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What do your high-helix drill bits look like?

When doing tree injection treatments, it may be easy to overlook drill bits, but they are a crucial tool in all tree injection applications. Using clean, sharp, high helix drill bits means improved uptake and tree wound healing.

Some tips for drill bits are as follows:

  • Be certain to use a high helix drill bit. Each high helix bit has a razor sharp cutting edge on all surfaces that touch the tree’s tissue.
  • A razor sharp bit will cut the tree’s vascular tissue versus tearing it. Imagine the xylem tissue as a straw: a dull bit will twist, tear, and ultimately reduce the area available for uptake of fluid. A sharp bit will cleanly cut tissue.
  • Drill bits dull rapidly in the outdoor environment where practitioners work.  As a general rule change out bits every 5 trees, especially when drilling into an excavated root flare.
  • Take care of your bits. Ensure they are stored in a dry place where other equipment won’t be piled on them.  Avoid storing bits at the bottom of buckets, where cleaning solution or other lingering moisture can cause rust to form further reduce cutting ability.
  • New drill bits will cut tree tissue more easily, reducing heat cauterization, improving wound compartmentalization, and ultimately improving results.

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