We are 100% confident with our products and our method. Every day we can see the results.
We discussed our concerns, ideas and results with experts from the fields of tree management, arboculture, city management, and tree physiology - who confirmed our findings.
We observed improvements in the following areas during the 2,5 years of watering large trees:
Rapid primary and secondary growth was observed after we began watering mature trees in the fall of 2018. The irrigation dose was 3000-9000 liters / 800-2380 US gallons per tree.
Change was already visible in late spring, 2019, and much more was visible during the 2020 season. The leaf/needle biomass increased rapidly with the growth of new shoots. The leaves produced more assimilates, which improved the quality of fruits and the production of nutrients, that would be stored for the next season. Because the assimilates are stored in fine roots during winters, and the substrate was wet enough, the season of 2020 was even more successful in terms of quantity and quality of the leaf biomass. The cumulative effect on healthy growth began.
RESISTANCE TO DISEASES AND PESTS
It is generally known that if a tree is in good condition, it is more resistant to diseases and pests. And a tree can only be in good condition if it has enough water.
On our test site, we noticed that there was no bark beetle infestation, despite the infestation in the surrounding forest. Also, some cherry tree diseases avoided our trees, or the damage was significantly lower, compared to the trees in the area.
We do not claim that TREEIB bags are guaranteed to protect trees from all pests and diseases. However, we can say that the bags at our test site significantly contributed to the protection of those trees that were studied.
EXTENSION OF THE ASSIMILATION PERIOD
Surprisingly, when testing the TREEIB® bags, the period of green foliage was extended on the monitored deciduous trees.
Unwatered cherry trees, within the vicinity of the test site as of August 2019, already had 90% of foliage red, dry or fallen; whereas the watered (by test prototypes of the TREEIB® bag) cherry trees, had minimal loss. They retained their foliage until the end of October, that year.
Prolonging the assimilation time is very important for trees, because it enables them to create and store more nutrients in their root systems. In the following season, they will use them to massively create new biomass of leaves and branches.
The same effects were observed in birches and other deciduous trees.
Although the trees production functions is rather a marginal issue, with regards to the TREEIB® methodology, the following should be mentioned - After we started irrigating our fruit trees, their fruiting abilities and fruit quality increased.
We first started watering cherries when, in 2018, after a long drought, the fruits resembled nothing like they should. The fruit was visibly dry, and it was clear that nothing would last, nor ripen at all. After watering, improvements in the vitality of the trees were evident on the first day, drooping leaves at the top of the trees rose within two hours and, within a week, change was also noticeable in the fruits. In the end, all the cherries remained on the trees and, in addition to ripening beautifully, they were not only juicy, but also significantly sweeter than in the past.
CONSTRUCTION WORK STRESS REDUCTION
Construction work is causing terrible damage to trees in cities. If the trees are properly cared for, during this work, there's high hope that many will survive the excavation work in the root space, and not just only for one more year, but for decades to come. The biggest drawback, about damage during construction work, is that it tends to only manifest itself a few months, or even years later. This means that often the culprit cannot be identified. It is a real issue, and very often it is alll because a designer/architect, investor or construction company didn't respect the needs of the trees.
Unfortunately, we had to dig in the root of a birch tree, on our test site. It had already been irrigated before the excavation, so it was in good condition, despite having lost roughly 1/4 of the root system near its trunk. The birch was irrigated with TREEIB® irrigation bags - at first once a week, then once every 2-4 weeks until autumn - for a year and a half, until it was relocated. Currently, the tree is not only in very good condition, but also grows well. This gives hope, that the tree, treated in this way, will grow on the test site for a long time to come. Our clients have experienced this situation too. Construction companies, in some cities, are now required to purchase TREEIB.... and as a result they have been successfully protecting their trees.
BETTER STORMWATER INFILTRATION
The test area is sited on clay soils, that have difficulty absorbing water. Especially in times of drought, when the soil surface hardens, it can have a very similar character to the soil in cities. This hardened surface makes it very difficult to absorb water, and when rain comes after a drought, usually in the form of a summer storm, all the water tends to flow away into drains or surrounding meadows.
Soil that is partially moist absorbs water much better, and is capable of reducing the run-off loss, which then serves the trees greatly .
When testing the rate of rainwater penetration into soils of this nature, were shocked at the results: over the space of two days, 40 mm of rain fell on the dry soil. We looked at both grassed and bare (and loose) ground, and although it rained gently, the water barely penetrated the topsoil; the subsoil was completely dry. For those who believe that soils are watered during moderate rains, this should serve as a warning.
It's not true.
Ultimately, we have come to the conclusion that it is best to manually water trees after rain. Rain will do some of the work for us - by saturating the surface layer of the soil, manual watering then will percolate more easily to the roots.
Drip irrigation (TREEIB® irrigation bags work on the drip irrigation principle) overcomes the problem of poor water penetration into solid, dry soil. We observed that the water from the TREEIB® bag, is able to penetrate to a depth of 60 cm within 8 hours, which is fully sufficient for most of the roots that the trees have.
CHECK OUR RESULTS IN THE GALLERY
BACKGROUND AND THE TEST SITE
As of 2018, for three years we have been testing the TREEIB® bags and the method in person on our own trees, with exceptional results. These were confirmed by qualified experts.
The test site is located in a temperate continental climate (zone Dfb according to Köppen climate classification), over 8000 sq meters of land (more than 86000 sq feet).
The tree samples include 3 specimens of European spruce (Picea Abies), ranging from ages 40 to 30 years; European white birch (Betula pendula), two large specimens of cherry trees (Prunus avium) with an age of 80 years and a number of European plum trees (Prunus Domestica) aged 25-30 years.
The relatively wet climate, of the site, changed in 2015, when hard and long periods of drought occurred every year, including over winter. The trees growing on the test site were experiencing drought stress and heat waves, and the number of sunny days was above average. A decrease of about 1 meter was observed, in the groundwater level. Because stress symptoms tend to be revealed after years of stress, we only noticed that the trees were not happy, in 2018.
Needles in the inner crown of spruce trees began to fall off the older branch sections, while other needles remained on the new shoots. This is a clear sign of drought stress in conifers. Overall, spruce trees lost about 40% of their needles.
The new shoots were very weak, about 5 centimeters of growth. In addition, bark beetle infestation was occurring in the surrounding forest, and throughout the region. An infestation of this kind, would be deadly to spruces that were not in good condition.
During the episodes of drought, the growth of new shoots on the fruit trees was greatly reduced. Part of the branches were defoliated, leaf biomass was visibly smaller and there was little or no, or poor quality fruit. Several structural branches in the lower parts of the cherry crown dried completely.
The birch was a very specific case, because during the construction work it lost about 1/3 of the root system, and there was a great doubt whether the tree would survive this intervention, in the summer of 2019.
The first watering of the test trees, took place in the fall of 2018. We selected trees of similar age and species, growing in the surrounding area, as a control group.