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Advance Tree Pros | January 14, 2013

Orlando Tree Doctor Tips to Tree Growth and Tree Health

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Bright_green_tree_-_WaikatoAn Orlando Tree Doctor Advises: Controlling Growth is Key to Successful Urban Tree Care

Growth is not always healthy. Just ask a doctor if you should eat less and exercise more. The same scenario goes for trees. As trees mature they need to grow less and utilize their photosynthetic energy for other processes like tree health,reproduction, defense and storage. In urban environments we often need to slow a trees growth to help it recover from stresses such as tree root damage, soil compaction, and severe tree pruning.

Rainbow Treecare has worked with scientists at leading universities, including Purdue University, the University of Minnesota, Ohio State University, and others to develop products that use the natural growth processes of trees to manipulate growth patterns. One of the products, Cambistat, inhibits tree growth hormones called gibberellins. When applied to trees, at the proper rates, Cambistat can reduce and even stop the above ground growth of trees. While growth is slowed, photosynthesis is not reduced, so the trees continue to build up their resources.

With the use of Cambistat® trees may benefit from:

  • Reduced above ground growth
  • Increased root development
  • Thicker, darker green leaves
  • Enhanced energy reserves
  • Stabilization of decline
  • Less susceptibility to environmental stresses

Benefits to Trees

In nature, trees grow. In urban landscapes, continued growth is not always desirable. In some situations it is necessary to reduce the above ground growth of trees to reduce their impact on structures, or to prevent them from outgrowing a limited area. Reducing above ground growth of mature trees is also a good thing when planned construction activities may cause root trauma or to rejuvenate damaged root systems.

By slowing canopy tree growth we can reduce the interval between pruning times by over three years. The cost of a Cambistat treatment is much less than having to perform annual or biannual pruning.

The most recent research also has demonstrated that by reducing above ground growth, the compound Cambistat forces the tree to reallocate resources to increase root growth and proliferation. Roots are to a tree what the heart is to a human. Without a healthy root system a tree cannot sustain life. Cambistat essentially puts the tree on a diet of sorts and loses unnecessary fat (growth) that is then put into the tree equivalent of muscle and a healthy heart, its roots.

While we are still several years away from realizing all the benefits of reducing growth on tree health, many trees in various states of decline have been revived using Cambistat when all other activities (fertilization, insecticides, fungicides) have yielded little to no results.