Five Questions about the AccuFlo ISD
Have you thought about trying out the Arborjet AccuFlo Soil Injector ISD, but are uncertain about its benefits? Our Northeast Technical Manager Kevin Brewer gives you an overview of this adaptable and easy to use device.
1: Is this device necessary? Can’t I just keep eyeballing or measuring formulations like before?
You can get by without it, but it would be comparable to building a house without power tools. We know houses can be built this way, because they were for thousands of years. However, no construction company in current times could build homes this way and stay competitive in the market. It is simply too inefficient. We need to look at arboriculture and plant health care the same way. As new and more efficient equipment is introduced into the industry, we must adopt these new practices. The largest expenses in plant health care are labor and materials, making accuracy and efficiency of applications a driving factor in success.
2: Is it easy to use?
Absolutely, it is an intuitive and simple piece of equipment. It’s not often that a new piece of equipment is introduced into the market and has a learning curve of under 1 minute! If you can use a backpack sprayer you can use the AccuFlo ISD. It has an easy-to-use adjustable collar to set the desired volume to be applied. Once you have set your application volume you simply toggle a lever between fill and inject.
3: What situations are best for using the AccuFlo?
Here are my top 3 situations where the AccuFlo ISD can save you time and effort:
- The application of plant growth regulators (PGRs). When applying plant growth regulators, you need to be very accurate with your dose or you can over-regulate, causing more harm than good. It is also much more efficient in the application of PGRs. Without an AccuFlo ISD you normally would have to carefully dig a moat around the base of the tree and pour the PGR into the trench. It takes time to dig a moat around the base of a tree without causing any damage to the roots. By using the soil injector, you would avoid all that unnecessary labor.
- Applying systemic insecticides. Again, time is money. The labels for systemic insecticides are often written to mix the product in enough water to evenly distribute. This leaves a lot of room for interpretation as to how best apply. Typically, applicators would mix up larger batches in a traditional spray rig that are diluted more than necessary when compared to a low volume soil injector. There is also more waste when using a larger spray tank to apply systemic insecticides compared to a low volume injector like the AccuFlo. The larger equipment requires more time and effort to clean out after applications to avoid cross contamination between treatments. With the AccuFlo, you can simply dilute the product in a manner to follow the label but only need a fraction of the volume of water when compared to other methods, saving both time and the need to drive around with excessively large equipment.
- Applying soil conditioners in hard to reach or sensitive areas. In urban environments we often are working with plant material in areas that are very hard to reach with traditional fertilization equipment such as a lance on a 300’ long high-pressure hose. In cities and suburban areas there are beautiful gardens anywhere you can imagine. They are on patios, in small fenced in yards, on busy streets, in court yards, and even on roof tops. There are also many scenarios where we apply soil conditions in areas that are heavily planted with fragile perennials that could easily be trampled, broken, or torn out by dragging around a heavy hose. In these situations, it is much easier to be able to gently step around, get your work done and not have to worry about any collateral damage.
4. What formulations work best with the AccuFlo?
The AccuFlo is extremely versatile. Given that you can inject, spray, and drench, the options for formulations are virtually endless. For example, Shortstop 2SC (Plant Growth Regulator) is labelled to be applied as both a soil injection and a foliar spray. With the AccuFlo ISD you can have the one piece of equipment capable of either application method.
5. Is the 9 gallon tank better than the 4 gallon backpack?
The answer to this is more situational. Overall, one is not better than the other; both the 4 gallon backpack and the 9 gallon tank provide unique benefits. The backpack has the benefit of being easy to take in and out of a truck for smaller applications when the added volume of the 9 gallon is not necessary. The backpack will also have the advantage where there are a lot of ground obstacles to work around, such as areas in raised beds or terraced gardens. The 9 gallon roller tank is very convenient working around trees with low branching, crawling around tight spots with a 4 gallon backpack on can be awkward at best, where the 25’ lightweight hose on the tow behind allows you to work in very restrictive areas with ease. All in all, I would want both. The benefits offered by either are worth having.