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From the Desk of:

Carrie Burns, Forester

Public Works Department
(512) 608-9722

DATE: April 24, 2008

RE: Revisions to A Consumers Guide to Alamo Injection

I first wrote this document in 2004 with input from Texas Forest Service oak wilt staff foresters and
other professionals who treat oak wilt in Central Texas. Its outdated in some spots and I havent
had a chance to rewrite it. The most important changes are summarized here:

Page 2: Macro-infusion vs. Micro-injectors
o One 1995 research study indicated that after two years there was no statistically
significant difference in symptom development in live oaks treated with macro-
infusion versus micro-injectors of Alamo fungicide.
o Macro-infusion is still the method is recommended by the manufacturer of Alamo,
the Texas Forest Service and Texas A&M University.

Page 3: Alamo vs. Other Propiconazole-based Fungicides
o There are several new fungicide formulations on the market very similar to Alamo
(QualiPro Propiconazole 14.3) that may work as well.
o They are like generic drugs chemically very similar but not identical.
o The cost of using these products may be slightly lower.

Page 6: Are there seasons when I shouldnt inject my oaks?
o You can inject your oaks anytime they have leaves, but winter treatments may have a
slightly lower success rate than treatments in other seasons.
o Large groups of oaks treated in winter may have up to 20% mortality.
o However, waiting until spring to treat your trees also carries a risk.
Oaks may drop their leaves and die without leafing out at all in March.
Without leaves, the fungicide cannot be absorbed by the tree.
o If it is wintertime and oaks right next to your prized oaks are infected with oak wilt,
its better to treat during winter than to wait for spring.
o If oak wilt is headed your direction but there is still a 50-75 foot buffer of apparently
healthy oaks between your prized oaks and the sick ones, then waiting until spring
might be the better option.
o Ask the oak wilt specialists who are treating your trees for their opinions.

Page 6: How long will the treatments last?
o One treatment lasts between one and four years, with a two or three year duration
being most common.
o The manufacturer of Alamo recommends a minimum of two treatments:
Treat first when oak wilt appears in oaks 75-150 feet away.
Treat again two or three years after the initial treatment.
o After that, oaks should be monitored for symptoms. If symptoms develop later, the
trees should be evaluated by a professional and re-treated only if necessary.

II a reputable arborist has conIirmed that oak wilt is within 200 Ieet, your oaks are at risk. Your
oaks could be inIected through root transmission within the next one to three years. II oak wilt is
already on your doorstep, you should act now iI you intend to give your oaks a Iighting chance
against this lethal disease.

This inIormation sheet is a detailed reIerence Ior property owners who are considering treating their
oaks with Alamo Iungicide. For a short list oI tips, go to page 8.

WHAT CAN I DO TO SAVE MY OAKS? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Oak wilt suppression trenches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Injection with the Iungicide Alamo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

HOW DOES ALAMO IN1ECTION WORK? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Macro-inIusion vs. Microinjectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Flare Root Injection vs. Lower Trunk Injection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Alamo vs. Other Brands oI Fungicide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Alamo vs. Other Propiconazole-based Fungicides . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

WHO CAN TREAT MY TREES? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Can I hire my yard man or lawn care service? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Can I inject my own trees? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

HOW MUCH DO ALAMO TREATMENTS COST? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
What should I do iI I can`t aIIord to treat all oI my oaks? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

WHEN SHOULD I TREAT MY TREES? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Tracking Oak Wilt in Your Neighborhood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Treating Symptomatic Oaks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Are there seasons when I shouldn`t inject my oaks? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
How long will the treatments last? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Should I treat my oaks to prevent inIection by beetles? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6


ARE THERE OTHER TREATMENTS FOR OAK WILT? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Will my oaks Iight oII oak wilt iI I give them extra water and Iertilizer? . . . . . . . 7

For InIormation on How to Hire an Arborist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON OAK WILT .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
6/21/2004 1

There are two treatments Ior oak wilt recommended by the Texas Forest Service trench
installation, which halts spread through large areas, and Alamo injection, which treats
individual trees. The treatments can be used separately or together. When used together, trenches
stop the oak wilt Irom spreading beyond the trench line while Alamo protects high value oaks inside
the trench.

Oak wilt suppression trenches that surround oak wilt disease centers stop the spread through
neighborhoods by isolating the inIected oaks.
A trenching machine cuts the roots to a depth
oI Iour Ieet or more, halting the spread oI the
oak wilt Iungus through interconnected roots.
A 100 Ioot buIIer oI healthy and non-
symptomatic oaks between the inIected tree
and the trench line helps to ensure that all
inIected roots are conIined inside the trench.
Trenches shallower than Iour Ieet or closer
than 100 Ieet may stop the spread oI oak wilt,
but the success rate drops as the buIIer
II oak wilt is within a Iew hundred Ieet oI
your property, ask the Texas Forest Service or
your City Forester iI trench installation is appropriate Ior your neighborhood.

Injection with the fungicide Alamo is a treatment Ior individual trees.
Alamo injection is the best option Ior saving your oaks when
oak wilt is already too close to trench,
your trees are inside the trenched area with the inIected oaks, or
trench installation is impractical.
Alamo treatments are recommended when oak wilt has been conIirmed in oaks less than 200
Ieet Irom the oaks you want to protect.
Alamo injection does not stop the spread oI the oak wilt Iungus through the roots to
surrounding trees.


Alamo brand Iungicide is a liquid chemical treatment that prevents the oak wilt Iungus Irom
growing in the tree`s water-conducting vessels. A dilute solution oI Alamo is injected into the
large roots. Water-conducting vessels transport the Iungicide up though the trunk to the branch tips.
The large Ilare roots are exposed by digging out around the trunk a Iew inches deep. Some
vendors use compressed air to blow the soil away Irom the roots.
Small holes are drilled through the bark into the Ilare roots.
Plastic tubing and tees carry the dilute solution oI Alamo Iungicide Irom pressurized
canisters into the roots.
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This process oI using large quantities oI water to distribute the Iungicide through the tree is
called macro-infusion.
Wood above the point oI injection is protected by the chemical.
Roots below the point oI injection are not protected because the Iungicide cannot move
downward into smaller roots.

Canisters (chained to tree), tubing and tees Exposed Ilare root with tubing and tees

Macro-infusion vs. Micro-injectors

Some Iungicide manuIacturers sell microinjectors, which are small plastic capsules Iilled with
undiluted Iungicide. Research has shown that microinjectors do not distribute the Iungicide
throughout the entire tree as well as macro-inIusion. Macro-inIusion with Alamo brand
Iungicide is the oak wilt treatment recommended by the Texas Forest Service.

Flare Root Injection vs. Lower Trunk Injection

Injection oI large Ilare roots is more successIul than lower trunk injection because the Iungicide is
more uniIormly distributed throughout the tree.
Some injection contractors may try to reduce their labor by drilling holes directly in the
lower trunk without digging to expose the Ilare roots.
II an injection contractor tries to tell you that lower trunk injections work just as well as Ilare
root injections, hire someone else'
There is one case where lower trunk injection is appropriate: when the tree has previously
been injected in the Ilare roots. The injection sites should be drilled a Iew inches higher
than the previous sites in order to inject into healthy, non-callused wood.

Alamo vs. Other Brands of Fungicide

There are two other brands oI Iungicide that are labeled Ior systemic treatment oI oak wilt:
Tebuject and Fungisol.
Both can be legally used Ior treatment oI oak wilt.
These two products have diIIerent active ingredients Irom propiconazole, the active
ingredient in Alamo.
The Texas Forest Service recommends Alamo because extensive research perIormed by
Texas A&M University supports its eIIectiveness.
6/21/2004 3

Alamo vs. Other Propiconazole-based Fungicides

Propiconazole, the active ingredient in Alamo, is also the main ingredient in other brands oI
Iungicide, including Orbit, Tilt and Banner.
These products are designed Ior external use only, not injection.
A Iew unscrupulous workers may try to substitute these Iungicides Ior Alamo, claiming that
they are 'just the same but less expensive.
Use of these fungicides is for oak wilt treatment is illegal and these products may actually
harm your trees.
When you call tree care companies about treating your trees, ask what Iungicide they use. II
they waIIle about Alamo or mention Orbit, Tilt or Banner, hire someone else'
When you hire a company to treat your trees, ask to see the Iull Alamo bottles beIorehand
and ask Ior the empty bottles aIterward. Alamo is a dark blue liquid. Other Iungicides are
usually amber or brown.


Any business with a current pesticide license issued through the Texas Department oI Agriculture
or Structural Pest Control Board may apply oak wilt injection treatments. Experience or training in
oak wilt injection is recommended.
The Texas Forest Service has a list oI several tree care companies that you can hire to treat
your oaks. This list is no longer being updated.
To view a much more extensive and current database oI oak wilt injection contractors, visit and click on the Oak Wilt Vendors link.

Can I hire my yard man or lawn care service?

Yes, but only iI your yard service has a licensed pesticide applicator to supervise the treatment.
One certiIied pesticide applicator can legally supervise uncertiIied laborers on site, but they
must all abide by state regulations.
II no one in the company is certiIied to apply pesticides, the workers cannot legally treat
your trees. Any person or company who applies any type oI pesticide Ior pay must be
licensed in the state oI Texas.

Can I inject my own trees?

Yes, you can buy the equipment and the Iungicide and do it yourselI. A pesticide applicator`s
license is not required iI you are treating your own trees.
Some Alamo injection companies oIIer a service to help you learn to treat your own trees.
They treat the Iirst tree Ior you at their standard rate while you watch and learn. You can
then rent or buy the injection equipment and Alamo Iungicide to do your own treatments.
The Rainbow Treecare website has step-by-step instructions and two Iree videos you can
download at
6/21/2004 4
Your city Iorester or the local Texas Forest Service oIIice may have copies oI the Texas
Forest Service oak wilt video in VHS or DVD Iormat.
A seven page step-by-step written guide (diIIerent Irom the online guide at the Rainbow
Treecare web page) is available Irom the Lakeway City Forester. Email to request a copy.


Alamo treatments are very expensive because the Iungicide itselI costs over $600 per gallon.
Contractors` prices usually range Irom $7 to $20 per diameter inch.
Expect to pay more Ior symptomatic trees or oaks larger than 25 inches in diameter. Both
may require 'double doses oI Alamo, increasing the price.
II you want a rough estimate oI the treatment price Ior your trees, use a ball park Iigure oI
$10 per diameter inch. For example, an 18 inch oak can probably be treated Ior about $180.
Most injection contractors measure trees and provide written estimates at no charge, so get
several estimates iI you can.
II you want to treat your own trees, expect to spend about $2.25 per diameter inch Ior the
Alamo Iungicide, plus about $100 Ior most oI the injection equipment (tanks, tees, tubing).
Equipment and Iungicide can be purchased at the Rainbow Treecare website or Irom local
To measure the diameter oI a tree, measure the circumIerence at a height at 4 Ieet 6 inches
above ground level and divide the total inches by 3.14.

What should I do if I can`t afford to treat all of my oaks?

Prioritize. Look at your landscape, select the trees that are the most valuable to you, and let the
others go. As the oak wilt moves through the untreated trees, cut the diseased trees as soon as
possible. The oak wilt Iungus can remain in stumps Ior up to Iour years, so you may have to retreat
the treated oaks 2-3 years aIter the Iirst treatment to prevent re-inIection through the roots.

When you consider the cost oI Alamo treatments, compare that to the expense oI cutting dead trees.
Tree services oIten charge more than $1000 per tree to cut and haul away large trees in urban
settings. Investigate the cost oI cutting dead trees on your property. Treating your oaks with Alamo
may be less expensive than cutting them aIter they die.


You should treat your trees beIore they show symptoms, but not so Iar in advance that the Iungicide
is ineIIective when the oak wilt arrives.
Treat your trees before the oak wilt arrives. Oaks treated aIter they are inIected are much
more likely to succumb to the disease.
Trees treated a year or more beIore the oak wilt arrives oIten require a second treatment.
Each year, the Alamo-treated sapwood is buried under new, untreated wood that is
vulnerable to inIection.
6/21/2004 5
On average, Texas oak wilt centers expand at a rate oI about 75 Ieet per year, but this can
vary Irom zero up to 150 Ieet per year.
The best strategy is to treat when the oak wilt is 75 to 200 Ieet away, monitor the trees
closely Ior symptoms, and then treat again iI the trees start to show symptoms more than 12
months aIter the Iirst treatment.
II there are oak wilt inIected trees less than 75 Ieet Irom your most cherished oaks, treat
right awav.
There is one situation where you might consider treating when oak wilt is up to 300 Ieet
away. In pastures, single large live oaks sometimes grow 100 to 200 Ieet apart. In this case,
oak wilt can jump Irom tree to tree over much longer distances, so you may need to treat
oaks up to 300 Ieet away Irom the symptomatic oaks.
An experienced injection contractor can advise you on timing the treatments.

The movement oI oak wilt is not a steady march across the landscape, nor does oak wilt move
predictably Irom one tree to the next, so don`t gamble by trying to cut it too close. It`s better to
treat early than too late.

Tracking Oak Wilt in Your Neighborhood

II you spot oak wilt on a neighbor`s property several hundred Ieet away, you should track its
progress. Don`t be taken by surprise when it shows up at your property line.

II your neighbors treat all oI their oaks, tracking the movement oI the oak wilt through the roots
becomes much more challenging. Alamo treatments keep oaks green Irom the point oI injection up,
so there are oIten no visible above-ground symptoms.
One solution is to ask your neighbor to leave a Iew scattered 'marker trees untreated trees
that show the progress oI the oak wilt.
These marker trees should be cut as soon as they show oak wilt symptoms.
Remember that these dying oaks only show the approximate location oI the leading edge oI
the disease. Oak wilt oIten bounces around in a stand or large group oI trees rather than
marching predictably Irom one tree to the next. Play it saIe by treating early.

Treating Symptomatic Oaks

Live oaks treated aIter they`ve started to show symptoms have a much lower survival rate, but they
do sometimes recover with Alamo treatments iI they`re not already too Iar gone.
Alamo treatments are not recommended Ior live oaks that have lost more than 20 to 30
percent oI their live crown.
Symptomatic live oaks have diIIiculty absorbing the Iungicide solution because parts oI
their water uptake system have already shut down.
The extent oI damage is indicated by amount oI time it takes Ior an oak to absorb the
Iungicide solution. Most healthy oaks take up the solution within 2 hours. II the oak
doesn`t take up the entire dose oI Iungicide within 24 hours, it is extensively clogged and
may not recover.
Rainbow Treecare states that higher success rates have been reported when inIected live
oaks receive a second treatment in early spring Iollowing the Iirst treatment.
6/21/2004 6

Red oaks should never be treated therapeutically. By the time symptoms appear, the Iungus has
completely colonized the tree and guaranteed its rapid death.

Are there seasons when I shouldn`t inject my oaks?

Oaks can be treated at any time oI the year when they have Ioliage.
Red oaks lose their leaves in Iall, so winter treatments are not recommended.
Live oaks retain their leaves through the winter, so they can be treated year round except
during leaI exchange in early spring.

How long will the treatments last?

Some Alamo treatments have been known to hold Ior years, but many oaks require treatments every
year or two. The need Ior additional applications depends on many diIIerent site Iactors, including:
whether some oI the treated trees were sick to start with.
whether untreated oak wilt survivors are nearby which could reinIect nearby oaks.
whether stumps remain which could reinIect nearby oaks.

AIter the Iirst treatment, oaks should be rechecked every 12-24 months.
Many injection contractors suggest that only oaks showing symptoms should be retreated.
In some cases where all oI the oaks in an area were injected, one treatment has been Iound
to protect 90 percent or more oI the stand with no need Ior additional applications.
II there are living inIected oaks nearby (oak wilt 'survivors), the treated trees may need
additional treatments every 2 to 3 years to prevent reinIection through the roots.
Oaks near stumps should be retreated two years aIter the Iirst treatment because stumps can
harbor the Iungus Ior up to Iour years. AIter Iour years, the oak wilt Iungus in the stumps
should have died out, so additional treatments should not be necessary.
Oaks that were symptomatic at the time oI the Iirst treatment oIten need two or more
additional treatments.

As long as oak wilt is within root-graIting distance (75 to 100 Ieet), additional treatments may be
necessary. AIter the oak wilt is gone and the stumps are more than Iour years old, no more
treatments should be needed.

Should I treat my oaks to prevent infection by beetles?

No. II your property is not close to an expanding oak wilt center, Alamo injection is not
recommended as a preventative treatment. It`s Iar more beneIicial and less expensive to prevent
new oak wilt inIections by painting all wounds immediately with pruning paint.

6/21/2004 7

No. There are no guarantees. According to Rainbow Treecare, the company that markets Alamo,
macro-inIusion oI Alamo Iungicide is 93 percent successIul in protecting uninIected red oaks and
live oaks that are root graIted to oak wilt inIected trees. However, there are still Iailures. Success
depends on many Iactors, including the timing oI the treatments, the genetics oI the oak stand, the
strain oI the oak wilt Iungus and the knowledge oI the applicator. In a Iew cases, Alamo treatments
have Iailed in entire stands oI oaks. In rare instances, some oaks have had a bad reaction to the
Iungicide, dying suddenly aIter treatment.


So Iar, no other treatments Ior oak wilt have been shown by independent research to be as eIIective
as Alamo injection in individual trees.

From time to time companies advertise 'oak wilt cures. Most oI these treatments have not been
tested by independent research scientists, so their eIIectiveness has been neither proved nor
disproved. See the Iollowing articles Ior more discussion about alternative oak wilt treatments:
'Oak Wilt Treatments Examining the Facts by Mark DuII oI the Texas Forest Service
and Dr. David Appel oI Texas A&M University
'Keep Your Eyes Open When Considering Oak Wilt Treatment by Carrie Burns, Lakeway
City Forester

A Iew unscrupulous companies prey on the public`s Iears by diagnosing oak wilt in trees that are
not inIected. II the tree lives, they claim that their treatment has cured the tree. II the tree dies, then
they claim that the tree must have been too Iar gone to respond to the treatment. This is why it`s
imperative that you have oak wilt diagnosed by the Texas Forest Service, your city Iorester or a
proIessional arborist who is independent Irom the company advertising the service.

Will my oaks fight off oak wilt if I give them extra water and fertilizer?

No. Oak wilt kills strong, healthy oaks as well as weak, stressed trees. Good cultural practices can
help your oak Iight oII weak pathogens, but don`t expect the extra care to protect your trees Irom
oak wilt inIection. II water and Iertilization prevented oak wilt, there would be Iar less mortality on
golI courses and in urban areas.

6/21/2004 8

1. Have a city Iorester, an independent arborist or the Texas Forest Service conIirm that the
trees actually have oak wilt.
2. Get several estimates Irom contractors iI you can.
3. Make sure the contractor has a current pesticide applicator`s license.
4. Ask what kind oI Iungicide the contractor uses.
a. II they mention Orbit, Tilt and Banner, hire someone else. These vendors are either
ignorant oI the law or they just don`t care about saving your trees.
b. II they try to sell you Fungisol and Tebuject, ask iI they can inject your trees with
Alamo using the macro-inIusion process. Many reputable arborists preIer these
products, but most will treat with Alamo iI you request it.
5. Ask iI the contractor injects the Ilare roots or lower trunk. Make sure the estimate includes
exposing the Ilare roots.
6. Ask to see the Alamo bottles beIorehand and ask Ior the empty bottles aIterward.

For Information on How to Hire an Arborist:

Visit the website and click on the link entitled Whv Hire an Arborist. II
you don`t have internet access, call the Lakeway City Forester at (512) 261-6098 to request a
printed copy.


Call the LCRA Oak Wilt InIormation Line at 512-473-3517.
Lakeway residents can call the City Forester at 261-6098.
Visit the Iollowing websites:
Oak Wilt InIormation Partnership:
Rainbow Treecare: (This newly updated site
has extensive inIormation on all aspects oI oak wilt as well as Alamo injection
City oI Lakeway: (still under construction)
City oI Austin:
Texas A&M Dallas Agricultural Research and Extension:
Texas Forest Service contact inIormation can be Iound on the LCRA Oak Wilt InIormation
Line, at the Oak Wilt InIormation Partnership website, or at the Texas Forest Service

This information sheet was written bv Carrie Burns, Lakewav Citv Forester, as a guide for propertv owners faced with
oak wilt. The information is based on Texas foresters current understanding of oak wilt prevention and treatment.
Readers should carefullv consider their choices and make up their own minds about oak wilt treatments. The author
and the Citv of Lakewav assume no liabilitv for the decisions of propertv owners or the health of their trees.

Oak Wilt Fungicides

There are several fungicides labeled for tree injection to
help suppress oak wilt disease. The position of the Texas
Forest Service on these products and others like them is
that Alamo is currently the only fungicide that has
research backed by Texas A&M University to prove that it
is effective for injection and treatment of the oak wilt
fungus. All similar formulations that have the active
ingredient propoconizole at 14.3% concentration and
labeled to be used in oak wilt control also should be
effective but are not supported by research.
Fungicide injection does not stop the transmission of oak
wilt through connected root systems between adjacent
trees. Only severing the roots by trenching can stop the
movement of oak wilt from tree to tree.
Fungicide Labels & Data Sheets
Alamo: Label, MSDS
To view and print you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Last updated on August 23, 2007.
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