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Legacy Tree Project Providing Lifeline for Ash Trees in Face of Emerald Ash Borer Threat

With over 94 percent of trees still in service after three years, program demonstrates validity, value of treatment

August 1, 2013

WALNUT CREEK, Calif.—Three years after the Legacy Tree Project was launched to raise emerald ash borer (EAB) awareness, the true litmus test for the program’s efficacy is taking place on the grounds of Cincinnati’s historic Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum.

Among the nearly 2,000 trees in 12 cities being treated by Valent Professional Products as part of the Legacy Tree Project are 76 ash trees at Spring Grove, a National Historic Landmark.

The majority of the Spring Grove ash trees being treated with Safari® Insecticide measure 45 inches or more in diameter—much larger than most of the municipal trees being treated elsewhere as part of the Legacy Tree Project. Large trees are typically more difficult to protect from EAB because it takes them longer to translocate material upward to where EAB feed.

“On top of that, we were pretty late in making the decision to go ahead with treatment,” said Spring Grove horticulture supervisor Brian Heinz. “We did not exactly position ourselves for success.”

However, three years after the initial treatment with Safari, Heinz could not be more pleased with the results. Only two of the 76 trees treated with Safari since 2010 will have to be removed this year—and one of those is a 55-inch-diameter tree that would have been difficult to save under almost any circumstances due to pre-treatment infestation levels.

“So far, the Legacy Tree Project has been very successful, and we’re very happy,” Heinz said. “I have nothing but good things to say about Safari. The trees look great.”

Of the 1,886 trees treated with Safari since 2010, over 94 percent remain in treatment three years into the five-year program as of May 2013. In contrast, most nearby untreated ash trees are heavily infested or have died.

“The vast majority of Legacy Tree Project trees are still in treatment,” said Dr. Joe Chamberlin, field market development manager for Valent Professional Products. “The program is an acid test for whether treatment works. Many of the trees in the program are street trees, and they’re in stressed environments to begin with, which makes it even harder for treatment to work.”

The success of the Legacy Tree Project has provided arborists and city officials with an effective alternative to tree removal. Heinz, for instance, said that the Legacy Tree Project “kick started our treatment of other trees,” with an additional 130 ash trees now under treatment.

Dave Gamstetter, supervisor of urban forestry for the Cincinnati Parks Department, has about 100 trees in three parks currently under treatment as part of the Legacy Tree Project.

“The only trees showing any EAB damage were ones that were showing damage before we started the treatments, and that was only a handful of them,” Gamstetter said. “The majority of them look great.”

Safari contains one of only three active ingredients registered for control of EAB by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and proven effective in U.S. university research trials.

Safari has proven effective against EAB when applied as a soil injection or basal trunk spray. Due to its unique chemical properties, Safari is easily absorbed by trees and provides rapid control of EAB and many other pests that infest trees and ornamental plants.

Because Safari is taken up faster than less systemic products, ash trees can be treated following spring leaf-out. This allows tree health to be assessed before it’s decided whether a tree is a good candidate for treatment or should be removed.

In addition to Cincinnati and nearby Lockland, Ohio, and Wyoming, Ohio, Valent is treating ash trees in five Chicago suburbs (Glen Ellyn, Glenview, Lake Forest, Naperville and Schaumburg) plus Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; and Milwaukee as part of the Legacy Tree Project.

“We’re three years into this program, and it’s become very clear in the majority of Legacy Tree Project sites that untreated trees are dead or dying,” Chamberlin said. “For communities that are just now or will soon begin dealing with EAB and want to preserve their urban forests, the Legacy Tree Project demonstrates that treatment works. Be proactive and begin treatment before infestations occur in your area.”

To learn more about the Legacy Tree Project, please visit www.legacytreeproject.com. For more information on Safari, visit www.valentpro.com/safari.

About Valent U.S.A. Corporation
Valent Professional Products is the non-crop business unit of Valent U.S.A. Corporation. Headquartered in Walnut Creek, Calif., Valent develops and markets products in the United States and Canada that protect turf, ornamentals and crops, enhance crop yields, improve food quality, beautify the environment and safeguard public health. Valent products include a well-known line of quality herbicide, insecticide, fungicide and plant growth regulator products for agricultural and professional use. Valent differentiates itself from its competitors as a leader in marketing and sales of both biorational and traditional chemical products.

For more information about Valent Professional Products, Valent U.S.A. Corporation or our full product line, please call 800-89-VALENT (898-2536), or visit the Valent Professional Products Web site at www.valentpro.com.