Caterpillar Forest Products is introducing a stump spray system to combat Annosum root rot (ARR), a fungus that kills conifers. The stump spray kit is available for new Prentice PF-48 harvester heads and can be retrofitted on Fabtek 18R Series 2000 and Prentice PF-48 heads in the field.
ARR is becoming prevalent in the Lake States region, especially Wisconsin, and can be a major problem in pine plantations that are being thinned. The airborne fungus spores land on the surface of a freshly cut stump, move into the roots and spread to adjacent healthy trees. To prevent the spread of the disease, contractors cutting red and white pine in certain Wisconsin counties are required to apply a fungicide to the stumps of harvested trees.
The Cat® Stump Spray System is safer and more cost effective than manual application and has a number of advantages over other mechanized systems on the market. With manual application, contractors incur additional labor costs and stumps that are buried under slash can be missed. Manual application is also more time consuming. Mechanized application with the Cat Stump Spray System does not increase the cycle time to fell a tree.
The spray pump and tank of the Cat system are housed together and can be securely mounted to the Cat 501 and 501HD and Fabtek 133 and 153 track harvesters. The hydraulic pump delivers a constant spray pressure for adequate coverage without wasting solution.
The special 3/4" stump spray bar has porting machined into both sides of the bar so it can be flipped for double life. A button on the standard joystick activates the spray as the tree is cut, giving the operator control of which stumps are treated when cutting in a mixed stand. The level of spray can be adjusted and the system can be completely turned off if cutting in an area where spraying is not required.
The tank is filled safely at ground level and holds eight gallons of solution, enough to cover the stumps of approximately 2,000 12-in. diameter trees. If solution is left in the tank overnight and freezes it will separate and cannot be used, so the Cat system has safeguards to reduce the chance of wasting solution. The tank is sized for approximately one day’s cutting. Also, a drain valve allows solution left at the end of the day to be drained. The drain valve is protected from damage by a locked, hinged cover.