Is this tree suffering from nearby excavation?

KCWolfPckMay 24, 2014

In January of 2013, Verizon dug a trench through our yard to install FiOS in the neighborhood. The digging occurred about 5 ft or less from the tree and was fairly deep. I didn't think about it at the time, but when Spring came around, the tree didn't bloom very well and I figured it must have been because of the digging.

This year, it seems worse, half of the buds are not blooming or are dead and the leaves do not look healthy. I've attached a photo and will add 1 additional one shortly.

Is there anything I can do to help this tree?

Thanks you!

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KCWolfPck

Adding a second picture.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 7:07PM
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Mackel-in-DFW

One idea is to remove the grass surrounding that tree, and cover the soil with mulch. Another idea is to order online some "Garrett Juice" (was formulated for sick trees) Another idea is to expose that root flare more. M

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 11:12PM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

I would dig it up and get rid of it. It's in your front yard, for cryin' out loud! You can do better rather than worrying about it.
The symptoms don't look like a ditch had anything to do with how bad it looks.
Mike

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 6:32AM
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esh_ga

Looks like an ornamental pear, not a tree worth worrying over. And agree - trees have no business being in a lawn.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 7:40AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

lets see a pic of the whole ...

i am also thinking you can do much better.. if its a pear ...

and bot stole my.. its in front of the house rant ...

depth of the dig is irrelevant ... most tree roots are in the first foot or two ..

i am seeing a million dollar castle.. and a fitty cent tree ... thinks about it

ken

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 8:26AM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Come on guys, can't we give a first time poster the answer they are looking for?
Nope, not damage by the trench. I'd hazard a guess this tree's roots barely spread that far. Typical foliar issues you'd expect on a disease-prone tree like that after a cool, wet spring.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 9:05AM
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KCWolfPck

Here's another pic of the whole tree. It was planted when the house was built 10 years ago, just like on every other lot in my community. Thank you for your suggestions. I'd like to save it if possible.

This post was edited by KCWolfPck on Sun, May 25, 14 at 9:21

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 9:13AM
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gardengal48

Another idea is to order online some "Garrett Juice" (was formulated for sick trees)

Really??? I can't believe anyone is seriously recommending any concoction that quack Garrett recommends. He is a horticultural joke!

Your pear has Entomosporium leaf spot, a fungal problem common also to Photinia and hawthorn. If extensive enough, it can cause leaf drop/defoliation and weaken the tree. Another very good reason to remove and replace with something else.

btw, a trench close to the base of a tree that severs through a large enough radius of roots can indeed cause problems severe enough to seriously damage or kill a tree, although that is not the case in this situation.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 2:15PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

" ....trees have no business being in a lawn....." I don't understand that statement at all, esh_ga. Are we doing it all wrong? How do our trees survive?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 3:03PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Thanks for the diagnosis gardengal. FWIW I have deliberately severed the roots of several of my trees, years ago, using a middle plow and/or a rototiller. As long as I didn't hit more than 40% of the root mass they seemed to show absolutely no ill effect although that could probably vary depending on the soil and condition of the tree. Might have a different outcome in an arid climate if you severed the roots reaching a spring or something.

KC here's a recommended course of action since you want a tree there: plant another, better, disease resistant one. Either live with this one's problems or try to treat it, but when the new tree has grown up a bit, get rid of the pear. The problems with your existing plant are only going to get worse. They are not long lasting for anyone.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 3:44PM
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Mackel-in-DFW

Hey GardenGal,

Howard's my buddy. I've used the formula many, many times, over several years, and by golly it works. What else can I say ?

He doesn't make anything of off the product. He's just the inventor of the forumula. The recipe is simple, I make my own. Anything I've ever used it on showed immediate imporoval!

For Pete's Sake, GG. Quack quack quack, hmmm....duck sounds good, I'm a fixin' to go hide out in the bamboo grove, and see if I cain't draw a bead on one of 'em.

Want some ? I'm an excellent cook. They's candadian, ain't they ?

Mackel

This post was edited by Mackel-in-DFW on Sun, May 25, 14 at 17:30

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 5:28PM
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Mackel-in-DFW

"As always, my formulas are for making the mix at home, but there are commercial products on the market for convenience.

To make your own, here are the instructions:
Mix the following in a gallon of water.
Garrett Juice

1 cup compost tea or liquid humate
1 ounce molasses
1 ounce apple cider vinegar
1 ounce liquid seaweed

For Garrett Juice Plus and more fertilizer value add:
1- 2 ounces of liquid fish (fish hydrolysate) per gallon of spray."

-Howard Garrett

Soak root zone, and can be used as a foliar spray.

Now, GG, if you disagree, say why. Attacking someone without using any logic at all is reeeeee-dickle-iss. How'd you like it if you came up with a great idea, and everyone down here said you was a moonbat, cuz you wuzn't from Texas ?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 5:45PM
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Mackel-in-DFW

GardenGal,

My other buddie, Bill, has somethin' to say to ya:

Here is a link that might be useful: Hearts from Texas

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 6:01PM
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esh_ga

floral_uk, not sure if that was a lawn when the tree was planted or if the lawn came afterwards. But clearly no one is taking mower very close to THAT trunk!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 6:21PM
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Mackel-in-DFW

GG,

From another buddy, also named Bill-

"I must to the barber's, monsieur; for methinks, I am marvellous hairy about the face: and I am such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me, I must scratch."

A mile beyond the moon,
Mackel

This post was edited by Mackel-in-DFW on Sun, May 25, 14 at 23:54

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 6:34PM
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Mackel-in-DFW

OP,

Kansas City is one of the most underrated cities in all of the 50 states.

Kansas City rocks.

"Where the west begins" , "the ciy with more fountains than Rome", and "the city of trees"... even if they do sometimes plant them dern fruitless pears...

M

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 6:40PM
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jellytoast

I feel like I've stumbled into a foreign country here.

Carry on.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 6:41PM
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Mackel-in-DFW

Oh, you're in VIrginia now. My bad.

Mackel

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 6:41PM
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Mackel-in-DFW

Well, Tree Peeps,

It's time for Mackel to start pullin' some feathers. Mackel ain't stoopid, all the fireworks goin' off and all this Memorial weekend, nobody suspects er seen nuthin'.

Mackel

Here is a link that might be useful: Bang Bang

This post was edited by Mackel-in-DFW on Sun, May 25, 14 at 19:37

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 7:13PM
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Mackel-in-DFW

OP-

I defer my tree knowledge to many of the tree peeps here. Seriously. Best wishes.

Mackel

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 7:16PM
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cattyles(7 Lubbock,Tx)

Typed words make it hard to discern the tone of a statement. But misspelling words deliberately and dropping the last consonants seems, to me, to convey exaggerated red-nekkidness.

Gardengal has patiently answered many posted questions. She may express a strong opinion, just as you often do.

You reinforce several negative Texas stereotypes.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 2:33AM
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Linda

Trees that are adversely affected by excavation will show damage and poor growth on the side by the excavation. This is due to root damage.

Ornamental trees are usually short-lived. Your tree may be in senescence and weakened; therefore it is susceptible to insects and diseases.

Linda

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 2:40AM
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Mackel-in-DFW

Howard Garrett has a measured, East Texas drawl, Catty. And if you knew him like I do, he's extremely intelligent and a consumate genleman. He does have a degree in horticulture, but his interests are as an arborist, and a soil scientist. If you want to listen to the best horticulturalist in Texas, you tune into his competitor, Neil Sperry...

How someone can be a "joke" in the horticulture world, particularly when horticulture in the state of Texas doesn't remotely resemble horticulture in the rest of the world, tickles me. As a biologist, doubly so-- horticulture ain't even a science, it's a trade ;).

I imagine, people who are not familiar with Texas, except for the Southern stereotypes they may hold, underestimate people here, sometimes badly. Texas is very different from the rest of the South. It's more Western than Southern, and cosmopolitan.

Thanks for the "red-nekkidness" term, that cracks me up. I ain't even from here. I was raised by a very German mom and a very Indiana dad, and my "accent" is Alabamian (Huntsville). Those are the some of the wittiest and most friendly people I have ever met. Dad moved us around quite a bit, due to his job.

I like GardenGal, and I don't think I should have to defend that. If she wants to go off the reservation, I hope she has a good sense of humor, too. I and others could use as many light-hearted moments in this life, as possible, and celebrate them any ole time they happen to cross our trails. M

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 9:37AM
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Mackel-in-DFW

To the OP'

Virginia rocks, too. Even if they do plant them dern fruitless pears...lived in Fairfax for a few years. We'd go off into the woods and hang out in ancient forests, and make tree forts. That's when I first fell headlong for "nature". I went back to visit many years later, and a lot of those woods were cleared for houses...oh well. Many, many species of plants and animals in the U.S. are surnamed with "virginia". M

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 10:04AM
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Mackel-in-DFW

Oooh, Catty, one more thing, my other freind Bill has a last name, Shakespeare. (Both the poem, and the moon reference). But you knew that already, eh, since you's from Lubbock ;). M

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 10:41AM
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fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

Howard Garrett is nut- he recommends placing buckets of "lava sand" around the garden, it's "paramagnetism" after all-

During his call-in radio program on Sunday, August 2, 1998, the "Dirt Doctor" told his listeners that they could make their plants grow better simply by filling a few buckets with lava sand and setting them out in their gardens.
People love him like they love Sarah Palin- hook, line, sinker. And he makes a lot of money just like her.

Here is a link that might be useful: EXPOSING THE DIRT DOCTOR

This post was edited by fairfield8619 on Tue, May 27, 14 at 14:41

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 2:40PM
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Mackel-in-DFW

Bringing in Sarah Palin tells me you're into ad hominem arguments, Fairfield, perhaps a little intimidated to try out logic effectively to make a point, and that you might be a leftie, who sits up at night contemplating the existence of "dog" (!). Nyuk nyuk nyuk. M

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 5:02PM
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fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

While you, Mackel-in-DFW, are trying to drum up business for your so-called nutty friend Howard Garrett. You are blatantly a troll.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 9:08PM
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Mackel-in-DFW

What is egregious to me, Fairfield, is that you didn't furnish the link where you actually read, that on,

"Sunday, August 2, 1998, the 'Dirt Doctor' told his listeners that they could make their plants grow better simply by filling a few buckets with lava sand and setting them out in their gardens."

You lifted it from an advertisemnt for tree services from a competing arborist in Texas.

Not from a journalist, but from an advertisement (!).

-> You suspected it was a fabrication, didn't ya ? 'course ya did. ;)

When the champion, 600 year-old pecan in Weatherford showed signs of heartbreaking demise, who do ya think they called ?

The dude with the website...

or Mr. Garrett ?

Now Get Real. Man.

M

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 10:00PM
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Mackel-in-DFW

You baited, and the fish showed up. I am an independent biologist.

Mackel

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 10:06PM
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fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

And I am Kubla Khan, independent of course. Troll.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 8:52AM
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Mackel-in-DFW

Sounds like you're dead set on ratcheting it up, until someone concedes to your accusations of fraud and deceit.

It's not going to happen. Ridiculous is what it is.

M

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 12:05PM
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Topeka_Tony

Hey KC,

I had the gas company come through a couple of years ago and run all new gas lines in our neighborhood. They trenched approximately 5-6 feet from our saucer magnolia. It had wonderful buds all over the tree but about a week or ten days later the trench side buds all dropped off and that side of the tree didn't leaf out all summer. We moved that fall so I'm not sure if the poor thing ever recovered but I will try to drive by tomorrow and take a peak at it (you have sparked my curiousity!) Plus I want to take a look at the Bur Oak (Burnie as my daughter affectionately called it) my daughter and I planted 4 years ago this last Mother's Day. The first year it didn't do much, the second year it put on about 18 inches of growth on the leader, and last year that sucker shot up 3+ feet. That was probably the most pampered tree in Topeka! My daughter is now 10 and is still after me to plant another "Burnie" with her; maybe this fall. We now have 40 acres of mostly oak, hickory, bodark, and some thorny locust (the locust is slowly but surely being eradicated) so I suppose the least I can do is relish in the planting of another tree with her .

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 12:46AM
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Topeka_Tony

I drove by our old house the other day and the old branches on the trenched side have still not produced any leaves. She's a fighter though and is shooting some new branches out on the trench side of the tree that are fully laden with leaves. If I still lived there I would have to put some serious thought into getting rid of her as she and a crab are/were the two specimen trees in the front yard.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 1:14AM
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