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greenchoppers
02-07-2012, 11:42 PM
Hello,

We have a customer who has roughly 25 Pond cypress trees around the perimeter of his pond. We have been string trimming around the cypress trees, pond bank, and everywhere else the ZTR cannot get to. We have been working at this residence for about 18 months +/-.

The customer is alleging that we killed his cypress trees by trimming around them. Of course, we didn't run the trimmer wide open around the tree but there are some spots in the bark where it appears the trees have been damaged and some have perished.

The cypress trees are about 3 to 3 1/2 years old; roughly 6 feet tall; 3 inches in stump diameter just above the ground.

My question is, has anyone else been exposed to anything like this? Is it likely that trimming around the trees actually caused their demise?

I don't know what this guy thought we were gonna do -- we gonna cut the grass around the trees with scissors?!?!?!?

weeze
02-07-2012, 11:49 PM
you can't kill a tree with a string trimmer even if you hit the trunk with it. maybe if it was tiny and just planted but not a tree that is 6' tall or bigger. knocking bark off a tree doesn't kill a tree. perhaps there is another reason they are perishing?

JB1
02-07-2012, 11:58 PM
Hello,

We have a customer who has roughly 25 Pond cypress trees around the perimeter of his pond. We have been string trimming around the cypress trees, pond bank, and everywhere else the ZTR cannot get to. We have been working at this residence for about 18 months +/-.

The customer is alleging that we killed his cypress trees by trimming around them. Of course, we didn't run the trimmer wide open around the tree but there are some spots in the bark where it appears the trees have been damaged and some have perished.

The cypress trees are about 3 to 3 1/2 years old; roughly 6 feet tall; 3 inches in stump diameter just above the ground.

My question is, has anyone else been exposed to anything like this? Is it likely that trimming around the trees actually caused their demise?

I don't know what this guy thought we were gonna do -- we gonna cut the grass around the trees with scissors?!?!?!?


don't know what you did, but google "girdling" and do some reading, its possible you did.

weeze
02-08-2012, 12:50 AM
i doubt he did any girdling. you would have to make a complete circle around the trunk digging in 1/2" or more with the trimmer line. a little nick here or there is not girdling.

CircleC
02-08-2012, 12:54 AM
Have an Arborist got out and look at them...u could kill a tree by wacking the bark on a weekly basis. Especially if they are so young. But they could have a planting problem, root rot, disease, pre-planting problem. Remember....trees have been around for millions of years, they are tough and can survive forrest fires, drought and bugs! A little whacking issnt gunna kill em.....
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biodale
02-08-2012, 01:24 AM
I have seen young trees killed by girdling them with a string trimmer. I will pay for and put plastic protection around a tree if the customer will let me. Otherwise, I caution my guys about girdling a tree. Then I check on them. Stay away from the damn tree with the string trimmer.

ashgrove landscaping
02-08-2012, 01:26 AM
Yea you may very well have contributed to their demise. You don't trim around young/newly planted trees for years. Common knowledge. Mow around them and done, unless the owner wants a mulch ring.

CUSTOMLAWN10
02-08-2012, 02:18 AM
Find out who may be doing there fert and herb. If the new growth is curled is be because of imprellis. Du pont and this product is causing all kinds of death for pines in wi. We are talking about acres.

Personally, i have been doing this for 20 yrs, and have never seen a pine/spruce die from over string trimming. If you or your guys are trimming against a tree in general than you a moron for two reasons.

1. Up sell tree health with tree rings, mulch, and moisture control.

2. Train your guys and set your contracts to avoid this situatuion by stating how you care for the health of tree and we will not be part of damaging trees in this circumstanc.

Avoid the hassles and be upfront. Tell customers what they need and what it costs. If they don't like it, move on and save your self the headaches.

Sell knowledge, service, professionalism, and price and less headaches will follow.

MarkintheGarden
02-08-2012, 04:29 AM
Hello,

We have a customer who has roughly 25 Pond cypress trees around the perimeter of his pond. We have been string trimming around the cypress trees, pond bank, and everywhere else the ZTR cannot get to. We have been working at this residence for about 18 months +/-.

The customer is alleging that we killed his cypress trees by trimming around them. Of course, we didn't run the trimmer wide open around the tree but there are some spots in the bark where it appears the trees have been damaged and some have perished.

The cypress trees are about 3 to 3 1/2 years old; roughly 6 feet tall; 3 inches in stump diameter just above the ground.

My question is, has anyone else been exposed to anything like this? Is it likely that trimming around the trees actually caused their demise?

I don't know what this guy thought we were gonna do -- we gonna cut the grass around the trees with scissors?!?!?!?

I would think that if the string trimmer damage killed the tree, then it would be obvious. As others have stated you would have to girdle the tree completely and deeply. Do you have photos of the damage and the rest of the tree?

lawnkingforever
02-08-2012, 04:31 AM
Customlawn, you are absolutely correct about Dupont. A customer of mine had 4 pines die this year. They figured out it was fert company and a chemical from Dupont they were using. Long story short, my customer is getting 4 new pine trees on their dime.
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Richard Martin
02-08-2012, 06:26 AM
You guys have to remember that a 3" diameter tree is less than an inch across. It's barely more than a sapling. There is hardly any, if at all, hard bark on a tree this small. Just like a baby mammal, trees this young are very susceptible to disease when the outer covering is compromised by a string trimmer (or anything else).

watatrp
02-08-2012, 07:51 AM
In the past, I've killed junk trees by using my trimmer to cut the bark all the way around the trunk. It is my understanding that the bark and the thin layer under it is the layer that provides all the nutrients to the tree.

SouthSide Cutter
02-08-2012, 08:22 AM
you can't kill a tree with a string trimmer even if you hit the trunk with it. maybe if it was tiny and just planted but not a tree that is 6' tall or bigger. knocking bark off a tree doesn't kill a tree. perhaps there is another reason they are perishing?

First off it aint much of a tree. And yes you can kill them with a weed eater. Put out some new apple trees about the same size and grandson trimmed them to close and killed them. And a ol dozer guy told me you can put to much dirt around a tree and kill it by smothering it. And I thought he was crazy until I built a lake and done it to some trees.

AintNoFun
02-08-2012, 08:41 AM
you can't kill a tree with a string trimmer even if you hit the trunk with it. maybe if it was tiny and just planted but not a tree that is 6' tall or bigger. knocking bark off a tree doesn't kill a tree. perhaps there is another reason they are perishing?


can you prove its not the string trimmer? thats what the h/o lawyer is gonna ask right off the bat.

greenchoppers
02-08-2012, 10:29 PM
Find out who may be doing there fert and herb. If the new growth is curled is be because of imprellis. Du pont and this product is causing all kinds of death for pines in wi. We are talking about acres.

Personally, i have been doing this for 20 yrs, and have never seen a pine/spruce die from over string trimming. If you or your guys are trimming against a tree in general than you a moron for two reasons.

1. Up sell tree health with tree rings, mulch, and moisture control.

2. Train your guys and set your contracts to avoid this situatuion by stating how you care for the health of tree and we will not be part of damaging trees in this circumstanc.

Avoid the hassles and be upfront. Tell customers what they need and what it costs. If they don't like it, move on and save your self the headaches.

Sell knowledge, service, professionalism, and price and less headaches will follow.

There are no mulch rings. He doesn't want mulch around the cypress trees.

Just because I may not do things exactly the way you may or may not do them, doesn't make me a moron. I think the real moron is you for assuming that I am some stupid idiot.

greenchoppers
02-08-2012, 10:31 PM
You guys have to remember that a 3" diameter tree is less than an inch across. It's barely more than a sapling. There is hardly any, if at all, hard bark on a tree this small. Just like a baby mammal, trees this young are very susceptible to disease when the outer covering is compromised by a string trimmer (or anything else).

The trees are 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter -- measuring form one side of the tree straight across to the opposite side.

The 2 1/2 to 3 inch measurement is NOT THE CIRCUMFERENCE.

weeze
02-08-2012, 10:52 PM
i was under the impression that a 6' tall tree was not a brand new tree. how tall were they when they were planted? you really shouldn't be hitting the trunk of the tree when trimming anyways, at least not very often. i could understand a little hit here or there from time to time but enough to kill several trees seems to be way off the mark. either whoever was trimming didn't know how to trim or there is some other cause for the trees perishing.

greenchoppers
02-08-2012, 10:55 PM
i was under the impression that a 6' tall tree was not a brand new tree. how tall were they when they were planted? you really shouldn't be hitting the trunk of the tree when trimming anyways, at least not very often. i could understand a little hit here or there from time to time but enough to kill several trees seems to be way off the mark. either whoever was trimming didn't know how to trim or there is some other cause for the trees perishing.

I don't know the size of the trees when they were planted. The trees were already installed when we started working there.

Not trimming around the trees was not an option. We were forbidden from spraying herbicides and everything had to be kept green. He didn't want mulch rings around the trees either.

What am I suppose to do....cut it with scissors?

weeze
02-08-2012, 10:57 PM
the only thing you can do is trim around them without hitting the trunk. if grass grows all the way up against the trunk then that is pretty much impossible to do. in situations like that which are rare where i live i've always just sprayed some roundup around the trunk of the tree which would keep the grass about 1" or so away from the tree trunk thus making it where you could trim around it without hitting the trunk. tree rings or some mulch around the trunk would work as well. you have to explain to them that those are the only options. there is no other way to not hit the trunks with the trimmer. some would frown about using roundup but i'm not talking about spraying a ton and making a huge brown spot around the trees. 1" is hardly noticeable if at all.

DuallyVette
02-08-2012, 11:17 PM
I usually spray a 2 inch band around all trees with Round-up. If a customer wanted no chemicals used, I would pull the grass out by the roots around the trees....or have them call a different lawn service.

Back in the olden days..before string trimmers and Round-up, we always pulled the grass up by the roots around trees and other obstacles.

weeze
02-08-2012, 11:22 PM
yeah that would work but if you are doing 25 trees make sure you charge them for it. :laugh:

Richard Martin
02-09-2012, 05:05 AM
What am I suppose to do....cut it with scissors?

Turn the trimmer up like you were going to edge a sidewalk and see how that works. Just give the trimmer just enough throttle to get the job done, not wide open.

Herb Flerb
02-09-2012, 09:56 AM
congratulations, Id bet you or your crew killed the trees, its happened to us quite a few times you get a new guy on the crew that does not know any better and he will girdle the trunk, the bark has to be completely pealed around the trunk, if there is a small amount remaining Ive:nono: seen the tree survive, but if its completely pealed around the entire circumference of the trunk, your replacing the tree.

Sorry

roeslandscaping
02-09-2012, 12:44 PM
Hey man, i only read what you posted, so idk if anyone mentioned this, but, first thing i would do is have a Licences Arborist come out and take a look at what happened, have him take a soil sample, he will tell you why the tree is dead. Knowing that the tree is about 3.5 years old, i highly doubt that you killed the trees that fast. Its hard to kill a cypress that way, most common reason in out area that cypresses die is because the soil conditions arent right for the tree. Good luck.! If it is your fault, just offer to replace the trees, it will be cheaper on you, or your insurance.!

crazymike
02-09-2012, 02:33 PM
Hey man, i only read what you posted, so idk if anyone mentioned this, but, first thing i would do is have a Licences Arborist come out and take a look at what happened, have him take a soil sample, he will tell you why the tree is dead. Knowing that the tree is about 3.5 years old, i highly doubt that you killed the trees that fast. Its hard to kill a cypress that way, most common reason in out area that cypresses die is because the soil conditions arent right for the tree. Good luck.! If it is your fault, just offer to replace the trees, it will be cheaper on you, or your insurance.!

This!

Get a state certified arborist to come down and inspect. You can probably find one in the yellow pages, or post on arboristsite.com

They can tell you exactly what the cause of death is. Also, if there is anything that can be done.

integrityman
02-09-2012, 03:12 PM
I have seen young trees killed by girdling them with a string trimmer. I will pay for and put plastic protection around a tree if the customer will let me. Otherwise, I caution my guys about girdling a tree. Then I check on them. Stay away from the damn tree with the string trimmer.

True statement.

If this is a good account, get an arborist in there and get his/ her opinion. If he said he did it Id offer to get the trees replaced. finding 6' pond cypress trees should be pretty simple to do.

Mr. Force™, Billy Goat Industries
02-09-2012, 06:14 PM
All of my experience is in dealing with girddled trees damaged by buck rubbings. Are there suckers coming up from the stump below the ring? If so it looks like it could be girdling of some sort. Evergreens are the only girdled trees that didn't send up suckers and simply died. If there are no suckers the trees are dead and you may have had nothing to do with it. Whatever you do bring in a professional Arborist to review.

sealcutter
02-09-2012, 10:12 PM
First year I started had same thing happen to me but this tree was damaged by the previous co. I did end up eating that one. But from that point on we walk all the properties we bid on and snap pictures of damaged tree's shrubs, turf, walkway's, and what not. If we win the bid a pre damage report is generated with pictures and sent back. This is normally followed up with a call and a tour of said damage area's. CYA...

J & D Greens
02-09-2012, 10:17 PM
Same thing happened to me, my customer had three peach trees (very hard to grow from such a young tree here in this climate) But I nicked one with the string trimmer and in just a couple of weeks it was on its way out. He was pretty cool about it and just said don't trim around the younger trees any more.
I will probably look into the cost of the tree this spring anyway as it was my fault. Good Luck, David

weeze
02-10-2012, 12:11 AM
i did it, do ya think i've gone too far? i did it, guilty as charged!

PK Mows
02-10-2012, 12:46 AM
Has anyone been treating the turf near these things? If someone has been using Tri-Mec, Cypress trees take a beating from Dicamba damage and it will kill them over a year or two. I've been out of the spray business too long to accurately describe or diagnose chemical damage, but I can unfortunately attest to what a little Dicamba can do to Cypress. Since they're thirsty trees, they tend to be rather susceptible to herbicide damage. Tri-Mec has always been popular in the South so I'd want to find out if it's been sprayed over the last year or two. You wouldn't have to get into the dripline either, a 3" caliper Cypress might be damaged just from run-off or leaching.