Are these trees dying? (pics)

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Kurfer, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. Kurfer

    Kurfer LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Messages: 5

    I hope i'm in the right forum, this seems to be the biggest place on the internet as far as landscaping goes. If I am in the wrong place then please accept my apologies but I really would love to hear from people much smarter than me.

    I have several trees that were planted in a brutal drought ridden summer in Louisville, KY. They started out great but I have a weeping cherry tree that was attacked my Japanese Beetles and lost the leaves in the middle of the branch. The leaves eventually fell off and never grew back, over the course of the summer the tree started losing leaves and now it's almost completely bare. The tree was planted some time in July...

    Here is the tree accompanied by a new Japanese maple planted at the same time:


    Now here is the tree (picture taken today)


    As you can see, it still has green under the bark and the branches are very durable.


    The next item is the Japanese maple, I felt like I watered the heck out of this thing but this is how it looks now. There are still traces of green but alot of brittle branches.


    My last tree is a weeping willow, it seemed to go into tree shock weeks after planting and eventually lost most (90%) of it's leaves before the month of July even ended. I am not sure if I should cut down all the dead limbs or see if it recovers in the spring.


    So my biggest question is that I have no idea what to do with the trees other than wait. Do I wait until spring to see what happens or should I be cutting away the dead branches or should I pull them out of the ground completely? The dead looking weeping willow has an identical healthy one right next to it that's doing great.

    Sorry for the long thread! Thanks in advance for reading!
  2. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    A couple of questions for you?
    What type of tree?
    How long have they been planted?
    Was it container grown or feild grown?
    What has been your watering schedule?
  3. Michael J. Donovan

    Michael J. Donovan Head Moderator, Online Communities Staff Member
    Messages: 3,895

  4. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,087

    Grass looks dried out so I assume someone let the trees dry out too. Are the buds set for next year? If so you should be ok.
  5. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    the weeping cherry looks 50/50, but it did have a healthy bud in the one pic. i don't like the suckers growing on the trunk- they need to be removed. also the stake needs to be removed or loosened. the jap. maple looks fine, beat up but fine. the last one looks like a nishki willow? you might lose that one but if it is a nishki with the growth rates it has it should be fine. if it isn't i would need to know what type of tree it is.
    i would prune off the white branches on the maple now- they are dead. and wait until spring and see what is alive and how healthy. looks like to much mulch around the trunk of the weeping cherry or planted to deep.
  6. Kurfer

    Kurfer LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Messages: 5

    Not sure what that means about the can I tell? :)
  7. Kurfer

    Kurfer LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Messages: 5

    The weeping cheery tree feels the healthiest of all of them, very durable branches with lots of bend-ability.

    THe one tree that you said was a Nishki, I thought was a weeping willow tree.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    This is exactly my beef with the landscaping community today,
    it is rare anymore to see a job well done, for a decent price, truly rare.

    And I am assuming a landscaping type of company did this, seeing how you said they
    were planted, you didn't plant them, or at least you didn't say it that way.

    On that note, have you called them?
    What did they say?

    Because whoever planted those trees is responsible, you're not supposed to do any
    planting outside of certain temperature ranges due to the impact on the plant.

    You see, a plant is a living thing, just like we are.
    And temperatures affect a plant like it does us, too.
    Planting most anything should only be done in milder temperatures,
    say when it's between 60-70 degrees fahrenheit.

    Planted that crap in the middle of farking summer, whether that in itself is responsible I couldn't tell you,
    but it didn't help and it's not the way this is supposed to be done.

    Now you might wait until spring, but it really depends who put them in, too.
    If you did it, get new ones.
    If you paid someone else, haul them back in and make them fix their mistake.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  9. allinearth

    allinearth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    How is it the landscapers responsibility if somone doesn't water correctly? Yeah he says he watered but.....? Anything that is going to be nice takes maintenance.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  10. dean1130

    dean1130 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Well I own a tree and landscape company and do integrated pest management. The cherry is still healthy. I would not cut any of the trees or remove them. The willow should come back, they are a very hard tree to kill. A willow you should water alot, they take alot of water. The japanese maple , now did it wilt before the leaf curled??? For one I don't think you should have planted the maple at the top of the hill, water will be running off and not be kept for the tree. That could be a problem. Who planted the trees? Did you dig the holes 2-4 times the size of the root ball. They could have been planted to deep or too high. The staking is fine, leave it staked. The trees are def lacking water. Make sure you water them in the spring and you can also install soaker hose around the trees to provide the right amount of water. You may want to put in a irrigation system if leaving the trees on the slope, when they get older they will have better water and nutrient uptake. As far as the japanese beetle, they don't usually kill trees totally, but if lacking from water and having the beetle eat, bot will kill the tree. You can buy a homeowner insecticide to spray for the beetles, or anything with sevin. Keep them and see what they look like in the spring and go from there. If they die its from lack of water.

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