Act now, or forever lose your tree
Revolutionary new product available in South Africa.
Do you have a Citrus tree (Lemon or Orange) that’s dying, with white and black spots on the leaves? Do you have a Conifer tree that is dying, or whose leaves are turning orange? Is your Pine tree turning orange or dying? The sight of dead and dying trees in the Cape Town area is becoming a more and more common site. Few people seem to be aware of the scale of the problem, or how to help the trees.
As many you may be aware, certain trees in the Cape Town area are under severe stress. These include mainly all Citrus, some Pines, most Conifers, and Wild Olive trees. This is due to pests that have not been identified and controlled properly. (See previous article on white fly)
Up until recently, there was not one product on the market that was effective for white fly on Citrus, or Conifer lice on Conifers, etc. Now there is. After a lot of work and research, I have imported a new product to South Africa, that would be able to keep these pests under control, and that will give us the means to save our trees before it is too late.
It comes from a Swiss company, and is called Meridian, and is not yet broadly available in South Africa. This super safe, granular insecticide can be applied in many ways, but for current circumstances and safety, we prefer to use drenching rather than spraying. This is simply because the active agent is very soluble, and gets taken up by the roots very quickly and easily. If sprayed, you risk the chance of not reaching all affected areas of the tree, and the UV rays of the sun slowly break down the active agent.
The active agent is called Thiamethoxam. This kills aphids and scale insects on contact, or via ingestion, but is not toxic to the plant or humans. Current testing shows that an improvement will be seen within 14 days, depending on activity of the plant’s root system. It is not known how long the product will be active in the tree, but one treatment will last at least all summer (100 days). Insects die within an hour of taking in Meridian.
Other products fail to effectively control pests such as aphids and scale insects mainly because of the following reasons:
1) Pests have developed immunity to many products currently on the market.
2) Most products are oil based, thus smothering the pest, by taking away its means to breathe, as the oil base surrounds the insect, and thus slowly kills it.
3) Most products are sprays, which is ineffective, as it does not reach under the leaves, and also it does not get taken up by the plant, but rather works on contact.
In light of Arbor Week coming up, I urge all home and business owners to act immediately. This is a serious problem, and will cause long term damage; the result will be widespread dead trees, a constant reminder of our lack to act on behalf of our trees and heritage.
Contact: 083 267 96 39
Willem Avenant - Tree Specialist - Western Cape, Cape Town