Help with dead lawn

OP
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Shelbel

LawnSite Member
Location
Oklahoma
They should have insurance, i'd demand a new lawn.

You don't need to water 3x a day, even fescue in the south. You do need to baby it in summer months as I'm sure you know.

I suspect they put out product meant for warm-season grass on the fescue, something that lingers like metsulfuron, would damage or kill a lot of the cool season grasses. But if you don't know, you couldn't prove it.

One spray can hurt a tree, but one shouldnt have killed it unless they did something silly like imazapyr.


I was watering 2x but found when I added a light late afternoon cycle that it improved. Oklahoma's weather is hard. One day it's 40 degrees the next it could be 100 degrees so I have to adjust my watering quite often. But, I found what works for it.

This company has sprayed for years and sprayed my lawn for at least 4 years. They do all the bermuda lawns first then come back to hit the fescue lawns. They use a different container for their herbicides and it is too difficult for them to switch back and forth.

I may never know what happened.
 

Freaky Fido

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Northeast USA
If you're watering 3 times a day it's keeping the grass blades wet and creating conditions favoring many fungal diseases. Better to deeply water infrequently than to water frequently. My pet peeve is homeowners coming on her asking for advice from professionals and then getting pissy about it when they don't like the advice they've received. :)
 
OP
S

Shelbel

LawnSite Member
Location
Oklahoma
If you're watering 3 times a day it's keeping the grass blades wet and creating conditions favoring many fungal diseases. Better to deeply water infrequently than to water frequently. My pet peeve is homeowners coming on her asking for advice from professionals and then getting pissy about it when they don't like the advice they've received. :)
I wouldn’t have gotten “pissy “if WalkinonWater would have said what you did. The comment was unhelpful and completely unprofessional.
 
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Freaky Fido

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Northeast USA
I wouldn’t have gotten “pissy “if WalkinonWater would have said what you did. The comment was unhelpful and completely unprofessional.
Whatever...we like pictures if you could take some and figure out how to post them here. Some people struggle with that. It may help someone from your region to identify the problem.
 

cool breeze

LawnSite Senior Member
Consider yourself lucky they are willing to replace the tree. It sounds like you didn’t consult a certified arborist. If the lawn is continuing to die several months after the application was made as you stated, then it is most likely disease, insect or cultural problems such as improper watering.
 

walkinonwater27

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
ct
I apologize if I came off as unprofessional, I am from a heavy Italian household and the only thing we really sugar coat is our cannolis. I would highly recommend googling some watering recommendations for your area. 2-3 times a day is way to much. 2-3 times a week is much better for your turf but heavily, 30-45 minutes per zone from 5-10 am.I water my own lawn once a week for an hour if it doesn’t rain. You want to water deeply so the grass builds a root system as it chases the water down the soil profile. I would guess two of your daily watering are being lost to evaporation and really just extending leaf wetness times and giving a great environment for fungus to grow. Watering that much creates a thatch bound root system that will die with high temps because the roots will dry out extremely fast. The roots may not even be attached to the soil in all honesty.
 

Chineau

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Manitoba, Canada
this thread kind of adds to a conversation I am in, may we ask did you hire a professional company or someone with magic juice in a backpack sprayer?
each state or province will have it own set of laws that apply to who can do what to your lawn.
my small business can tell you we have had training and the proper license with insurance, did you ask.
this adds to the conversation I am in, I was sent pictures of the not dead weeds in a lawn the lowballer outfit sprayed for a bargain, kind of supports the get what you pay for idea.
Kemco gave some well considered thought to this, the property owner should be able to ask and have answered what did you put on my turf?
 
OP
S

Shelbel

LawnSite Member
Location
Oklahoma
We don't treat much fescue as a good part of our warm turf products work on fescue as if it were a weed. I have to treat fescue areas with different products. About once a year I will have a customer ask me "I put seed (usually fescue) out and it didn't grow why is that?" It is because we use 3 rounds of pre emergent. Unless I am told you are going to seed, the seed you put down wont grow if I did my job right.

I'd ask what products were put on the lawn on the spray round directly before the die off. Most states require product, active ingredients dilution ratio upon request and some states I believe require this to be left at time of service.

Without this info (and even with this info potentially) it will be extremely hard to prove the company killed the lawn unless a product that kills fescue was put down, too much of a product was put down etc.

I can't imagine one spray round killing off a tree under any circumstances. I wasn't there, I have no clue what your company put down, but that was a stretch by the arborist. An easy out. What tests did the arborist run on a sample of the tree? What were the lab results? Did the arborist send anything off to the lab to check to make sure? If not it was a guess. So that was a guess, although maybe educated guess, but a guess anyway. Unless your lawn company sprayed something directly on the tree - did you have them spray for insects? If you did maybe the tech messed up and sprayed weed killer directly on the tree but I can't imagine that either but I guess it is possible.

I pulled up Oklahoma just generally and saw many areas listed in drought conditions. Fescue will quickly die in drought conditions. I would also assume the spruce. Seed (even without pre emergent down) needs daily watering or it will die within a few days. Just thinking off top of my head.

Edit: I see that you wrote you water it. But are you watering enough? I've had many customers in the past (when we used to do seed and sod - right now we don't) tell me the lawn is dying and I need to come look at it - first I ask if they are watering per the instructions we left. Most all that I can remember said yes. But I have gone back to these time and time again (without them knowing I am coming over) and put my soil moisture meter in the ground only to find it as dry as the sahara. And I take a picture of the reading and send to them. In every single case I remember I got the "well I guess we aren't watering enough" and when they do everything is fine. Not saying this is your situation, just saying in general.
 

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