Emamectin Benzoate (TREE-äge™)
As of April 1, 2010, TREE-äge™, used to control emerald ash borer, is now a restricted use pesticide product. Pesticide certification and licensing is now required to use this product.
TREE-äge™ registration fact sheet – 2 page PDF
What is TREE-äge™?
TREE-äge™ is a pesticide product manufactured by Syngenta that contains the active ingredient emamectin benzoate. It is injected into trunks of ash trees for systemic control of emerald ash borer (EAB), a type of beetle. EAB is a highly destructive invasive species that has already killed millions of ash trees in other Midwestern states, and is now present in Wisconsin.
What has changed with the product?
The Environmental Protection Agency has classified TREE-äge™ as a restricted use pesticide (RUP) due to the hazards the product poses to those who come in contact with the product. As a result, any person purchasing, using, or directing the use of this product is now required to be a certified and licensed pesticide applicator. This includes any person assisting with any activity which the pesticide label requires of the applicator, including drilling the treatment holes.
In 2009, Wisconsin issued a special pesticide registration that allowed the use of TREE- äge™ in Wisconsin. At the time the product was not considered an RUP. The special registration and the special labeling that accompanied the product, expired on December 31, 2009.
As of January 1, 2010 it is illegal to distribute or use TREE-äge™ that has this expired special registration labeling in Wisconsin.
Is properly labeled product available?
TREE-äge™ is now federally registered and registered for distribution and use in Wisconsin. Correctly labeled product should be available by the end of April. If you have a container that does not state “Restricted use pesticide” on the label, it is not legal for use in Wisconsin. Contact your supplier or Syngenta for options on what to do with the product.
The new label bears the identification number EPA Reg. No. 100-1309-74578. The product will be marketed for Syngenta by a company called Arborjet.
What else is on the new product label?
The new product label has a restricted use pesticide statement, new container disposal requirements, clarification of use directions, an EPA registration number, no expiration date, and no Wisconsin-specific information.
Carefully read the new label prior to use. As stated on the new label, failure to follow label directions may result in poor control or cause injury to people, animals, and the environment, including the treated ash trees. Under Wisconsin law, dealers and other distributors cannot advertise this product without disclosing it is classified as a restricted use pesticide and must meet certain licensing, sales, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements.
Who can purchase and use TREE-äge™?
Because TREE-äge™ is now labeled as a restricted use pesticide, any person using or directing the use of TREE-äge™ must be a certified pesticide applicator. The product label prohibits retail sale of TREE-äge™ to, and use by, anyone other than certified applicators. The law also requires that the use be covered by the appropriate commercial applicator certification category of ‘turf and landscape (3.0)’ and licensed as an individual commercial pesticide applicator.
Homeowners who want to use TREE- äge™ to preserve the aesthetic value of their ash trees would need to be certified within an applicable commercial category (3.0 - Turf and Landscape) and licensed as a commercial not-for-hire applicator. Another option for homeowners would be to hire a professional tree care company with licensed and certified applicators.
No person is exempt from the certification requirement. The requirement applies to arborists, state and local government workers, homeowners, and any other person using or directing the use of TREE-äge™ regardless of who owns the trees. This includes any person assisting with any activity which the pesticide label requires of the applicator, including drilling the treatment holes.
No person is exempt from the individual commercial pesticide applicator licensing requirement. The license is either for-hire (e.g., a person contracted to make pesticide applications) or not-for-hire (e.g., individual homeowner, city/county employee).
How do I become certified as a commercial pesticide applicator?
Obtain a training manual within the turf and landscape (3.0) commercial pesticide certification category through the University of Wisconsin's Pesticide Applicator Training Program, http://ipcm.wisc.edu/pat or call 608-262-7588 and choose option 1. Study the training material and when you are ready to take the exam, call the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) at 608-224-4560 to schedule an exam session. The exam is proctored in five locations throughout the state; Madison, Wausau, Waukesha, Green Bay, and Eau Claire. In Madison, we proctor the exam every Tuesday. At the other locations, we proctor the exams every other Tuesday. You must have a reservation to take the exam. Exam reservation information will be provided with your training manual.
How do I become licensed as a commercial pesticide applicator?
Upon passing the exam you will receive a certification card containing a unique six digit number that has been assigned to you. In addition to the card, you will receive an Individual Commercial Pesticide Applicator License application. Fill out the license application and submit it, and all applicable fees, to the address listed on the form.
I still have product with the expired special registration (Section 24c) labeling. What do I do with it?
Syngenta has stated that you may return the product to the point of purchase and exchange it for product with the new federal label affixed. The only containers that are legal for use in Wisconsin will state “Restricted Use Pesticide” at the top of the label.
The expired labels have the identification number WI-080005, and listed the expiration date of Dec. 31, 2009.
For more information on pesticide applicator certification and licensing, visit here
For requirements for dealers and distributors of restricted use pesticides, visit here.