Does Alamo® (propiconazole) to “prevent” fatal oak wilt fungal infection? No. It cannot prevent root graft transmission of oak wilt, which is by far the most common source of oak wilt. Can it cure oak wilt? No. It cannot. At best, it might delay the fatal course for some indefinite period of time (a year or two?). Still, some arborists sell Minnesota property owners propiconazole without making clear that the benefits of “flare root injections,” if any, may be negligible.
Were you sold a flare root injection regimen for a treasured oak or multiple oaks on your property to prevent oak wilt disease, only to have your tree die from oak wilt notwithstanding the hundreds of dollars (or more) spent on flare root injection?
One label on branded propiconazole says, “Preventive application is more effective than therapeutic treatment.” Some companies that “administer” the flare root injections do so with a guaranty or warranty: if your tree dies within a year, you are refunded your money.
But, hypothetically, if thousands of consumers were to purchase a repeated and costly chemical treatment regimen that cannot prevent a tree disease at all, and the seller refunds those whose trees die, couldn’t a business be profitable selling a completely ineffective treatment?
An obvious analogy might be to a company that sells a preventive “cure” for a disease, which does nothing to cure the disease, and the company happily refunds the purchase price to that percentage of its customers who contract the disease (with a percentage of the payments from the healthy customers, of course).
Pharmaceuticals and medical devices in this country are highly regulated to prevent such scenarios.
Such a business model (healthy payors subsidize the unlucky subset of the sick payors) bears a resemblance to insurance, another heavily regulated industry in our country (in which regulators are tasked with making sure premiums bear a reasonable relationship to risk and benefits are reasonably commensurate with insured losses).
It is at best unclear that there is any regulation working appropriately in the tree-care industry, a multi-million dollar niche of commerce.
If you bought a flare root injection regimen for a treasured oak or multiple oaks on your property to prevent oak wilt disease, only to have your tree die from oak wilt notwithstanding the hundreds of dollars (or more) spent on flare root injection, CALL 612-234-7439.