Expanding Our Reach

We spend a lot of time in this monthly column focused on Tree Defender’s impact in Florida and the Florida citrus industry. That seems obvious: We were born in Central Florida. We live here. The idea, research, development, and deployment of Tree Defender was, in large part, a response to a Central (and beyond) Florida issue: the greening that is threatening the industry we love.

In fact, a recent citrus industry survey found that more than 60% of growers will use IPCs on their new plantings. The significance of this is these trees should come into production HLB free versus all being infected. It is anticipated this will have a compounding improvement in juice quality as these trees start producing.”

But don’t think that the scope of Tree Defender stops at Florida’s borders.

Growers in other areas of the globe are putting our proven, patented protection to work for them. Florida, where greening has been present since 1998, is not alone in this problem. Hawaii first detected HLB in 2003. The first documented Asian citrus psyllid in California was found in San Diego in 2008. In 2009, Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay, and Puerto Rico each reported their first cases. It was a bad-luck Friday the 13th for Texas in January 2012, when the first tree in a citrus grove was confirmed to be infected with HLB.

The Tree Defender technologies are now active in each of these areas, being used as the go-to HLB defense to help protect or rebuild healthy citrus growth. Now researchers and growers across the country and around the world are discovering what we have known — and proven — here in Florida: Tree Defender prevents infection in new-growth trees, creates a healthier biosphere underneath our patented mesh fiber coverings that promotes healthier growth, including stronger leaves and larger fruit with higher brix levels — having a positive impact long after removal resulting in much faster production and a significantly more economically viable tree!

The most exciting part of this for us, though, comes when we work with researchers and growers in other areas around the country and they help us discover how Tree Defender can be used in other contexts. Tree Defender is now being used in research relating to other fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

These newer research projects — which will put the Tree Defender in new, non-citrus situations — will not only help us discover new applications for our patented technology, it will push us to continue to innovate and adapt in order to make what we do have a real, lasting impact in Florida and beyond.

Bio: Scott Thompson is co-founder of Tree Defender, Radical Ag-Tech, and Care Planet Technologies. He is a Central Florida native with a background in agribusiness, food manufacturing, and bioscience.

This column is sponsored by Tree Defender, and the opinions expressed herein may not reflect those of CFAN or of its advertisers.

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