Davey Tree Flipbooks

March-April Bulletin 2021

The Davey Tree Expert Company provides residential and commercial tree service and landscape service throughout North America. Read our Flipbooks for helpful tips and information on proper tree and lawn care.

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Page 34 of 35

35 March/April 2021 | THE DAVEY BULLETIN You might not think of asphalt as something a Davey arborist would use to care for trees, but asphalt was a key element in tree care at Davey in the early and mid-20th century. "Daveyite," as it was known in the early 1900s, was a specially formulated pruning wound sealant. After Davey arborists made pruning cuts they would apply Daveyite over the wound as a means to seal it from weather, insects, fungus and other elements. Using a brush, they would paint the substance on the wound. The Daveyite, as it was known until it was trademarked as "DaveyKote" in 1948, had a base ingredient of asphalt. But it was a special type of asphalt available only in three locations around the world: Egypt, Trinidad and the Wasatch Mountains in Utah. By 1938, the price of Egyptian asphalt had risen to $600 per ton – making it cost-prohibitive – whereas the material from Utah cost just $65 per ton. Davey arborists had to use one of these three special asphalt bases. Other types of asphalt available at the time contained oils and substances that could prove harmful to the tree. And the "Daveyite" or "DaveyKote" had to withstand severe summer heat without melting. The use of Daveyite in the field was so common that in 1938 alone Davey used more than 1,600 gallons of the tar-like stuff. ASPHALT-LIKE 'DAVEYKOTE' WAS EARLY ARBORISTS' TOOL R.J. Laverne, manager of education and training, explained that pruning wound sealers were intended to act like a bandage to keep fungal spores off the pruning wound. "This doesn't work because fungal spores are almost always present and land on the pruning wound before the sealant can be applied," he said. "Also, because sealants trap moisture in and prevent sunlight from reaching the pruning wound, they actually create a more favorable environment for fungal spores to germinate." Laverne said that on occasion sealants, particularly latex paint, can be helpful in areas where Dutch elm disease or oak wilt are prevalent as a means to keep trees infected with either pathogen from emitting chemicals that can carry the diseases into the air – thus limiting the spread of the diseases. Above: A "pot" of DaveyKote pruning wound sealant sits on the bed of a truck to be shipped from the Davey Warehouse in Kent along with Davey Tree Food and other materials in the late 1940s. Left: A "pot" of DaveyKote pruning wound sealant. Davey slowly phased out its use in the mid-to-late 1900s. FROM THE ARCHIVES

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