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DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS FOR INJECTING PALMS
Hydrating OTC Solution
Only mix the amount of product to be used in one day. If you will be injecting less than 30 palms mix OTC using the “Single Dose” Instructions. If you will be injecting greater than 30 palms mix OTC following the “By the Bottle” instructions.
Single Dose (1 teaspoon of OTC + 3cc of water equals 1 dose)
For mixing a single dose begin by removing 1 level scoop (1 teaspoon) of OTC using the supplied small green measuring scoop and place OTC into a larger mixing cup (the supplied large mixing cup works fine). Draw 3cc of purified water (preferably distilled water) into the single dose syringe and add to the OTC powder. Mix solution thoroughly for several minutes until all powder dissolves. Insert tip of syringe into the measuring cup and draw solution into syringe. It is often easier to do this without the needle attached. Inject according to the instructions below. This dose yields 1.5 active grams of OTC.
By the Bottle (1 Bottle of OTC + 90cc of water equals approximately 30 doses)
For mixing an entire bottle of OTC begin by removing the lid and adding 90cc of purified water (preferably distilled water) using the supplied large measuring cup. Replace lid and shake bottle vigorously for several minutes. Be sure that all OTC powder has thoroughly dissolved. If using the Self-Refilling Syringe attach the hose and lid connected to the syringe. Prime syringe by squeezing the handle several times until the barrel fills with product and inject according to the instructions below. If using the Single Dose Syringe insert tip of syringe into the measuring cup and draw solution into syringe. It is often easier to do this without the needle attached. Inject according to the instructions below.
Where and How to Inject
1) Choose an injection site on the trunk of the palm comfortable for the person performing the work, keeping in mind that to minimize the visibility of the injection site it is recommended to inject on the backside of the palm and low, but NOT in the roots. The actual height injected above the ground does not matter as the OTC is systemic.
2) Using the proper size drill bit - 5/16” for the Regular Valves and 1/4” for the Small Valves, drill at a slight downward angle into the trunk to the proper depth (see below). Do not wobble the bit as you drill as this will create too large of an opening and not allow the valve to fit snugly into the hole and leakage may occur. IMPORTANT: Do not drill into or next to a decayed or previously injected area. Be very attentive of the wood fibers coming out on the drill bit. The fibers should be moist, cream or tan colored and near odorless. The fibers should not be dry, dark brown or black or smell rotten. If the fibers are not suitable try re-drilling several inches away from the previous site. Be careful not to ‘stack’ valves vertically below previous injection sites.
Drilling Depth: Adonidia Palms ≈ 2.5” ∙ Coconut Palms ≈ 3.5” ∙ Date Palms ≈ 4.5”
3) Insert the tapered end of the valve into the hole and hold at the same angle of the drilled hole. Using a hammer, gently tap the casing into the hole until it is snug with approximately 1/4” – 3/8” of the valve left protruding from the palm.
4) Using the syringe (with needle attached) filled with hydrated OTC solution penetrate the ‘bulls eye’ center of the blue/green silicone at the back of the valve. The needle should pass all the way through the valve to the base, approximately 1 inch. If the needle only penetrates 1/8” and stops you are off center and have hit the ‘shelf’. The opening of the valve through which the needle must penetrate is smaller than the size of the blue/green silicone. Re-align and try again. With practice you will hit the center every time!
5) Once the needle is completely inserted compress the syringe handle to administer the proper amount of OTC solution as described below. (The actual amount of OTC solution used is directly proportional to the size of the palm to be injected.) Retract the syringe from the valve and the silicone will seal behind the needle. Leave the valve in the palm and your injection is complete.
Dosage Amount: Adonidia Palms ≈ 2-3 cc ∙ Coconut Palms ≈ 3.5-5 cc ∙ Date Palms ≈ 5-6.5 cc
Second Treatment in the Same Site (3-4 months later)
This is critical information and it is very important to follow these instructions so that the injection is successful using the same site and valve for a second time.
About C.O.D.I.T.- This stands for C-compartmentalization O-of D-decay I-in T-trees. (This process differs between palms and hardwoods). Humans have the ability to heal wounds, trees do not. Drilling a hole is viewed as a wound by a palm. Once wounded, a palm will begin to form a chemical boundary around the injection site as a defense mechanism to avoid pathogen entry. If you are re-injecting within 6-8 weeks, for example an extra dose for a sick palm or a palm in a heavily infected area, you can re-use the same valve and injection site without any extra action. However, if greater than 8 weeks has passed since drilling follow the steps below, otherwise, the injection will not be successful.
1) Using pliers remove the valve from the palm and tap out any water that has become trapped within the cavity of the valve.
2) Re-drill the hole approximately 3/4”-1” deeper than the original hole using appropriate size drill bit.
3) Insert valve into hole and hammer in flush. (The valve hammered flush lets you know that the site has been used twice.)
4) Inject as directed in steps 4 and 5 from above.
The valve becomes a permanent plug for the drilled hole after 2 injections. It is not recommended to re-use the valve or injection site more than two times.
Injections of OTC must be made 3-4 times annually in order to keep enough active grams of OTC in the Palm. Each valve and injection site is capable of being used two times. One palm will require 2 valves and 2 injection sites per year when performed on a quarterly basis.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) “The OTC I have opened looks different than the OTC I have used from Tree Saver in the past. Is it OK?”
The color, particle size and solubility of the active ingredient oxytetracycline vary depending on where it is produced. We strive to provide our clients with the highest quality of OTC we can find. All OTC is thoroughly tested (lab and field) before it reaches our clients and is OK for use in palms.
2) “My Self-Refilling Syringe is not priming, what is wrong?”
It is likely that you have not mixed the OTC well enough and the syringe has become clogged. As mentioned in the answer to the previous question, OTC will vary based on where it is produced. If the OTC does not go into solution as quickly as OTC you have used in the past, perform the following steps: A) Mix a bottle of OTC as described in the ‘Hydrating OTC Solution’ section above. B) Shake/mix thoroughly for several minutes. C) Let bottle of OTC solution stand for approximately 15 minutes to allow OTC to dissolve. D) Shake bottle of OTC again and attach to Self-Refilling Syringe. E) Gently shake bottle before each injection to keep any un-dissolved solution from settling to the bottom of the bottle where the pick-up tube is.
3) “I have drilled all the holes in my trees, then inserted all the casings and then tried to inject. Why can’t I get the antibiotic into the trees?”
Completely treat only one palm at a time following the steps described above and then move on to the next palm. If you wait too long between inserting the valve and making an injection the palms internal pressure (turgor pressure) will force water from the vascular system to fill the valve with water, making it difficult or impossible to inject the correct dosage of OTC solution into the palm.
4) “Why does my syringe seize up after it has been in storage?”
Probably because it wasn’t cleaned very well. After using the syringe, thoroughly rinse with soapy water then draw vegetable oil into the cylinder to lubricate the seals and store. Never use WD40 or any other petroleum based lubricant.
5) “Why should I use the Valves and not just squirt the antibiotic into a hole drilled into the tree?”
The Valves serve three vital functions: A) They seal the drilled hole and keep the antibiotic from seeping out. B) Injecting into the valve creates pressure in the cavity which helps to get the antibiotic flowing in the palms vascular system. C) They reduce the opportunity for pathogen entry.
6) “Can I save an already infected tree?”
Utilizing OTC to combat LY and TPPD evolved as a preventative program, not a cure. This is because by the time you identify the symptoms of the disease in a palm it has almost always progressed to a point that it is incurable. Occasionally, with multiple doses at greater frequencies, ‘remission’ can be achieved but the palm will always live with the disease. Your focus should be on preventatively treating healthy (non-symptomatic) trees.
7) “My needle is getting clogged, what should I do?”
The needle can become clogged with silicone when it passes through the valve. This is especially true with new needles as they are sharper and tend to cut, rather push the silicone away. There are 3 ways to solve this problem: A) A hard push on the handle can ‘squirt’ the clogged piece out of the needle. B) Remove needle from syringe and using a very thin wire pass it through the needle to clear out the clog. C) With a new unclogged needle, gently strike the tip of the needle to create a blunt tip. This will greatly reduce the likelihood of having a needle clog.
8) “There is a black stain coming out of the palm where I injected previously, can this be removed?”
Yes! The black stain can be removed with soap and water and a hard bristle scrub brush using minimal effort.
Remember, we want your Lethal Yellowing Control Program to be successful. If you have any questions please feel free to call our office or send us an email. We’d be glad to hear from you.