What is causing my plants to die?

jon_z6bNovember 23, 2010

It started last year when I had a mature tea specimen go from this:

to this:

in no time flat.

This year I have lost four more camellias due to the same thing.

and several rhododendrons

and several yews

These are all old mature specimens and all evergreens.

I think it is aluminum toxicity from all of the chemtrail spraying. Could this be from something else? ...and has anyone had their soil tested for aluminum?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

what spraying are you referring to???

and why do you do all that spraying???

ken

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 8:50AM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Chemtrails! Good one! Hahahaha!

Here in reality, impossible to tell cause (except for chemtrails, of course) with info provided. And the different families affected makes one pause. Some sort of fungal pathogen would be first guess, but paucity of info makes impossible to tell.

Chemtrails...chuckle

Dan

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 9:32AM
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jon_z6b

...you know- these things.

So there's no way that the chemicals they are spraying is what is killing my plants?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 12:06PM
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lkz5ia

Nope, that isn't what is killing your plants. Time to move to the next conspiracy theory.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 12:30PM
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jon_z6b

I heard the aluminum is being blamed for the die offs of Fraser Fir in the GSMNP. I live near there so I was wondering if it affects other plants as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: GSMNP aluminum study

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 12:57PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Jon,

On the subject of chemtrails and the document you linked...

What do they have to do with each other?
____________________________________

On the subject of your plants dying...

How long have the plants in question been at their current locations? (Are they, by any chance, newly transplanted?)
Are all the plants in one general area, spread out over your whole yard, or what?
Are all the plants in this area (whatever area we're talking about) affected?
Is there any pattern to the area where the plants seem affected?
Did all the plants start showing signs pretty much at once, or is this something you've noticed over a period of months or years?
When did you first notice a problem?
Any unusual weather lately?
How quickly has the damage progressed? (Do the plants die over just a few days or do they gradually decline?)
Is there a pattern to the damage? (Do parts of the plants seem to be affected before others?)
Is there any sign of pests (signs of voles, damage to tree/shrub trunks, etc?)
Anything else that you can think of that might have changed in the area? (Chemical spraying, construction, devious children, etc?)

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 1:49PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

WAIT.. WAIT.. WAIT...

its not the water vapor trails..

ITS YOUR WIFI!!!!!

omg!!! the sky is falling .... ROTFLMBO ....

KEN

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 2:06PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

If it were the contrails it would be killing everything in the county not just your yard.

6B.... Where are ya John? In st louis we had a weird year. Wet spring, dry fall. Anything like that your way?

Any walnuts nearby?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 2:24PM
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jon_z6b

It's really hard to tell what is information and what is disinformation on the subject.

http://proliberty.com/observer//20060704.htm
"Last May a family in Iowa contacted the office of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) to report the constant criss-crossing of "chemtrails" in the sky above their neighborhood. They received back from the senatorâÂÂs office a General Accounting Office (GAO) report on "military chaff" and the material safety data sheet for aluminum-coated fiberglass fibers being spread�"seven days a week for several hours each day�"in the skies above their home. "

http://www.rense.com/general82/chemit.htm
"í Here aluminum is a staggering 6,400x the toxic limit, iron is 28,000x the toxic limit, magnesium is 5.3x the toxic limit, potassium is 793x the toxic limit and sodium is 15.9x the toxic limit."

So has anyone had soil tests done here in the East Tennessee area and what is a good lab to go with?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 3:31PM
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mikeygraz(5 Omaha, NE)

Ken -
Not trying to pick on you, but you just berated people in another post for giving suggestions that you viewed as worthless...

Ken Adrian said:
".. who needs to read all your good for nothing suggestions about SOLVING HER PROBLEM ... "

...I think we've established that chemtrails aren't the cause for the deaths of his plants. Forget it and move forward, there is no need to be rude or degrading. Your response was nothing but worthless and condescending - shame on you.

I can't really offer much advice myself, other than to focus on Brandon and Tornado's responses - they seemed as though they could provide some VALUABLE insight to your problem.

~Mike

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 3:40PM
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mikeygraz(5 Omaha, NE)

Actually - just thought of something that could be helpful - have you considered contacting your local college/university extension office? They could probably help you out - when I went to Ohio State they actually had a drop off box where you could deposit samples (stems/leaves/roots) of plants that had died and would take a look at them for you to see if some pathogen could be identified. They also have the knowledge of your region and if it is/isn't limited to your plants/yard.
~Mike

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 3:50PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

It's really hard to tell what is information and what is disinformation on the subject.

No. No its not.

Dan

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 3:50PM
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jon_z6b

Thanks for the replies y'all. I realize this is a sensitive, emotional subject for some. I just think it needs to be discussed like adults.
Ok, the plants are around 10 years of age. Never been moved. Spread out. No pattern that I can readily discern- except maybe after it rains? Rather sudden- within a week from showing symptoms to dead.
No signs of any pathogen or physical damage I can find.
...and of course our weather has been completely unnatural for some time now.

http://www.spectrumanalytic.com/support/library/ff/Soil_Aluminum_and_test_interpretation.htm
"Excess soluble/available aluminum (Al+++) is toxic to plants and causes multiple other problems. Some of the more important problems include...

⢠Direct toxicity, primarily seen as stunted roots

⢠Reduces the availability of phosphorus (P), through the formation of Al-P compounds

⢠Reduces the availability of sulfur (S), through the formation of Al-S compounds

⢠Reduces the availability of other nutrient cations through competitive interaction

The primary damage caused by excess Al+++ is in damage to plant roots, as seen in these wheat seedlings."

http://www.mtshastanews.com/opinions/x1950206316/Citizens-seeking-answers-to-aluminum-contamination-concerns

"Snow pack sampled at Ski Bowl on Mt. Shasta tested for aluminum at 61,000 ug/L or 61 times the MCL. After 1-ý years of exposure to the atmosphere, a Shasta County pond (rubber lined) tested for aluminum at 375,000 ug/l or 375 times the MCL."

"When a hydro-geologist was shown the tests, he stated, âÂÂunless you live near an Alcoa Aluminum plant, there is no way these types of metals (barium has also been detected) should be showing up in your pond or rainwater samples, in any quantity.â The Pit River sample tested at 4,610,000 ug/L, which is 4,610 times the MCL.
Aluminum and barium are considered highly toxic to humans, animals and plants. The accumulation factor of these metals should not be discounted."

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 4:05PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Al toxicity does not cause the described symptoms of sudden death.

Conspiracies of chemtrails must be active all over the woooooooorld!!!!! as the described plant death has not been reported hardly anywhere, so lib'rullllls, the rich, the press, the airlines, the government, the scientists, and farmers are all in on the vaaaast conspiricacy.

Not hard to grasp that it is not airline travel at all. Really. Not hard.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to hide my dead plants on the off chance a blogger drives by...

Dan

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 4:39PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Below is a link to the place you'll want to deal with for a soil test. Soil tests are great ideas, but I kinda doubt that is going to give you the answer to this particular problem (unless they do detect some type of contamination from run-off, dumping, etc).

Any chance someone sprayed weed killer around the area?

Here is a link that might be useful: University of Tennessee Soil, Plant and Pest Center (soil testing center)

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 6:02PM
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salicaceae(z8b FL)

As a plant pathologist by training and an assistant professor and state forest health extension specialist, I can tell you that Al is not the cause here. Dan was right on that the symptoms are completely wrong for that. FMPOV, the symptoms suggest a root problem - potentially a root disease (i.e. Phytophthora or Armillaria), but not necessarily. All of the species shown are sensitive to Phytophthora, including P. ramorum, cause of Sudden oak death and also P. cinnamomi, which is ubiquitous in the SE. Contact your county extension agent and get them to come out and look at the site.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 9:32PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Any chance someone sprayed weed killer around the area?

This might be another conspiracy theory, but by any chance do you have a neighbor who doesn't like you??

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 12:30AM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Like salix, my first thought was a Phytopththora but the paucity of info and general context makes any naming of guesses quite problematic indeed.

Dan

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 11:23AM
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Beeone(4 N. Wyo.)

The jet contrails would not have caused the sudden die off. They are nothing more than what you see coming out of the exhaust from your car on a very cold winter morning. (Well, more like a diesel truck, but still nearly all condensed water vapor), but the cold at the altitudes where the exhaust from the planes is located allows it to spread out and look much more voluminous than it really is.

Root diseases are a credible and interesting possibility. I do wonder at the variety of species and similar timing of onset, though. Must have been one huge concentration of disease that suddenly became active or quite a stressor in that area that allowed the diseases to take off. Was there water covering the ground for an extended period before they started dying?

My thoughts lean towards some kind of herbicide applied to the trees or possibly their roots. Maybe the trees were sprayed for insects, but herbicide instead of insecticide was used by mistake? Maybe herbicides were sprayed elsewhere in the yard or the next yard over during an inversion and the spray drifted? Maybe a soil sterilant was applied at one time in the past and something changed in the soil chemistry to release old residues (much less likely)?

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 3:03AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Jon, were you able to send off soil or leaf samples? How long does that type of thing take?

I'm impatient to find out.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 4:52PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

Can you take a picture from further away so we can see what you're working with? thanks!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 3:08AM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

As beeone said, those are CONtrails (condensation trails). It is mostly water vapor. DH (former Air Force pilot) says that on the ground, if you were to breathe it in directly, you would become woozy pretty quickly, but heated as much as it is at 35,000 feet, any molecules would be so dispersed, that it wouldn't cause a problem. Also, it would be mostly carbon-based. Still, mostly water vapor, definitely not chemical spraying. Look for a different cause to your plant dieback. I am with those who suspect herbicide spray.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 11:21AM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

It seems the study states that aluminum is a naturally occurring metal in the GSMNF in relatively high amounts and is causing a possible calcium deficiency. It also mentions the wooly adelgid as a cause of the decline, although already stressed trees would be more suscetible to the adelgid. I agree that maybe you want to get a soil test if you can't find another reason for the death of your plants. No matter what the cause, I am sorry that your plants are dying. No fun at all.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 11:43AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

jon, look at the link and see if anything is familiar. The most likely answer is the most likely answer for a reason.

Here is a link that might be useful: Phytophthora

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 8:44AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

Jon, you said your mature plants are dying. Are the weeds and groundcovers dying, or dead, too?
I suspect a herbicide also.
Mike

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 9:29AM
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