Systemic Tree Implants

ArborCarbon are the Australasian distributor for the MEDICAP and PHOSCAP range of systemic tree care implants, which are designed to mitigate premature decline in trees due to various health disorders and injury.

Systemic tree implants were developed in the United States more than 40 years ago. Since that time these implants have proven to be safe and effective for the treatment of a range of tree health disorders. These implants are delivered directly into the tree and are designed to remain safely within the tree with the contents delivered systemically throughout the tree with sap flow.

The implant provides the tree with a slow release nutrient that benefits the tree over a longer period of time, with the aim of improving plant vigour and general health and condition.

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 12.48.12 pm

Slide from a presentation by ArborCarbon’s Dr Paul Barber in Warwick in the UK in 2015

Tree Implanting - drilling

Implants are very easy to administer

Implants are available in the following formulas, they can be used in combination with each other;

file-page1PHOSCAP (HIGH PHOSPHATE 0-50-30) is a special formulation of high water soluble phosphate, potassium and a range of trace elements designed to stimulate tree foliage. Provides phosphate for plant health and root enhancement, potassium for cell strength and rigidity, and essential trace elements to ensure a more complete nutrient feed. This implant treatment may be helpful to enhance protein and carbohydrate synthesis and aid in plant health tolerance to heat, cold and drought. Also reduces plant stress, enhances overall health and increases resistance to disease.


MEDICAP MD 121-4-4MEDICAP MD (12-4-4) A special blend of highly water soluble nutrients designed to stimulate tree growth including trace elements required for the production of healthy green foliage. Ideal for use on fruit, ornamental and native trees and designed to be effective for a number of years after a single application. Treatments may mitigate premature decline in health triggered by mechanical damage, sub-optimal soil conditions, disease or insect attack, waterlogging, drought or frost damage, transplant shock, or pruning shock.

file-page1 MEDICAP MN (MANGANESE) This formulation of manganese is ideal in trees where manganese deficiencies are difficult to control with soil or foliage application. Such manganese deficiencies are normally associated with calcareous, arid or sandy soil conditions. Trees most susceptible include maple, peach, ornamental cherry, citrus and a range of deciduous fruit.

file-page1MEDICAP FE (IRON) A unique formulation of water-soluble iron effective in trees suffering iron deficiency where application of iron to the soil or foliage is ineffective. Such iron deficiencies are normally associated with calcareous, arid, or sandy soil conditions. Trees most susceptible include a range of eucalypt species, pin and white oak, black locust, birch, liquid amber, pines, magnolia, bauhinia, dogwood, podocarpus, poplar, citrus, peach, pear, apple and avocado.


file-page1MEDICAP ZN (ZINC) These zinc implants are effective in trees where zinc deficiencies are difficult to control by soil or foliage application. Such zinc deficiencies are normally associated with calcareous soils and are common in citrus, peach, nectarine, eucalypts, avocado, walnut, pecan and other nut-producing trees.


For pricing or more information contact Paul Barber at ArborCarbon or phone +61 8 9467 9876

Trees cut heat on city’s streets – City of Perth

“Experts have long known that the canopy provided by trees can affect temperatures.

The thermal imaging results, which are in the City of Perth’s draft urban forest plan, put a figure on the reality of that relationship.”

Fantastic to see the City of Perth  communicating  the linkage between tree canopy and heat.

The work provided in this article,  is the result of a precision urban forest monitoring project carried out by ArborCarbon and partners in early 2015.

It is essential that we use this type of high-resolution imagery for  precision baseline measurement and monitoring  to achieve realistic targets and sustainable urban forest management.

See article in today’s West Australian by Kate Emery here.

Victoria Avenue is much cooler than treeless streets Picture – Bill Hatto -The West Australian

Myrtle rust has potential to cause regional extinction of iconic animals

There are calls for a national plan to fight the fugal disease myrtle rust, which is destroying native trees.  and, experts says, has the potential to cause regional extinction of iconic Australian animals.

“This will threaten some of our iconic native species and there is the strong possibility that some of these species will go extinct,” chief executive of Plant Biosecurity Centre for Collaborative Research Dr Michael Robinson said.

See ABC News article

Benefits of urban trees – Infographic


Benefits of Urban Trees  infographic by the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

“Large urban trees are excellent filters for urban pollutants and fine particulates. Trees can provide food, such as fruits, nuts and leaves. Spending time near trees improves physical and mental health by increasing energy level and speed of recovery, while decreasing blood pressure and stress. Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30% and save energy used for heating by 20–50%. Trees provide habitat, food and protection to plants and animals, increasing urban biodiversity…planting trees today is essential for future generations!”

Download: PDF version

The regeneration of silk cotton trees – sculpture exhibition

     Dr Paul Barber inspects the dying Bombax with Dr Thu, local elders and the Buddhist Monk

Sculpture Works “Wood Regeneration”

On the 30th of April, 2016 (the 41st anniversary of the liberation of the South Vietnam, 1974), at the Exhibition Centre for Contemporary Art, there will be a very special exhibition of works by 15 artists from the Fine Art Association of Vietnam.

The sculpture works are mainly made from the wood of two 300+ year old Bombax trees that had been located in front of a pagoda of the Dong Cao village until recently.

Story of the Bombax Trees

In 2012 Dr Paul Barber was invited along with his good friend Dr Thu, to Dong Cao Village, Yen Loc Commune, Y Yen district, Nam Dinh Province about 1.5 hours south of Hanoi, Vietnam, to inspect two dying Bombax (Bombax ceiba) trees over 300 years of age.

The Bombax is commonly known as the silk cotton tree in Vietnam. This tree belongs to the family Malvaceae, the same family that includes the famous Australian boab trees. Bombax ceiba is native to the tropics of Asia and has a very tall and straight habit (commonly referred to as a hero tree), is deciduous, and has a very beautiful bloom of red flowers. This tree is very important as a food source in Thailand, the flowers are used to make a tea in Hong Kong, and the bark is used as a medicine in Vietnam. It typically grows to around 20m tall but trees up to 60m in height have been recorded.

The Bombax tree is widely planted throughout Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Stories date back to the 2nd century BC of this tree being provided as a gift to emperors of China and Vietnam. When travelling throughout Vietnam the distinctive bombax can be seen in villages, often growing within or at the entrance to Buddhist pagodas.

làng Đống Cao

Traditional lacquer etching of two Bombax trees standing at the entrance to the pagoda in Dong Cao village. Artist: Mr Dang Thanh Long

Upon my visit to Dong Cao village it struck me how large and significant these two trees outside of the entrance were. I was met by the village elders and the resident Buddhist monk of the Pagoda. I was viewed with curiosity by school children, many who I suspect had only ever seen a foreigner like myself on TV. What also struck me too was that the people were very happy, friendly, and hopeful that I could save these two magnificent trees.

I was informed of the fact that these trees were regarded as an incredibly important part of this village, and stories were shared about their history. The village people considered chopping down the trees during the period of French occupation to stop the approaching tanks, but decided not to as the trees standing and living were more important. Traces of the war with the French still exist within the wood of these trees. During the American war people climbed these trees to look across the district for the approaching enemy, as the trees were by far the highest vantage point. These trees survived many years of intense bombing by the enemy, with the wood making food and weapons for national defence. These were not just trees, but as the Buddhist monk explained to me through translation, they were like very old people with their own soul. They had been the spiritual symbol of the local people. I felt an incredible amount of pressure to save these trees. Mr Long, a renowned artist who grew up in the village but now lives elsewhere, crafted a traditional porcelain bowl with ink artwork to commemorate this moment of hope.


Traditional porcelain bowl, crafted by Dang Thanh Long, with ink artwork to commemorate this moment of hope.

I was concerned about the severity of their decline in health, with severe damaged sustained to their base and root system through recent changes in levels and construction. These trees had been heavily attacked by the larvae of the cerambycid borer, Batocera rufomaculata. I pulled on my knowledge of what may work, explaining to the villagers that we needed to remove the infill around the base and I attempted systemic treatment of the trees to improve their vigour, along with some foliar feeding and soil treatment. Over the following 12 months the trees, the tree showed some signs of recovery, however, they slipped into a state of further decline and died.

My visit to the village was full of sadness. I was devastated as I’m sure the local people were. I explained that it was now important that the wood be used to remember these historic trees. I donated funds to have the wood kept for later crafting of furniture for the pagoda and small pieces for the local people. I later learnt that it was considered bad luck by the local people to keep anything that belonged to the pagoda. My idea was not so good after all.  I had another idea! Could Mr Long gather his artist friends and create some beautiful sculptures from the wood. I was sure that although the wood from the Bombax is considered low quality, the extensive fungal decay and borer galleries throughout this wood could be highlighted as important features of these sculptures, celebrating not only the amazing life of these trees, but also the biology that existed with them and ultimately led to their death. Mr Long and his friends agreed that this was a good idea. We met with the president of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association who gave their full support to this idea.

The trunks were cut into pieces and moved to Hanoi Art University so that 18 artists from the Vietnam Fine Art Association could choose the pieces and develop their ideas.  After 3 weeks, the artists created many lively sculptures from the silk cotton trunks. It is very difficult to create sculptures from silk cotton wood because they have such low quality wood


Mr Dang Thanh Long carving his sculpture

The wonder of talented hands

Thanks to the skillful hands and creative brains, the sculptors took round sections and the decayed wood and fungal mycelium on the trunks to create the works of art. Pham Sinh – a sculptor used the decayed pieces to express his ideas. He explained, ” Since the silk cotton trees held great meaning, I am well aware of my responsibility to create a new spirit and a new life. I used the decayed wood pieces to create the sculptures which are high in shape and have great meaning to overcome the pain. The silk cotton trees are alive again.”

Most sculptures in the exhibition “The regeneration of silk cotton trees” are expressive of their creator’s ideas in accordance with abstractive style. The sculptors completed the works of art over a short period of time. However, there are many quality and delicate works of art. Luu Danh Thanh, the Chairman of Sculptural Art Council – Vietnamese Art Association commented: “The artists created the everlasting works of art from the dead trees. These sculptures contain unique beauty and importantly offer an artistic sense for the viewer. Obviously, the silk cotton trees are not only the pride of Dong Cao inhabitants but also the pride of sculptors currently. From decayed trunks, a valueless wood piece was regenerated to turn into a new life and artistic life.”

The exhibition will commence on 19 April 2016 at the Exhibition Centre for Contemporary Art in Vietnam. Dr Paul Barber will attend the opening, along with Mr Dang Thang Long. The exhibition precedes the anniversary of 41 years of liberation of South Vietnam (30 April 1974).


Tác phẩm điêu khắc “gỗ tái sinh”

Nhân kỷ niệm 41 năm giải phóng miền Nam (30/4/1975 – 30/4/2016), Trung tâm triển lãm mỹ thuật đương đại trưng bày các tác phẩm điêu khắc của 15 nhà điêu khắc của Hội Mỹ thuật Việt Nam. Tác phẩm chủ yếu là gỗ của cây Gạo trồng trước cửa Chùa làng Đống Cao, xã Yên Lộc, Huyện Ý Yên, tỉnh Nam Định, có tuổi thọ hơn 300 năm.

Trải qua bao thăng trầm của lịch sử, những dấu vết của chiến tranh của thời Pháp thuộc vẫn còn hiện hữu trong thân cây, cây vẫn đứng hiên ngang xanh tốt. Những năm chiến tranh phá hoại của Mỹ ở miền Bắc, hai cây gạo này là nơi ngụy trang, che giấu lương thực, đạn dược phục vụ quốc phong. Cây là biểu tượng thiêng liêng của dân làng.

Cây cũng như người, tuổi già, cây bị sâu, bệnh. Dân làng đã mời các chuyên gia trong và ngoài nước đến cứu chữa cho cây, nhưng do quá muộn, cây đã chết!

Với ý tưởng tái sinh của nhà khoa học Ôxtrâylia, Tiến sỹ paul Barber, Các nghệ sỹ của Hội Mỹ thuaath Việt Nam với khối óc và bàn tay điêu luyện đã biến thân hai cây gạo thành các tác phẩm nghệ thuật sống mãi trong long người dân.

Nghệ sỹ: Đặng Thành Long



The Giving Tree


Going to the trouble of building around  beautiful mature trees is well worth the effort.

This amazing home which was built by the principal of Modal Design in the LA suburb of Venice, California, is a great example.  Read the article about this project in Dwell Magazine .

California has a hot and dry climate similar to many parts of Australia and US designers in the warmer states like California and Texas especially, are increasingly incorporating mature amenity trees in their designs, with stunning results.

Studies show that trees  add value to properties, so it is about visual appeal.  As urban temperatures rise, properties with large shade trees will become increasingly sought after.

The benefits are both visual and tangible  Outdoor areas like the one below can be enjoyed from day one in a new home, improving quality of life immensely.  Man-made shade sails and structures just don’t enhance the amenity or cool like big shade trees.














At ArborCarbon we have received a noticeable increase in enquiries from planners and designers requesting Arboricultural reports in their initial site context analyses, with the objective of retaining and building around existing trees.  Builders are also contacting us for advice on how to protect trees on construction sites.

It is great  to see more people thinking outside the square and incorporating and protecting beautiful mature trees. The health benefits provided to the occupants of a dwelling by surrounding trees should not be underestimated.