Will My Harlequin Maple come back to life?

treetoronto3July 22, 2014

Hello, we planted a Harlequin Maple about 10 years ago on the outskirts of our patio in our backyard. Over the years, the grass in our backyard had died due to heavy shade. Last April, we had the remainder of our backyard interlocked, and the interlocker interlocked around the tree, leaving a square pit around the tree about 3x3. Last year, the tree leafed out like it normally did, very thick and giving us a natural umbrella. This year, the tree has hardly come back and is struggling very badly to stay alive... See pictures.

What would you do? Wait one more year to see if the tree can adjust (my neighbor claims it is in deep root shock and may need time to recover).

Or should I have it removed and have a tree like a Swamp White Oak, Burr Oak or Honey Locust replace since these trees do well in very compacted soils.


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Sorry for the sideways pictures......

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 12:52PM
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I blame the polar vortex...and if the tree is leafing out at all, it *may* be fine next year.
I don't know....I hope so for your sake..love maples ;)

Oh reread what you did to the yard...I think the tree is suffering from nutrients, oxygen levels, and possibly water levels. I dunno...it's truly cruelty to put trees in holes like that.

This post was edited by dbarron on Tue, Jul 22, 14 at 12:58

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 12:57PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Buried root system, then soil/sand compaction over the top of that. The roots are dead, and the rest fo the tree will soon follow.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 1:26PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you entirely changed its ability to process the water provided by God ...

i like to say.. the roots are at least.. as far from the trunk.. as the tree is tall ... so in essence ... you covered about 99% of its root mass ...

then add all the variables noted by ark ...

i see no hope ...

i would have probably had the guy take the tree out.. prior to installation of the patio ...

do so.. and get your paver guy back.. to finish the job ...

time to learn how to grow plants.. not trees.. in pots.. for your glorious patio ... if interested.. visit the container forum ...


ps: you could paint it.. and add xmas lights.. and call it garden art ... lol .. but that would be an insult to the patio ...

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 1:50PM
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Yea, I expected that response. We considered having it removed and having another tree planted beside the new patio (in a flower bed we never constructed). But decided on this option. I was convinced that this would have happened, yet other members of my family and the linterlock guy tried to convince me otherwise.

Since this tree is doomed, and I still want shade on my patio, what species could I plant in replacement. Swamp white oak, burr oak, honeylocust?


    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 6:22PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

What exact method if construction was used? Removed soil? Thick layer of compacted sand/gravel? Anything else? Fabric? Chemical barrier? What is the soil like? Drainage is probable complete screwed too. The soil pH could be awful depending upon materials used. Water penetration is likely non-existant. O2 penetration is likely non-existant. The problem is more than compaction. Honestly, there is probable nothing going to make it long in that tiny space. For trees you see planted in sidewalks etc they use a special "structural soil" so that roots have a chance. Since it is highly unlikely this was used, a pergula or similar is more in order than a tree.

But if you HAVE to plant a tree, then Ginkgo would be my pick, but even then I have a very pesimisstic very of it succeeding


This post was edited by arktrees on Tue, Jul 22, 14 at 18:59

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 6:41PM
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