FYI: New Herbicide Suspected in Tree Deaths
Post date: Jul 18, 2011 4:58:09 PM
New Herbicide Suspected in Tree Deaths
By JIM ROBBINS, NY Times
Published: July 14, 2011
A recently approved herbicide called Imprelis, widely used by landscapers because it was thought to be environmentally friendly, has emerged as the leading suspect in the deaths of thousands of Norway spruces, eastern white pines and other trees on lawns and golf courses across the country.
Manufactured by DuPont and conditionally approved for sale last October by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Imprelis is used for killing broadleaf weeds like dandelion and clover and is sold to lawn care professionals only. Reports of dying trees started surfacing around Memorial Day, prompting an inquiry by DuPont scientists.
“We are investigating the reports of these unfavorable tree symptoms”, said Kate Childress, a spokeswoman for DuPont. “Until this investigation is complete, it’s difficult to say what variables contributed to the symptoms.”
DuPont continues to sell the product, which is registered for use in all states except California and New York. The company said that there were many places where the product had been used without damaging trees.
The E.P.A. has begun gathering information on the deaths from state officials and DuPont as well as through its own investigators. “E.P.A. is taking this very seriously”, the agency said in a statement.