Everybody loves a huge, majestic old tree.

But sometimes, smaller is better when it comes to trees — especially on commercial properties.

Do you have trees struggling on parking lot islands? Trees growing too close to buildings? Trees that look leggy, with leaves a lackluster pale green?

Mark Lucas

A tree growth regulator can help.

Mark Lucas is national account manager at Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements, which studies tree growth regulators and supplies tree care products and services nationwide.

What are the benefits of a tree growth regulator for a commercial property?

Lucas has the answers.

First, Meet Cambistat

Here at Level Green Landscaping, we use the growth regulator Cambistat from Rainbow Treecare to slow down the growth of certain trees, which extends their life and keeps them healthy.


Cambistat slows the growth of trees by reducing the tree’s hormone that causes cell elongation and increasing a protective hormone.

It’s applied every three years, mixed with water and applied to the soil at the base of the trunk as a soil drench.

“It doesn’t do any harm to the tree,” Lucas says. “It changes the hormones in the plant, encouraging other benefits.”

Actually, quite a few benefits.

Take a look:

Control Trees Too Close To Buildings

Trees are often planted too close to buildings. “When an oak is supposed to get 60 to 75 feet tall and it’s planted 15 feet from a building, that will impact the building sooner than you’d like,” Lucas says.

Prevent Leggy Trees

When trees grow too fast there can be large gaps between leaf nodes, creating an unattractive leggy appearance. A growth regulator keeps a tree more compact.

Extend Your Tree’s Life

“Left alone in a residential lawn or on a farm, an oak tree might live 60, 80, 100 years,” Lucas says. But planted in a hot, high-traffic parking lot island, “you might get 15 to 20 years from it,” he says.

“The soil there is compacted, so it doesn’t have great water holding capacity,” he says. “Trees suffer a lot quicker in this environment.”

A tree growth regulator extends the life of these trees by as much as 30 to 50 percent, Lucas says.

Improve Water Retention

Cambistat Increases a tree’s fibrous roots so the tree can absorb more water.

“A tree dies up top because its roots are compromised below,” Lucas says.

While fertilizer replaces nutrients, it doesn’t replace root structure, he says.

Reduce Diseases

Growth regulator isn’t designed to deter disease, but researchers have seen cases where trees treated with growth regulator have had reduced symptoms of disease, Lucas says.

St. Colettas

Increase Drought Tolerance

Plants treated with Cambistat are more resistant to drought. More leaf hairs form, protecting leaves from drying wind.

A thicker waxy layer on leaves holds in moisture.

A stronger fibrous root system allows plant to better absorb water from the soil.

When a tree grows more slowly, it needs less water.

Boost Your Tree’s Appearance

When a tree doesn’t have to use so much energy growing, it can use that energy in other ways‚ like developing stronger roots.

That means leaves are darker and more vibrant. Trees develop a more attractive, compact look.

Flowering trees produce more blooms.

Protect Trees From Salt Damage

New studies are showing trees treated with Cambistat also can better withstand damage from salt used in snow and ice management, Lucas  says.

Improve Your Site’s Safety

One of the many benefits of tree growth regulators is increased safety on your commercial property.


Fewer Sidewalk Trip Hazards

As trees grow, they often lift sidewalks and walkways, creating a tripping risk and liability for the property.

Growth regulators slow the growth of large woody roots, which means less danger of tripping.

surveillance-camera-241725_1280Cameras and Lights Stay Unobstructed

Trees often grow in front of security cameras and lighting, jeopardizing safety. When trees grow more slowly, sight lines stay clear. Same thing for your property’s signage. Customers don’t have to struggle to find or read your signs.

Bonus: Cambistat Saves You Money

When landscaping crews have to trim your trees less often, you save money.

And it costs less to use a growth regulator to keep a tree compact than it does to replace a tree that has outgrown its space or been hit by disease.

“Replacing a tree that’s 4 to 6 inches in diameter will cost $1,000 or more,” Lucas says.

Trees are treated with Cambistat only once every three years, he says, making it a cost-effective option.

Trust Your Trees’ Health To Level Green

Here at Level Green, we love trees. We’re happy to use science to make trees on your property healthier and live longer.

Want to hear more about the benefits of tree growth regulators for your property’s trees?

If you’re not already a Level Green Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers. Our focus is on commercial properties like offices, mixed-use sites, HOAs, municipalities and institutions in Maryland, Washington DC and parts of Virginia.

Contact us at 202-544-0968. You can also request a free consultation online to meet with us one-on-one.

We’d love to hear from you.

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