If you have oak trees, you might have spotted small, unsightly brown balls at the end of some branches. They tend to look like a piece of fruit but they are generally embedded on what was once a flowering oak bud.
These balls are called oak galls and occur due to a reaction the tree has to a wasp. This wasp is a non-stinging species but they target oak buds in early spring. For a month or two they’ll be laying eggs and target the newly opened buds. During their egg laying process, they inject a hormone into the buds tissue which causes this odd shaped gall to grow. Its a type of allergic reaction, similar to poison oak or sumac.
Galls don’t cause injury but if you allow enough to grow, they can indirectly cause “suffocation” and in the end, the tree can die as a result.
The following “short video” (less than 60 seconds long) shows how to apply it using our GREEN TOPPED HOSE END SPRAYER which is ideal for spraying “up” as high as your garden hose can reach.
Feeding insects will be impacted by either the foliage treatment or the systemic treatments and why both modes should be employed.
For tall trees, get your soil drenching done early in the year so the actives can have enough time to get absorbed and distributed throughout the tree. This is where Boost can help.
For systemic treatments, use 1 oz of Bithor in 3-4 gallons of water for every 10″ of tree width. So if the tree is 20″ wide, you’ll need 2 oz of Bithor in 7-8 gallons of water poured down small holes you poke in the ground around the tree trunk. The holes can be made with a piece of rebar or a SOIL AUGER like the one we have below (view the video below to see how easy it is to drench).
Treatments should be made in the fall and then again in the spring so plan on treating twice a year.
For extra protection, spray the opening springtime buds in the evening with the Bithor and Boost mixed 1 oz of each with a gallon of water. Reach as many limbs as possible and rely on the systemic action of previous treatments to reach the upper levels.
To get the most of your treatment, add SPREAD-X BOOST to your tank mix along with the Bithor. Boost is an adjuvant, also known as a wetter spreader or spreader sticker. It basically makes water and the mixture more “slippery” so you get better coverage. Treatments will spread 2-3 times wider and penetrate the ground deeper. This is super important when spraying the ground, especially for pests that can be nesting under the top soil or mulch.
Boost will help the Bithor get “into” the soil that much faster and deeper and as a result, residuals will be longer and the immediate impact your treatment has will be magnified.
The following short video summarizes why Boost can help deliver your treatment better.
Add no more than the rate you’re applying the Bithor so in this case, if you’re adding 2.5 oz of Bithor to the hose end sprayer, add 2.5 oz of Boost too before adding water. If you’re adding Bithor to a pump sprayer at the rate of 1 oz per gallon, use 1 oz of Boost.
And don’t spray in the middle of the day when Boost is in your tank; treat late in the day, close to sunset, so the treatment can dry without direct sunlight. UV light on the mixture will break it down faster and can stress grass if you spray the foliage and temps are 85 degrees or higher. To eliminate that risk, treat 2 hours or less before sunset.
Our Green Topped Sprayer is the best way to make most applications to tree foliage since it uses the power of your garden hose.
For low lying shrubs or trees 15 feet or less, a standard PUMP SPRAYER can get the job done.
If you need to reach up 35-40 feet or more, our NO PUMP SPRAYER will help big time.
The following “in depth” video shows how this sprayer works.
It relies on air pressure and can be pumped up to 80-90 psi safely. The small one can hold 1.5 gallons of mixture and when pressurized, will pump out the entire contents with only one time filling it with air. It’s especially helpful when you need to treat trees that are not reachable with a garden hose.
For soil drenching, the Soil Auger in a portable cordless hand drill will make ideal holes.
This short video (less than 1 minute) shows how to use the Auger which is super helpful for getting the holes in the ground needed for soil drenching.
As you can see, the process is easy and systemic treatments are the best way to keep all your trees happy and healthy in the long run.