What happened to this bush?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Kejabe, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. turfmd101

    turfmd101 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,376

    Please ignore all jargon about soil sampling, tissue sampling and having to use so much science for such a simple matter. If you notice the roof gutter drain spout in the picture. It is feeding this corner with tons of water when ever it rains and if you have had lots of rain and its been irrigated it has been over watered to the point of root rot. Even if irrigation has been minimal and rain has been abundant like most of the country. You have what looks like rocks pyramiding up to the crown of this plant and if you have water retaining soil along with any heavy type of mulching then add the roof gutter downspout aimed to flood this corner of the bed then water becomes the worst enemy. Don't over think this. 4" or more of rock or any mulch piled up to the crown along with allot water will drown any root system unless the plant is an aquatic type. You also have plastic bed liner 4" high wrapped around this corner. I'll bet when it rains heavy there is 4" pool of standing water on/in this corner every time. It's been flooded! I'll even go so far as to say if you pull this plant out you will have standing water in the hole. That's BAD!
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  2. turfmd101

    turfmd101 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,376

    It died of dihydrogen monoxide poisoning.
  3. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    Seems to me:

    1) This is not a new planting
    2) If the shrub up and died suddenly, it is not likely due to issues that have been present over the life span of the shrub.
    3) If the shrub up and died suddenly and herbicide has been used nearby recently, then the logical conclusion without testing is herbicide drift.
    4) If you want to know with certainty what caused the die back then run tests. Anyone who says otherwise is uninformed at best.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I'm wishing the OP would pull up the plant and see what the root zone looks like...
    If it is dry, then we have our answer... :)
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    Notes on images ......

    1) Images were taken at different times which is readily apparent. Image on the left was taken earlier then the second.

    2) Attached pic notes some indicative signs of herbicide damage as follows:

    • Yellow arrow points out extensive leaf damage in comparison to the rest of plant
    • Red arrows points out leaf cupping which suggests dicamba damage.
    • Green arrow points out back side (right side on photo) of plant is still green, where second photo the OP posted shows damage has extending further towards the back of the plant (assuming front is left side of pic)

    Given the above, chances are better than not there was some off-target herbicide drift and/or root uptake of herbicide, most likely occurring from the left side of the pic. Questions?

    Miller bush (1a).jpg
  6. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Seems as though a few posts fromlast night are missing. I wonder if the same thing that took the bush out also removed the posts? :)

    Jeesh! I hope the OP has the courtesy to post a follow up once this thing is out of the ground and/or resolved. If he is not going to run tests, it would be wise to remove and replace a fair amount of soil when planting the next bush IMHO.
  7. Victorsaur

    Victorsaur LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    Two questions for the OP:

    Do you know what kind of bush it is?

    How long did it take for the bush to go from healthy to this?
  8. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,058

    It's a smoke bush now:laugh: Yea it would be nice if the OP would chime in. I'm agreeing with Kiril on this one tho.
  9. Kejabe

    Kejabe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Sorry for disappearing but I had a pretty busy week.
    An update:
    I've been dong this yard since 2007 (lawn care, mowing and snow removal) and we have never had any problems with her. With that being the case I offered to replace it for free but did recommended that a tree/shrub specialist should come and take a look at it, if nothing else to make sure her other bushes/shrubs are fine, but she said not to bother, that she just wants it gone. Works for me but it did get me to wondering if maybe she just wanted it gone all along. I don't know. This bush went from healthy (looking) to dead in a couple of weeks. One week I was mowing and didn't notice anything the next week it was half dead.

    It wasn't a windy day when I did the app and when I spray near beds I'm not blasting full go on the gun anyway. I never mix hot and I don't fly over yards. I'm very careful that's why this has never happened to me before. I'm still going to send some samples to Madison just to ease my mind and see what they come up with. Plus, it never hurts to know more. Thanks for all the replies and again I'm sorry for letting this hang out there for so long.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,812

    Be sure to take a look at information on herbicide injury and the diagnosis of same. Many links and photos, such as:

    I am not sure there is a good chemical test to determine if it was herbicide injury--if there is, and the herbicide has not been metabolized and broken down--I suspect any test would be very expensive.

    And the most important disease on smoke tree:
    Verticillium wilt. Symptoms are fairly close. See also notes about how it is intolerant of poor drainage and high temperature of the roots. And dangers of mulch piled around the trunk.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013

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