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Large trees died

Posted by lilkody none (My Page) on
Fri, May 11, 12 at 10:40

In spring of last year, two very large trees in our backyard shrivelled and died. In mid July I sprayed Roundup around the bases of the trees because the weeds were taking over. I DID NOT saturate the soil and I mixed the Roundup according to directions. Now we are being accused of killing the trees because we sprayed around the trees AFTER the trees started dying. Is it even possible to kill two 150 yr old giant trees by spraying grass killer at their base?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Large trees died

Was it just regular Roundup, or Roundup "Extended Control"? How large an area did you spray?

In any case, if a large tree is in serious decline, there's probably no way to bring it back. Depending on what you sprayed, and how large an area you sprayed, you may have hastened their final days a bit, but if they looked that bad before the spraying, it's probably a moot point.

It's a little unusual for a large tree to die so suddenly, especially two at the same time. What kind of trees were they? Any sign of decline before last year? Any construction near them recently?

Alex


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RE: Large trees died

Glycophosate (active ingredient in Round-Up) binds to the soil on contact, and unavailable to the root systems. Once bound by the soil, it is broken down by microbes and does not persist in the soil. Unless an open wound is sprayed, or foliage that is somehow attached to the root system elsewhere, then the Round-Up almost certainly had nothing to do with it.

Arktrees


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RE: Large trees died

you are being accused by a BAND OF IDIOTS ...

hopefully they are not related to you ... and if so.. well .. i dont know ...

unless you sprayed greater than 50% of the green part.. the leaves.. there is no way you did anything to impact that tree with the RU ...

ken


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RE: Large trees died

Thank you guys. I believe the trees are elms, I'm not sure of their vertical footage but as large as a 4 story building. We are in contact with an arborist that we may have to hire to dispute this claim. There were no shoots in the base of the tree, the Round Up was basic grass and weed killer...and the trees shrivelled up and died early in spring before the leaves came to full size. In speaking with the arborist, she believes (without seeing the trees yet of course) that the trees were probably on their way out in fall and had enough energy for an early shoot in spring and that's it. I will give you guys a heads up. Btw, the entire yard was not sprayed. I coated the grass/weeds around the trees and then along the fence line and that was it. The entire yard was not sprayed. I'll see if I can upload a pic soon. (Camera batteries totally dead...can't do it atm)


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RE: Large trees died

If they were Elms then they may have died from Dutch Elm Disease. Its a major killer of elms in general. Millions were wiped out in the early 1900s. If not, a combination of their age and round up might have caused them to die. Like a human, advanced age often leads to Sensitivity in trees.


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RE: Large trees died

Yes! That's the disease our friends mentioned! But gosh, I am no expert in trees. Here are the pics.
[IMG]http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c13/lilkanyon/047.jpg[/IMG]
Smallest sick tree above
[IMG]http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c13/lilkanyon/054.jpg[/IMG]
larger tree here


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RE: Large trees died

dispute what claim

who has a claim on trees in your yard ...

use the HTML CODE at photobucket.. and on preview .. if you see it.. we will ...

has there been any recent construction in the area???

ken


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RE: Large trees died

No way a little round up on some weeds at the base killed these trees. You are not to blame here :)

John


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RE: Large trees died

sorry about the images...tried to do HTML but until I got a response this site did not let me edit my post.
Photobucket
Photobucket

Tree on top smallest sick tree, tree on bottom "healthy" tree. No construction in proximity (across the street yes but too far I'd consider of consequence)


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RE: Large trees died

They do look like elms, from what I can tell. Like others have already said, this is almost assuredly not the result of your spraying.

BTW, there is a way in which even large old trees can be harmed by glyphosate sprayed at and around their base: On very warm and humid days, tiny fissures in the old, dead bark can open up. You might not even see them, but this can lead to the chemical, if sprayed liberally on the trunk, to get into the green tissue exposed by the bark fissures.

I don't think that has anything to do with your case though.

+oM


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RE: Large trees died

sorry about the images...tried to do HTML but until I got a response this site did not let me edit my post==>> we will get you up to speed..

you can not make sequential posts .. UNLESS you change the title ....

and if you do that.. you are all set..

now.. WHAT CLAIMS against you???


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RE: Large trees died

There was a home built across the street but too far away for it to affect these trees. We rent this property and it's the homeowner with the claim. Thing is, he saw these trees dying in early spring and did nothing except comment on it (we shared the same concerns) and he waits until late summer to bring in his 'arborist' to blame weed control.


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RE: Large trees died

Whoa whoa whoa... the person renting the property from YOU is suing YOU for this? What... the... HELL? Is this legal? Can you evict them without cause?

Just curious...

John


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RE: Large trees died

John, I think you might have gotten it backwards :-) The OP is the renter and the owner of the property is accusing him/her of killing the trees with RoundUp/weed killer. I would hope the arborist is educated/skilled enough to dispute the likelihood of that happening. Trees of that size would not be damaged enough to kill them by any normal amount of applied weed killer unless they were already on their way out. And pretty far along at that!!


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RE: Large trees died

Unless there's something MAJOR you have left out of your story, the glyphosate (active ingredient in RoundUp) did NOT kill the tree, PERIOD!


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RE: Large trees died

Exactly right Gardengal, we are renting the property, and no, this arborist(the homeowner hired)is not to be trusted. We are hiring our own and according to the info we have given her already, she agrees with you guys, that RU can hardly be blamed for killing trees of this size. She is hoping to come out early in the week next week to do a full evaluation of them. She has told me that she has seen trees healthy one day, and just dead and shrivelled the next. It can happen that quick when a tree is ready to die. We will see what she can add to this discussion. It will be interesting.


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RE: Large trees died

"She has told me that she has seen trees healthy one day, and just dead and shrivelled the next"

I saw this exact thing on 3 different maples last year, although they were much smaller than your trees. It can and does happen.

Sorry about getting confused! I think you have a pretty good feel for the consensus here. The owner has no case.

John


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RE: Large trees died

I'd call the extension service in your county, too, to see if they have a Dutch Elm 'watch' going on. It would be nice to have a pathologist from your state's land grant university review this case and find in your favor based on laboratory tests.


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RE: Large trees died

DED does hit trees hard and fast. Now........something has occurred to me, namely, that elms are considered by some to be especially susceptible to damage from Roundup-style herbicides. But........unless there is something major you've not told us, I still don't see that as a causative factor here.

+oM


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RE: Large trees died

Thanks rhizo, but you are speaking greek to me, lol. I don't know what or who those services are or where to begin researching that. But what I am doing is researching when the trees were trimmed back by the utility company last spring. Because within a couple weeks of that, the trees starting dying. The landlord and I discussed the trees dying back a couple weeks after they were trimmed. The landlord did nothing until late August after they were completely gone. He had his opportunity in early spring to have them looked at. And again, I DID NOT spray the RU until mid-July, long after the trees failed. Can trees "catch" an infection from another tree through chainsaws or other cutting tools? I was just pondering that as well. I'm not blaming the tree service for killing the trees, but it could have contributed as well to an early demise.


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Healthy in 2010

Photobucket

Here's the smaller "sick" tree in 2010.


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RE: Large trees died

Yes, disease can definitely spread through pruning, although that may or may not have anything to do with why your trees died. I go as far as to use spray Lysol on my chainsaws when pruning my own trees (well, at least in certain cases). Some arborist would say that's borderline obsessive-compulsive behavior, but it makes me feel better, anyway.

Finding your local county agricultural extension office should be pretty quick and easy with a google search. If I knew what county and state you were in, I'd post the contact info for you. The experts at your local extension office are there for your use, and their advise and many of their services are free of charge.


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RE: Large trees died

If they are elms-and I think they are-pruning in the spring is not advised. At least where I live, doing so can hasten the arrival of bark beetles which do indeed spread the lethal fungus that causes Dutch Elm Disease. The reaction though seems a bit too fast. But still, that was a poor decision those guys made, to prune elm trees in the spring. Of course, this depends to an extent on exactly what is meant by "spring". If very early spring for where you are, it could be okay. But late spring, no way.

+oM


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RE: Large trees died

To locate your county's Extension Service office, use the interactive map on this site:
http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/

Here is a link that might be useful: locate your county's Extension Service office


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RE: Large trees died

I'm in Montague, CA. 96064 area code. I did go to that website Jean, thank you for it, but gosh, I didn't even know where to begin there. I am so out of my element when it comes to these trees, I feel totally stupid. This tree service prunes hundreds of trees every spring off of the phone/electrical lines...and have trimmed these same trees for years...I just don't see anyone believing they could have contributed to it...but yet....well we'll see what the Arborist has to say. Either way, any justifiable defense that gets me out of being sued for several grand is worth investigating.


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RE: Large trees died

Here is the contact info for your local office:

Siskiyou County
Cooperative Extension Siskiyou County
1655 South Main Street
Yreka, CA 96097
Phone: (530) 842-2711
Fax: (530) 842-6931

Call them and tell them what you have told us. Tell them that you were told that they might be able to help. Extension offices in different states have different policies, so it's hard to know for sure how much, or what, they can do for you, but they can at least give you some possibilities and tell you about resources.


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RE: Large trees died

i am going to guess that all of this is going to somehow result in some sort of litigation.

the good news is, for you, that this should be an easy case to prove. i'd get your consulting arborist to collect samples...from pruning cuts made last year just before the decline started, bark from various points on the tree. the causal fungus should be easy to culture.

a word about the consulting arborist you select...you should be sure they are properly credentialed should any legal action be taken...including depositions prior to any court action. but whoever you talk to should know that.


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RE: Large trees died

Thank you Brandon and strobiculate. I did call the Extention office and they will return my call. The Arborist is also certified and she has testified and/or done depositions before. She is coming out tomorrow afternoon and told me to "prepare to be grilled". Ughh, that makes me nervous that I may not be able to answer all her questions. Well, I'll do my best! She also told me to gather any pictures of the tree I had before they died. Unfortunately, the one I posted here I believe is the only one I have in summer. Hope it's enough.


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RE: Large trees died

Photobucket

I've been doing research on DED all morning and picked this stick up out of the yard. Is this the striping indicative of DED? or just wishful thinking? (not that I want these trees dead, I just don't want to be blamed for it). It would be a shame and might cause a panic in the neighborhood if it is DED. That would be dreadful. Locals tell me 90% of the trees around here have DED. One of the trees also has Wetwood. I don't know if that would matter or not.


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RE: Large trees died

I believe you've nailed it, Kody. Classic dark streaking in sapwood right there. The fungus closes vascular tubes, leading to death of all above tree parts.

"Wetwood" is also called "slime flux" and is not only a great name for a tree disease but is caused by bacteria, unlike the vast majority of tree diseases, which are fungal in origin. But no matter, it appears to be DED.

+oM


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RE: Large trees died

Lilkody, 2 years ago I had to have a 90 year old American elm taken down due to DED. The tree showed only minor indication of decline the summer before it failed to leaf out. That spring of the minor decline year there had been a hard freeze early on in the leafing out stage of all trees and many had a delayed leafing out. We weren't concerned about the elm, although we were aware that it looked just a little thin. The following spring the elm made a very weak attempt at leaves which just yellowed and fell off soon after forming. By mid May we knew that the tree was lost.

The next spring we had it taken down and were shocked to see just how sick this tree was while still looking well on the outside. Here is a picture of what we saw when the trunk came down, splitting as it hit the ground. Hopefully you will not need to wait till the trees are cut down to prove that what you did was not the problem, but if you do, the inside of the trees will prove that they had been sick for a very long time.

Photobucket


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RE: Large trees died

That "sick" is not related to the actual cause of the tree's demise. Internal rot and decay is extremely common in big, old trees. It's not quite correct though, to label these trees as sick. Kody's trees may or may not have internal decay, but what appears to have killed them is an unrelated fungal disease that plugs up the vascular tissue-Dutch elm disease.

+oM


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RE: Large trees died

Wow thanks for that pic. Gazania, that sounds similar to what our trees did but the leaves didn't yellow (like a premature withdrawing of sap and natural release of leaves). Did you ever find out the exact cause of the death of the tree?
wisconsitom, sadly the arborist could not confirm DED, but she did take samples of the leaves of the dead trees and also other elms (that are still leafing) on the property and did an inspection of ALL the trees on the property and same species of tree across the street. She noted some disturbing abnormal curling of the leaves in all the trees, but didn't want to say exactly what it was. She's going to do further research and get back to us. She did say RU had nothing to do with the die off of these trees...spraying that close to the base of these trees would not effect them at all. She noted the smaller tree was on it's way out...loosening bark at the base..etc.. we'll see. Guess I just got ahold of a stick that looked like DED. I could never find the inside ring in any other branches indicative of DED so I might have unintentially misled you there wisconsitom. Sorry about that.


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RE: Large trees died

The error is mine, in doing what I usually say I won't: Making diagnoses online! I did somewhat wonder if I was really right. It has the look. FWIW, sometimes, by the time the sample is examined, the pathogen has deteriorated too badly for proper ID.

In any case, there are other vascular-plugging pathogens out there, And insects that can cause similar damage when the eggs they lay in the cambium hatch out and the youngins burrow around, eating as they go.

+oM


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RE: Large trees died

Yes, DED. The signs were everywhere.

Photobucket

Photobucket


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RE: Large trees died

All of the above comments and ideas are terrific, hopefully helpful. Let me toss in one more overlooked thought to track down which I have found to be relevant sometimes when dealing with tree death. If your street is serviced with gas lines have the gas company check for leaks. A more common problem than realized. I have discovered in several situations that gas from a slow leaking line travels along major tree roots for great distances. Worth checking out if you have gas service.


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RE: Large trees died

Yep, in pulling back the bark and cleaning the crud off the trees (they are wet in pics) here are the beetle trails!
Photobucket
Photobucket


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Large trees died

Oh sorry, P.S. thanks for that info nandina, but don't have gas lines here. (All propane or kerosene here trucked in)


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Chinese or Siberian elms?

I wanted to thank you again for all your postings and give you an update on the landlord. We have been 9 months in a house we bought (thank goodness) and very busy but a threat letter showed up on our doorstep. The landlord of the trees is threatening to sue us for 25,000 bucks and is claiming the trees are Chinese Elms. Now, I am not convinced they are. I am almost sure they are Siberian elms. What do you think? Can you tell from the pics or should I send more?
P.S. We also hired a lawyer


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RE: Siberian vs Chinese

Our arborist did come out and could not give a reason for the death of the trees. She wasn't sure right off the bat of the species of elm either so she just wrote up a report calling them "elms". It took quite a bit of research myself to think these trees are Siberians. It makes a difference because of the lifespan and type of diseases and fungus that affect each species. I do not believe the trees died from DED however as Chinese and Siberian elms are resistent to it and there are no reported problems with that in this area since most American Elms have been wiped out.


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RE: Large trees died

that was a siberian elm
the chinese elm's bark looks like that of a sycamore trees with lots of plates

Here is a link that might be useful: Chinese Elm Bark


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RE: Large trees died

I thought so too, thank you. I get conflicting reports though, on the size Siberian elms get. Alot of places I researched say they do not get that big and are sometimes used as windbreaks but other sites say they can get up to 60 to 80 feet tall. Is it also typical for a Siberian to live 20 to 60 years? Do you ever hear of one living as long as 200 years?


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RE: Large trees died

Another P.S. The landlord and his arborist are accusing me of directly pouring the concentrated RU on the ground as a cause of the trees death. Is that even possible to kill trees by just pouring it on the ground?


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RE: Large trees died

oh they can get pretty big, there is one down the street from me thats about 4 feet thick and around 60 feet tall. It also has a very wide canopy. Not sure about is age but I would say around 70 years old. I am sure it could reach 200 years its just that in the United States the siberian elms were only recently introduced...most people preffered planting the American Elm until DED came around and killed most of them. Elms in general are incredibly cheap though you can find saplings for a few cents if you go to a wholesale nursery. Your ex landlord could easily find a replacement.


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RE: Large trees died

  • Posted by beng z6b western MD (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 5, 13 at 9:59

Here's my neighbor's Sib elms. Not small trees. :)


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RE: Large trees died

Ah cool, nice pics..thank you. Yeah, in doing more research on these trees, it seems that these trees don't seem to live much past 60 years old in the states because of wetwood and fungal problems although they can live to about 150 years old in their native territories. That would fit in with the timeline of these trees becoming very popular in the 50's. Sadly, if that's true, it's possible that we may start seeing these trees die off all over the neighborhood in the next 10-20 years.
Anyhow, in contuined research I got an aerial photo of the trees from 2010, the year before the trees fully died off and I can distinctly see a brown patch on the crown of the tree. This tree might have been dying the year we moved into the house, only we couldn't see it from the ground. Anyhow, just more proof these trees were on their way out without any help from me.
I'm almost looking forward to some "Perry Mason" moments but I'm just hoping he drops the whole thing and leaves us in peace.


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RE: Large trees died

It's sometimes almost impossible to determine when a tree is dying the the decay is up to high. I had that problem last year until branches started falling and I realized I needed to call someone.

Here is a really helpful website that has an ongoing blog about tree-related questions.

Here is a link that might be useful: New Jersey Tree Company


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RE: Large trees died

Thank you. I will check it out.


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