Arborist help needed with tree

Discussion in 'Fertilizers, Pesticides and Diseases' started by lincoln295, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    I hope that tree is a Trident Maple as I surmise it is!!
    Without going into alot of argument here other than getting the stones from around the basal area and the rocks out of the roots, the tree should survive and hopefully callus off the crack. There is deep roots supporting this tree below...........evidently the previous owner didn't allow for expansion of the trunk. You guys have had plenty of extra rain to cause the influx of more leaves this season. This will lead me to think that as SmallAxe mentioned as excess leaf growth will lead to sudden leaf drop as the heat packs on. This is natural of a trees defense against moisture retention and sugar production. The rains have depleted some type of nutrient deficiency only detectable by a soil sample and tissue sample. If you are planning on mulching around that tree........extend the bed to the end of the drip line. If no one else will admit this is the best thing to do, then the Arborist's Society is losing ground on educational and professional practices taught to its Arborist's. I gave up on tree surgery several years ago because it was too impractical around my area. With the big ticket store's offering free replacement of dead and dying trees and shrubbery with the proof of receipt, the public has become lazy and irresponsible. If it dies........someone will replace it!!!!For Free!!
    The photo of the root cutaway where you removed one of the face stones......shows excessive root massing. These are a small part of the feeder roots..they are the small ones that draw moisture, release toxic byproducts and absorb nutrients from the subsoil and topsoil. If these things are restricted and can't find the nutrients on top as they are used to doing, the tree will suffer. It is no different that spoon feeding any type of grass or shrub and then suddenly taking away the food after all the roots are used to being fed.
  2. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    Your comment on the Arborist being paranoid and handling trees as though they are fregile.
    I will agree but with a degree of skepticism. The way I see it is this!--You go out and investigate a 300 year old oak that is 15 feet in circumference and is 80 feet tall whom is dying from Lord knows what. You spend a hour digging around the base............looking into the canopy with binoculars for signs of decay, holes,cracks,rodent entry,etc. Take samples to the State Guru's......perform the Resistograph tests to check the integrity of the wood inside for heart rot and decay. Sometimes, the right thing.......the correct thing isn't always in perspective. A tree of this magnitude will cost in the lower 3-5 thousand dollar range to remove and de stump if you screw up.............and it is at your expense. So, I am with the Arborist's whom are anal and are pessimistic about just jumping over barrels here on touching a tree's natural existence. Mother nature puts trees all over this planet by seed, nut, wind dispersion,etc. Where they choose to root is up to the growing conditions. This site isn't always the best place as only nature can dictate. Humans come in an plant trees, plants, shrubs and grasses in valiant hopes to create something impressive and massive to admire. Only nature can choose the weak from the strong............................all we can do is offer advise and hopefully administer tidbits of knowledge for an ailing tree that has evidently been incorrectly planted in the worse care scenario.
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    We are not talking about a 300 year old oak. Nature plants by haphazard criteria, and most of them die b4 the age of 10, because of overcrowding.

    Should we fertilize a 300 year old oak?
  4. lincoln295

    lincoln295 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    Well he is the progress so far. I removed all the wall stones and found a hugh infestation of bugs and ants. I mixed up some sevin and sprayed now I have to wait till tomorrow and will try to remove some dirt. I will try to wet it first to soften. Right now with the roots it is just like concrete.



  5. lincoln295

    lincoln295 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    BTW I did find out the tree was planted 4 years before the wall was installed.
    also the tree was planted level with the turf.
  6. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    you will have a happier tree
  7. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    To answer that question...............deep root injection if possible.! Slow release......fert! Low Salt content!!
    Near a group of church's here, there is a Oak tree that is more than 20' in circumference and was subject to limb removal from a storm years ago. The problem with this tree is it is a part of the down town historical society and is a part of nostalgia. It has a wonderful aesthetic value!!! There is pavement, concrete, and busy streets that encircle the entire the tree was Mauget Fertilized by another Arborist. The tree is still doing fine but only time and weather will tell. In this case--deep root injection wasn't an option as it was not in the best interest of the tree to have encircled the CRZ with all those roadways. Just a couple years past, during another storm, a large oak fell in this same area from straight line winds............fell on a parked car at a red light with mother and infant inside. The jaws of life had to be used to extract the infant and mother. Happens everywhere I am sure. Decayed roots and restricted later rooting and hard soils were to blame. Anytime you go through a severe drought season...........the soil hardens and other places become powdered. Heavy rains along with sudden dounburst winds can sway trees from their already weak soil penetrated miserable surroundings. It has no where to go but down!!!
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I have an oak that is at least 20" in diameter, in my front yard. I had it topped to about 10' tall, to eliminate shade over the garden, I wanted. It has a nice round canopy at this point, that provides just the right amount of shade at the lower levels.

    When ever trees stand alone with their surface roots pinned down by asphalt and/or concrete, you need to think about what the tree is going though.
    Where it the water getting in, where is its strength coming from, and what danger does it pose.

    I contend that fertilizer, esp. N, is going to produce rapid, weak, water sprout type growth on the new branches, year after year, making weak, large branches one day.

    If cities pruned their tall windcatchers properly, they could eliminate a lot of their problems, and spend less time plant cheap kr@p because there is less liability.
  9. lincoln295

    lincoln295 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    Update: I watered and tried to remove the dirt but just keep running into roots. You can't believe how compacted this thing is. I don't know what to try next. Anyone have ideas?


  10. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    That tree was planted 4 years before the bed was placed around the ground level??????
    You guys in upstate NY must get a hell of alot of rain and have hard soils. What is funny--is the 3 separate layers of root growth and a layer of rock...........then another layer of roots and rock.
    The layering of rock kept the moisture at the surface and obvious surface watering posed an easy access for the roots to grow on top of the ground rather than grow downward. I bet the previous owners fertilized the tree over the top of that face stone bed. However, the roots did well above ground considering the winter weather I tip my hat to this species of MAple. I can guarantee that this tree would have died down here planted like that.
    From here, considering an Arborist in your area with native soil familiarity should advise you to level off the slope on those roots out to the dripline. Leaving these roots exposed will become dry and brittle if not covered with some burlap until the decisions are made on what to do. Extending the bed to the dripline will be the best advise I can give you, so you better hurry and make a calculated decision based on the growing conditions of your area.

    Good Luck!!!

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