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Hemlock Dead in 3 days.

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by ScagGrassGuy1978, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. ScagGrassGuy1978

    ScagGrassGuy1978 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    All right guys heres the deal. Lawn customer calls me on Friday saying a Hemlock died in their yard, They were away since Monday.
    Neighbor that lives next door mowed the lawn Tuesday and said the tree was fine. The neighbors wife said that she saw small green worms on the tree, however she might of been mistaken.
    The tree is about 8 years old 6 foot tall (hedge) In a row of maybe 12 hemlocks all other trees are healthy and insect free. Their was zero sign of any insects no tents, no poop, not a single sign of insects. The tree just bam dropped its needles. I saw what looked like an infection on the trunk with amber colored resin/sap. However I dont think an infection could cause death that quick.
    I did see a Vole hole under the tree, I am also thinking maybe the voles clobbered the majority of the roots on this tree, and that fried it.
    I need some advice
    Thanks In Advance
  2. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    advice on what? Replace it. Spray the remaining shrubs. Treat for the voles.
  3. Fert33

    Fert33 LawnSite Member
    Male, from Central Pa
    Messages: 133


    I think he just wants an answer to what may have caused the issue to begin with. While it's obvious that replacing the hemlock and spraying the others is one course of action, it doesn't help the situation. I would want to find out what caused the problem, so I can treat the the hemlocks correctly. Just telling him to spray doesn't help. Spray for what? There are different products for different pests and diseases. identifying the problem is what needs to be done first before any action is taken.
  4. PHS

    PHS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 724

    I've never worked with Hemlocks so there may be something unique to them that I'm not aware of but I've heard the "it was fine last week" a thousand times. I almost wouldn't even factor that in to my diagnosis. "Fine" to a homeowner means 'not dead'. I have seen things spilled or dumped, gasoline, oil, solvents, etc onto plants that killed them very rapidly.
  5. Fert33

    Fert33 LawnSite Member
    Male, from Central Pa
    Messages: 133

    your right, I was doing a little research here. I don't know maybe rust
    mites. this would cause the needles to turn yellowish in color and ultimately drop. Also spider mites could cause the needles to drop over time. It's tough to say without seeing the hemlock over a period of time and what it looked like prior to the needles dropping. anyone esle have any thoughts?
  6. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,058

    Too late in the year for rust mites and probably spruce spider mite. If it's a mite problem, it's more likely two spotted spider mite. However, it is very unusual for an insect or disease problem to cause the sudden death of a single hemlock in a group planting. PHS is correct that most homeowners don't notice anything is wrong until it's too late. Something that in reality took months, seems to happen overnight to the untrained eye.

    I suggest you take samples from the damaged and healthy hemlocks to your Ag. Extension agent. Another good source is the NJ Plant Diagnosis Lab at Rutgers.
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,573

    What about black vine weevil? The larvae eat the roots of many trees and shrubs. If 50 percent of the roots were gone and you had a mild hot spell--goner.

    Is the cus blaming you for the problem? Or does he just want an answer?
    Maybe you need a lawyer.

    Your best bet is to get an tree expert--get two opinions if you need to.
  8. thomsoutdoor

    thomsoutdoor LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,444

    I would be interested on what you find when you pull them out and take a look at the roots. If it was insects you would think there would be partial damage on the adjacent hemlocks, maybe.
  9. WildLake

    WildLake LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    Not sure about 3 days, but I've seen trees die very quickly long after they were planted due to nylon rope not being removed from the trunk at planting. Trees can live healthy for years and suddenly are dead. Check the base of the trunk when you remove it for rope.
  10. ScagGrassGuy1978

    ScagGrassGuy1978 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    Thanks for your replies so far. I cant just go out and spray the trees when their is absolutely no signs on insects, However I did think of doing a deep root of Merit JIC.

    Looking back on what I saw, The only Hypothesis I can come up with is the Voles and a few hot days, The only reason I say this was their was a ton of needles on the ground. If It was defoliated, their would be signs of half eaten needles, excrement, etc. Their is way to many needles on the ground.

    In the paper today they said that the Gypsy Moth is making a come back, on account of the dry spring( Connecticut put out a fungus to kill GM, but being dry in the spring and the Fungus needing moisture to work, GM population is higher but not that bad yet)

    Another thing I noticed was the top of the tree was completely missing needles, while the bottom still had a few branches with a few needles.
    Top of the tree dies first in Dry conditions right?
    I need to do some more looking.
    How do I kill Voles.

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