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DRO-GRO-TPH Groundwater Plume and Soil Endophyte assisted Phytoremediation Site: Central Valley, CA

Phase A: Engineering firm attempted phytoremediation using un-inoculated poplar trees. Tree survival rate ~30%. Intrinsyx was brought on 1 year into the project and performed an endophyte root drench on the poplars. Endophyte inoculated poplars had a 98% survival rate.

This image shows the difference in growth between inoculated hybrid poplars and uninoculated hybrid poplars. The hybrid poplars are already about 2 feet higher. They will have a better chance of survival and will be able to remediate the oil and diesel gas spill.

Phase B: Intrinsyx Environmental worked with the engineering firm on Phase B planting of hybrid poplars. Inoculated trees had a 98% survival rate and gained hydrological control of the water table.

Hybrid poplar poles freshly planted over an oil and diesel gas spill. These poplars will go on to phytoremediate the site in a sustainable way.

Phase B planting

Hybrid poplar trees planted over and oil and diesel gas spill. After 5 months of growth, the trees are successfully growing in difficult conditions and remediating the site.

5 months after planting

The contaminated site before remedition 

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The site a few years later

The neighborhood has been restored sustainably with healthy trees

1,000 hybrid poplar and willows were planted and inoculated  with endophytes.

The project's success has allowed for the shutoff of SVE (1Q2019) and GWP&T (1Q2020) systems.

Deployed for one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies , the central California property was a former petroleum transfer terminal with high levels of diesel and gas in groundwater and soil concentrations.

In the spring of 2017, the Intrinsyx Environmental team was consulted to advise the client on changes to make going forward after a tree die-off event. This including a survey of past methods used, inoculation, and demonstration of the benefits of our PD1 bacterial tree endophyte strain.

Our goal was to recover a portion of the struggling unhealthy trees due to phyto toxicity experienced by the high levels of contaiminants by inoculating a subset of existing trees using our PD1 endophyte. The remaining live adjacent unhealthy trees were used as immediate controls for comparison.


Intrinsyx Environmental inoculated a subset of existing but unhealthy trees by pouring our PD1 endophyte culture broth around the base of the trees. We also recommended proper tree care techniques to help all trees (inoculated and any uninoculated trees) survive during this study.


After a couple of months, the trees were surveyed again for growth characteristics and chlorophyll content. Remarkably, the trees treated with our PD1 endophytes exhibited 100% greater growth, demonstrated extensive new shoot growth, and a 25% to 100% greater chlorophyll content when compared to the untreated controls.  The client insisted on working with Intrinsyx as a consultant and provider of the endophyte and salt/B tolerant poplar and willow trees. The system was duplicated throughout the site, which now has 1,400 healthy, alive large trees.


The trees provided complete hydrological control on the site within four years. Planting these trees has allowed site groundwater hydrological control and regulator-approved discontinuation of the costly groundwater pump and treat and soil vapor extraction systems. The natural source zone depletion rates in the tree plantations are very high vs. low levels off-site in soil alone.




Central California

Contaminated Mediums:

Groundwater, Soil

Type of Remediation:

Endophyte Assisted Phytoremediation

Services Provided: 

Site Troubleshooting and Maintenance, Biological Monitoring

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