Against the invasive species that claim dozen millions of trees, pneumatics offers an effective solution.
With names like the “Hemlock Woolly Adelgid” (HWA, Adelges tsugae), “Asian Longhorned Beetle” (ALB, Anoplophora glabripennis) and “Emerald Ash Borer” (EAB, Agrilus planipennis), these non-human aggressors are out to destroy one of our most precious resources: trees. In Michigan alone, EAB has already killed more than 20 million trees and tens of millions in the surrounding states. The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is threatening the Eastern and Carolina tree population located from the Great Smoky Mountains north to the mid- Hudson River Valley and southern New England. These insects, arrived from Asia, have moved up the eastern coast, wiping out most of the 90 million hemlock trees in the area. ALB is a bit less selective. This Asian woodworm grows and reproduces in deciduous hardwood trees, like maple, ash, elm, birch, poplar and willow. The larvae bore long holes through the inside of the tree and eventually kill it.
The battle is on
Several courses of action have been implemented to stop the invasion. One consists in cutting down trees as soon as you discover the infection, or even before, to isolate infested areas, but according to many experts this method can only delay the inevitable. To cut down each single tree costs hundreds of dollars and a new tree cannot be planted for many years. Another procedure is to treat soil around the tree with a solution that will prevent the infestation into the tree.
However, since the solution is not applied directly into the tree, its effectiveness can be compromised. Moreover, the used solution might also migrate into the adjacent soil and water streams. A method that is more effective and less expensive is to inject an insecticide directly into the tree. In this case, you drill a small hole into the trunk of the tree: an injector inoculates the insecticide using a Quikjet device by Arborjet, Woburn, Massachusetts.
A powerful punch
Powered by compressed air, the Quik-jet injects the solution into the trunk of the tree where the tree’s vascular system will carry it throughout the tree. Once the injection is made, the hole is sealed.
A compressor carried by a shoulder strap provides air from 50 to 150-psi; the pressure is selected according to the application by an arborist or other sector professional. Pulling the trigger, the compressed air flows into a MAV-2 two-way normally closed cartridge valve manufactured by Clippard Instrument Laboratory Inc., Cincinnati. The valve is equipped with a plunger that shifts from fully closed to fully open with only 1/8 in. of travel and only 24-oz of force, so it can be directly operated by hand.
The pressurized air flows into one end of the cylinder where, acting against one side of the piston, pushes the Arborjet fluid out of the other end of the cylinder. This cylinder was also designed and manufactured by Clippard. The company supplies Arborjet with a standard cylinder with a tapered end cap to accommodate the Quik-jet geometry. In the past, Arborjet used a standard cylinder from a different supplier and they had then to modify it to suit the application. Searching for a supplier that could supply customized cylinders, the company found Clippard, which fully satisfies its needs, with no price increases. In addition to valves and cylinders, Clippard also supplies miniature fittings for this specific application.
For more information: www.clippard.com