Those that feed on the untreated
hemlocks will be forced to find other food sources. There may be
SOME MORTALITY incurred by imidacloprid ingestion and there will
be SOME MORTALITY for others feeding on untreated hemlock as
their food source approaches extinction. There should be no loss
of species in this group.
e.. Creatures that occasionally feed on hemlock should not be
affected by ingestion of small amounts of imidacloprid. Those
feeding on untreated hemlock groves will need to find other food
sources. There should be no loss of species in this group.
f.. Creatures that shelter in hemlocks but do not ingest food
should still be able to shelter in the hemlocks.
g.. Plant ecosystems associated with the canopies of the
hemlocks will survive in the treated trees. It is likely that
insect communities associated with these plants will be ADVERSELY
AFFECTED. There may be a LOSS of yet unknown
h.. The microclimate generated under the canopies of the treated
hemlocks will be retained.
i.. Plant communities in the understory of the hemlock grove
will not be affected .in treated trees
j.. If plant species are dependant on the floor niches
surrounding hemlocks, they will not be adversely affected by the
k.. The oldest and largest of the trees will be selected for
treatment and these will be retained as a seed source for future
regeneration of the species.
3) Other Options
a.. There are none at this time.
Certainly there are other considerations. One is the idea that
imidacloprid will contaminate groundwater. I believe the Long
Island example is atypical as the aquifer consists of almost
entirely a sand bed, not even sandstone. The permeability and
transmissivity of this type of aquifer is enormous and may be
tens of thousands of time greater than typical aquifers, and
therefore has a greater potential for contamination than typical
aquifers. In most cases only the most significant groves and
individuals in terms of size and age will be treated. In most
cases these are trees that have managed to survive so far
because of their isolation from people. This isolation will
limit the small potential for contamination of people's water
supplies. Since only a limited number of trees will be treated,
rather than treating a large area, such as a golf course, there
will be a smaller amount of the chemical being used. This also
limits the potential concentrations of the chemical in the
groundwater should it prove mobile enough to cause
In my opinion the only viable option is to treat those
outstanding groves that we can with imidacloprid and hope the
outlook will look brighter in a few years. Treatment is
essentially a holding action. Only a limited number of trees can
be effectively treated. In five years there is the potential
that other treatment options may have become available or that
predatory insect releases have checked the hemlock wooly
adelgid. There will be some trees that survive this time period
without treatment. It isn't clear how many will do so, or if
they could survive much longer than this without treatment.
Certainly the oldest and largest trees seem to be most
vulnerable to the insect and are among the first to die. It will
take another 500 years to regrow examples of old hemlock if they
are allowed to die.
There are some isolated pockets of hemlock that have not been
affected. One such disjunct unaffected population is near Cary,
NC in a city park. So pockets of hemlocks may survive this first
onslaught, but unless the situation changes eventually they will
die unless they are treated. I am optimistic for both the
possibilities of the predatory insect releases and of the newly
developed fungal treatments. But I believe it is in our best
interest to treat those great trees that we can save until that
brighter future arrives.
Imidacloprid Wars, birds
15, 2007 21:09 PST
Since others have mentioned birds in hemlocks, I'll add a little
I too have seen black-throated green warblers during nesting
in hemlock groves. The same goes for Blackburnian warblers in
I've seen both singing at sunrise from atop hemlock trees as I
out of my tent and their songs dwindle as you escape the dense
As I look at the range maps, the documented ranges extend beyond
range of the hemlocks, so they may be able to adapt to other
However, outside the boreal forests, there are few suitable
left, so they likely will disappear from the adelgid infested
Although not as hemlock specific as those mentioned above, I
tend to see
more golden-crowned kinglets in hemlocks as well as the
that I see more in hemlock-hardwoods than in hardwoods without
black-throated blue warblers and magnolia warblers. Old hemlocks
also favored roosting places for barred owls.
In my lists, I have the following regulars also in hemlock
yellow-bellied sapsucker, veery, wood thrush, solitary vireo,
wrens, pine siskins, brown creepers, black-capped chickadees,
crossbills, and red-breasted nuthatch.
15, 2007 21:16 PST
I would imagine that most surface and groundwater contamination
Imidacloprid would be in the cases that it was applied
repeatedly on a
large scale for lawn care, not small localized hemlock
every few years - unless adjacent to streams, lakes, or rivers.
courses are notorious for surface water contamination due to
excessive overuse of fertilizers and pesticides evenly across a
large surface area with runoff into the water supply.
15, 2007 22:33 PST
Insecticides have both immediate effects, i.e., they kill
long term effects. The long term effects depend on a lot of
such as persistence and concentration as a chemical passes
food chain. That was the big problem with DDT. Other than
eggshell thinning it might have been pretty safe, My father told
people used it on their bodies like insect repellant!
I think a lot of these effects of imadacloprid have already been
addressed, but here is something to consider:
Let's say we're in an area where we don't have to worry about
species and for the moment don't worry about polluting the
etc. But, let's imagine that imidacloprid is going to kill just
everything that even gets near a treated tree.
Now by the very nature of how it must be applied, it's next to
impossible to use it very extensively. But lets say we use it on
acres here and there and it kills off everything.
Small animals generally have very high reproductive rates and
high mortality. As an example, the Bobwhite Quail has something
85% mortality rate each year whether they're hunted or not. They
off and the next year they bouunce back. Some forest animals
have similar mortality rates and for others it's a lot less.
Few whitetailed deer live to be even 8 or ten years old. The
that animals die quickly anyway and their populations will
quickly if they are wiped out, at least in localized areas.
Contrast this to the hemlock, a tree that often lives over 400
maybe much longer. If these trees are wiped out and then the HWA
disappears, it will still take a human lifetime before big
hemlocks reappear. The animals come and go quickly but the trees
very very slow.
Now for ancient trees: maybe with a few exceptions, it makes
difference to an ecosystem whether the trees are 75 or 475 years
The forest doesn't care. The animals don't care. But like many
I care... a lot. When I see or touch these living things that
even hundreds of years before the birth of our very country, it
something to me. It stirs something deep inside of me, something
can't explain... something that I can only feel. I cannot and
accept the loss of the hemlocks. No, we will not save all of
even a lot of them, but we will save some of them. Two hundred
from now I intend for people to go into old growth forests and
400 year-old hemlocks look like. And I know they'll feel
moving deep inside themselves just like I do.
Our forefathers gave us many gifts. I doubt they were very
such thoughts. But what we do in the next few years will be a
enjoyed by thousands of people for hundreds of years. It will be
legacy. What we are doing will have a great and lasting
There are lots of very scientific reasons for saving the hemlock
other reason is something aesthetic, something about the human
I hear how magnificant the chestnuts were and how they were very
here and I feel a kind of grief. There's a little bit of a
the landscape even though most people have no idea that
great was lost. I don't know anyone who remembers what these
Yes, we have to be careful in using these "tools" such
Whether it is through the use of this chemical or otherwise,
be some sacrifices, even if just financial and a lot of hard
to me and for the above reasons, I think it is worth it.
I guess I should introduce myself, I'm Charles Hinton and I've
Tennessee about 10 years. I started out in Wildlife Biology many
before that and Also Leopold was my hero (still is) but then I
Only recently did I find out what an old growth forest was
and I got hooked. My immediate interest is Savage Gulf (Jess
article) where there's old growth hemlock that we intend to
I'll be flying over the area soon for some photos. Thanks
16, 2007 03:48 PST
I was concerned about injections and systemic with respect to
associates. Injections meaning chemicals applied into the
tracheids thus placing the chemical throughout the tree. They
questions many of my clients would ask if I recommended the
work in the niche of organic and natural people.
Do you have to be a certified arborist to inject these chemicals
or do you
have to inject these chemicals to be a certified arborist. I
would not mind
taking the test but we would differ on areas regarding these
I don't see the way they do, would I fail the test?
John A. Keslick, Jr.
Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree
Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep
that we are not the boss.
Imidacloprid Wars-back to Charles
16, 2007 05:24 PST
Welcome aboard and thanks for sharing your
views. Your thoughts
resonate with many of us and I find them inspiration. It is also
have another person in ENTS from my home state of Tennessee.
lived for 31 years in Massachusetts and love this state also,
not seeing Tennessee more and have been immensely pleased at the
abundance of big tree-tall tree sites in the volunteer state.
16, 2007 05:35 PST
Ed, and All,
Both of these scenarios are taking place now. Will, and his
efforts are the
only thing standing between complete devastation, and the saving
relative few pockets of hemlocks.
Vast areas are already dead. These areas will not be the same
dependent species are already dead, or having to adapt. The
ecosystems in place for 350 years, and generations before that,
It is pointless to ask what can best be done here. It is being
until there is another alternative, it is pointless to debate
The treatment being used, like it or not, is being used on the
foods we eat.
If it causes indigestion in a bird or squirrel, I can live with
As I see it, this is one ray of sunshine in a storm of invasive
16, 2007 06:16 PST
like you said: "Until a new treatment comes along"
With the questions that arise regarding injections of toxins and
associates, some of these treatments may not always be
acceptable. Here are
some examples. Think about all the beliefs and treatments that
Before the germ theory, people believed that diseases caused
Babies were thought to be fertilized by liquids from the male.
was thought to be flat. The sun was thought to travel around the
was best to put warm materials on burns. Bleeding a sick person
gets rid of
the nasty things inside. The gods lived in Olympus and did all
Wound dressings stopped rot in trees. Flush pruning is best
wounds heal faster. Drilling holes to let out wetwood stopped
Planting trees good and deep is good for trees. Trees heal
regenerate, and trees have root flairs. The list is long with
practices and with many other practices. It is a wonder people
are still around! The frightening part of this is that the myths
easier than truth. Many myths are still with us. To erase a myth
difficult, yet add another myth easy. He read many books and
mostly about science. The beliefs come and go in science also.
can have beliefs, why can't I? Further, he found it difficult to
how people inside write about systems that are active outside. I
believe trees can be understood by looking at them only from the
Until Andreas Vesalius began systematical dissecting human
bodies, the myths
about bodies were many. Until tree anatomy, not wood anatomy, is
we will be in the same position with trees.
Now we have questions about treatments that can effect the
quality of food.
Maybe we will look back on injections of toxins just the same
way as the
latter. Just my thoughts. After all we can think.
John A. Keslick, Jr.
Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree
Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep
that we are not the boss.
16, 2007 18:33 PST
People have made mistakes in the past dealing with environmental
am sure the future will show we are making some mistakes now. I
equally sure that we will continue to make mistakes in the
future. Most of
our choices and decisions have worked out for the best. That is
civilization evolves, through people making choices about what
two types of mistakes, of action and mistakes of inaction.
of action are those that have a bad outcome or have unforeseen
consequences. Equally as unfortunate are mistakes of inaction.
situations in which a decisive action should have been taken,
but was not.
In each situation we must strive to make the best decision we
can based upon
the information we have at that time. Taking no action because
have been made in the past is a poor excuse for allowing an
continue or to deteriorate.
outcomes of our actions will not
always be perfect, but we need to do something when the
situation calls for
action. In this situation using insecticide against a non-native
insect in order to save the biggest and oldest of our hemlocks
and as much
of their dependant ecosystems as possible is the choice I
I understand that not everyone will agree with this choice. You
that your niche consists of organic and natural people. I
generally do not
support the vanity of those positions. In this case arguing that
not try to save the trees using a pesticide, which to our best
is safe and effective, would be in my opinion would be foolish
19, 2007 12:45 PST
I agree with Ed's position below and with his list of impacts
occur from loss of hemlock from his previous posting.
this point people have influenced natural systems so much that
there is no
such thing as letting nature take its course. The only choices
are one type of human influence versus another.
Since we are talking about water quality, I will expand a bit on
impacts of hemlock that Ed alluded to indirectly. Hemlock litter
recalcitrant to decomposition (as compared to hardwood litter,
possibly for beech), so it accumulates to a greater depth than
litter, and is more nutrient poor. This has profound
implications for water
chemistry of streams where hemlock dominates the watershed. It
rainwater is filtered through a thick duff layer with relatively
nitrate concentrations before entering the ground. Added to the
control hemlock exerts over water by shading, this has a major
water chemistry. Its why hemlock is considered to be a
that determines ecosystem characteristics. The water is
relatively cold and
low in nutrients than it would be with a hardwood dominated
At 07:33 PM 3/16/2007, you wrote:
People have made mistakes in the past dealing with
issues. I am sure the future will show we are making
Imidacloprid Wars ORGANIC
20, 2007 11:06 PST
Organic compounds are carbon-based compounds that have either
C-C and/or C/H
bonds and are created biologically. Carbon dioxide is not
although carbon-based it does not have a C-C nor C-H bond nor is
only through biological processes. Methane (natural gas) on the
(CH4) is considered to be organic even though there are
processes they produce it.
Gasoline, diesel, and napalm are organic but they are SYNTHETIC
COMPOUNDS (SOC) because they are not found in nature, humans
Most folks are concerned about whether or not a pesticide is
synthetically ORGANIC. Why?
The problem with SOC is that most microbial enzyme systems do
SOC and therefore the substance will not be biologically
(biodegradable). It may be photodegradable, physically
chemically degradable but usually these processes take much more
hence, the persistence of most synthetic organic pesticides.
As soon as a chemist attaches the chlorine to the nicotinyl
chemical is SYNTHETICALLY organic. Would pure nicotine kill the
so, then you would be applying a naturally organic pesticide
which is fairly
biodegradable (need to apply more often because of that).
before SOC, nicotine was used quite effectively as a pesticide.
From: Will Blozan
Sent: Saturday, March 17, 2007 12:34 PM
Subject: RE: Imidacloprid Wars ORGANIC
Does anyone know if imidacloprid, sourced from nicotine, can be
Incidentally, gasoline, diesel and napalm are in a sense
perhaps not sustainable harvested. However, this doesn't mean
safe to use on the trees. Some folks I know use
"organic" soap sprays to
kill HWA. That is fine, but it still is an insecticide and
20, 2007 18:36 PST
If I correctly understand what Lee was saying in regard to
effect nutrient retention in the local ecosystem he is referring
the slow breakdown of the duff under hemlocks. The thicker and
persistent hemlock duff is slowing down the release of nutrient
(nitrates) from decaying wood and leaf (needle) material and
organisms into the groundwater. He was not describing (I don't
nutrient uptake into the tree.
Jamaica Plain, MA