Officials with Davey Tree Expert are working steadily to complete thousands of chemical treatments on trees in the Batavia, Stonelick and Monroe townships of Clermont County this summer.
The treatment process is part of the continued eradication of the Asian longhorned beetle in the Clermont County area by the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
Donald Brennan, with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, said they are treating host trees near the infestations in Stonelick and Monroe townships from June 17 to July 19.
“This treatment area is based on treating the host material within one-eighth of a mile of the nearest infested tree,” Brennan said.
Jonathan Hnatiuk a foreman with Davey Tree Expert, the company that was awarded the contract to perform the chemical treatments, said they are using a combination of Imidacloprid treatment capsules and the Arbor Jet applicator treatments to treat host trees.
Hnatiuk said during the treatment process, 8-10 person teams begin their day using the Imidacloprid capsules.
He said they first measure the diameter of the tree to see how many capsules they will need, and then they drill holes at the base of the tree and fixate the capsules inside the holes.
“The capsules are left for four hours,” Hnatiuk said. “During which time the tree draws up the chemical.”
Hnatiuk said the chemical is drawn from the base of the tree all the way into the leaves just like the tree would draw in water from the ground.
Brennan said the chemical treatment deters the Asian longhorned beetle from staying on the tree.
“It doesn’t taste good,” Brennan said about the chemical. “If (the beetle) lands on the bark, it doesn’t like how it tastes and it leaves.”
Hnatiuk said the chemical does kill the beetle.
He said after staff with Davey Tree Expert place the capsules on as many trees as possible in the morning, and they use the Arbor Jet guns to continue to treat trees while they are waiting for four hours before they can remove the capsules.
Hnatiuk said the Arbor Jet guns are similar to the capsules, but the treatment is finished more quickly. He said holes are drilled in the tree and the chemical is injected by the air-powered gun.
“The Arbor Jets use pressurized air,” Hnatiuk said.
Because of the pressure, he said the chemical shoots up into the tree rather than gradually being drawn up into the tree.
Hnatiuk said after four hours have elapsed, they remove the capsules from the trees. He said they begin the process over again the next day and will continue until the host trees in the designated areas have been treated.
Brennan said the contract for treatments this season will end July 19. Brennan said they will only be treating trees in the Batavia, Stonelick and Monroe townships this season.
In addition to treatments, tree removals and surveys continue to be completed in Tate Township, where the Asian longhorned beetle was discovered in June of 2011.
For more information about the Asian longhorned beetle or eradication efforts in Clermont County visit www.beetlebusters.info.