Syrup frommaple trees treated with systemac

Asked April 8, 2019, 4:56 PM EDT

Is it ok to consume maple syrup from a tree treated with systemac liquid treatment. I have been treating my ash tress with the systemac liquid for about ten years now. I also treat my maples as we have had a problem in the past with scale. I treat them in mid to late November each year

Midland County Michigan sugar maple maple syrup production imidacloprid

3 Responses


I need a little more information. Please update this question with the name of the product you used. Read the label- is it for use on edible crops?

I will watch this question for your reply. Then I will be able to give you some info on the active ingredient in the systemic product. Thank you.

Sorry I toke so long to get back but I dont go the the supplier store very often. Here is what I found.
The product is called a Ferti-lome systemic tree and shrub drench.

Active Ingredient: Imidacloprid 1.47% Target pests: Adelgids, Leaf Beetles (including Elm Leaf Beetles and Viburnum Leaf Beetles), Vine Weevils Larvae (including Black Vine Weevils), Leafhoppers (including Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter), Roundheaded Borers (including Asian Longhorned Beetle and Eucalyptus Longhorned Borer), Flatheaded (including Bronze Birch Alder, and Emerald Ash Borers), Leafminers, Mealybugs, Pine Tip Moth larvae, Japanese Beetles, Adult, Psyllids, Lacebugs Royal Palm Bugs, Sawfly Larvae, Scales (includes Armored Scale [Suppression] and Soft Scale, Thrips, and Whiteflies For use in: Outdoor trees and shrubs including listed fruit and nut trees: Apple, Loquat, Oriental Pear, Crabapple, Mayhaw Pear, Pecan, Quince Application: Trees: 1 oz. per inch of distance around trunk
Shrubs: 3 oz. per foot of height Pet safe: Yes, if used as directed on Label

Thanks for your help


Unfortunately, no you should not consume syrup made from sap of trees treated with imidacloprid. There are no approved systemics for this use.

I had to look quite a while to find any information, since sugar bush stands are not managed for insects with systemic insecticides. Instead, cultural practices and sometimes sprays, are used to control insects including scale.

These sprays are applied to large trees with professional equipment and are timed precisely to be effective. Homeowners need to hire professional tree care companies to get large trees sprayed. You can find certified arborists by zip code here-

Here is an article that discusses scale management. Note the warning about imidacloprid on page 2. -

The systemic will dissipate over time, perhaps 2-6 years. The study I read found it difficult to be precise due to size of tree, dosage, yearly rain.

Here is the conclusion of that study of hemlocks and controlling Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA) “Differences were detected in both imidacloprid and olefin con- centrations among different size hemlocks. Differences varied based on imidacloprid treatment dosage, with larger hemlocks exhibiting higher concentrations of both chemicals in most canopy strata, as compared to 45 cm hemlocks when high-dose imidacloprid treatments were applied to larger hemlocks. In contrast, in the

E. Benton et al. / Forest Ecology and Management 370 (2016) 12–21 19

20 E. Benton et al. / Forest Ecology and Management 370 (2016) 12–21

low-dose comparison 45 cm hemlocks had the highest concentra- tion of olefin, however, no difference was detected between 45 and 76 cm hemlocks receiving low-dose treatments. Imidacloprid concentrations among hemlock size classes in the low-dose com- parison were not significantly different. Olefin concentrations were significantly higher in 76 cm hemlocks that received high-dose treatments in the preliminary low and high-dose comparison. While no overall consistent patterns in either imidacloprid or olefin concentrations among all size classes occurred, consistencies were observed between imidacloprid and olefin canopy strata distribution within each size class. Based on our findings, a formula was developed to optimize dosage of imidacloprid based on hemlock DBH. According to the formula, smaller (<30 cm) and larger (>63 cm) hemlocks can receive lower dosage imidacloprid applications than are currently recommended. Olefin persistence in the foliage is expected to occur in concentrations sufficient to provide >80% HWA population reduction per generation 4–6 yr post-treatment.” From “Assessing relationships between tree diameter and long-term persistence of imidacloprid and olefin to optimize imidacloprid treatments on eastern hemlock”

E. Benton a,⇑, J.F. Grant a, R. Cowles b, J. Webster c, R. Nichols c, A. Lagalante d, C. Coots at Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN et. al. Forest Ecology and Management 370 (2016) 12–21.

Hemlocks are different than maples, so the time to dissipate could be different. However, I didn’t find any study specific to maples. Sorry the news isn’t better. Thanks for providing the label information.