Tree Science

By: Jeffrey P. Hagfors, Certified Arborist WI-0181A

Spring 2004 Newsletter in Adobe PDF format New uses for growth regulators.

Research and evaluation of an old product has provided us with some very good news. Plant growth regulators have been around for years. Wachtel Tree Science and Service has been using plant growth regulators to control tree growth over the last eight years. Recently, we have been using   as our preferred plant growth regulator. Successful treatments of Cambistat can manage and reduce new growth of a tree by 40-60%. In the past this was the primary known benefit of plant growth regulators. Recent studies and completed evaluations have shown that the side effects of Cambistat are also a benefit to maintaining plant health.

A significant side effect of reducing tree growth is an increased availability of plant carbohydrates and increased energy storage; this surplus of stored energy then becomes available for other functions such as boosting natural defenses to insect and disease attacks. Another beneficial side effect is increased tolerance to drought conditions. This happens because Cambistat increases the volume and concentration of fine root growth. Treated trees become better at mining the soil for reduced moisture. Additionally, Cambistat thickens the surface of the leaves so that less water is lost during transpiration. This thicker leaf cuticle has also proved to benefit the tree because foliar diseases and leaf feeding insect damage is noticeable less on trees treated with Cambistat when compared to untreated trees. In ongoing studies, Cambistat is being evaluated as a mature tree therapy used to manage the effects of old age.


Cambistat is recommended for use on a wide variety of trees and for many reasons. The main reason is to manage the growth rate of trees in confined locations, such as trees too close to buildings or utility lines, large trees in small yards, and trees with limited root space, for example, street trees, trees in decks, or trees in planters.

Cambistat is powerful stuff. Proper dosing and application must be exact. Each tree has its own individual requirement and the prescription needs to come from an experienced and knowledgeable Certified Arborist. This is not something that can be done by the untrained weekend tree cutter or the second cousin of some family tree removal service. Trust your Professional Certified Arborists at Wachtel to evaluate this need for you.

© Copyright 2004 – Wachtel Tree Science & Service, Inc.

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