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PF Olsen's New ArborGuard® Makes Healthier Trees

Diseases such as Armillaria root rot affect the health and performance of pine plantations and cause huge annual losses in New Zealand. PF Olsen, in collaboration with Dr Robert Hill of the Lincoln University-based Bio-Protection Research Centre, has developed a bio-control system to make trees more resistant to disease attack. ArborGuard® is a proprietary formulation consisting of a range of beneficial, naturally-occurring, micro-organisms that can improve seedling growth in the nursery and protect young trees from disease attack in the field.

Nursery trials have shown that ArborGuard® not only makes seedlings grow faster and healthier but also helps to reduce the amount of fungicide used in the nursery. Large-scale field trials done by PF Olsen on sites known to have severe Armillaria demonstrated that tree mortality halved in the first year and reduced by 30% in the 2nd year compared to non-treated controls.

The most efficient way of applying ArborGuard® is by seed coating. Dr Robert Hill has developed a do-it-yourself ArborGuard® seed coating kit for tree stock nurseries.

Dr Robert Hill and Kevin Haine, PF Olsen nursery manager, are coating pine seed manually with ArborGuard.

All PF Olsen nursery treestocks are now treated with ArborGuard® using the seed coating method. This means that PF Olsen clients that use PF Olsen-grown tree-stocks automatically get the benefit of ArborGuard®.

Large scale ArborGuard seed coating is done using a concrete mixer.

An ArborGuard® starter kit, sufficient to coat one kilogram of pine seed, is also available. If you are interested in ArborGuard®, and/or the starter kit, please contact Dr Wei-Young Wang (on e-mail wei-young.wang@pfolsen.com) for more information.

Dr Wei-Young Wang of PF Olsen Ltd is examining the ArborGuard® coated seeds during the drying phase.