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Chlorine vs Salt

Discussion in 'Arborist 101' started by memetic, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. memetic

    memetic ArboristSite Operative

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    I'm going to make this short. I just got back from a new client/job removing a dead tree. He had a decent size maple that was in great condition a couple years ago. Also, a couple years ago, a bordering neighbor moved in and cut down all the trees in his yard and any neighbors' tree boughs that were hanging over his new pool he installed.

    My client noticed something weird going on around his tree (on his property) that hangs over this neighbor guy's pool. He didn't know exactly what happened, he just said the area around the base of the tree looked different, he suspected someone (ie neighbor) poured something around the tree. The time of year was winter. The HO told me the tree was pretty much dead by the following summer. And all around the tree base nothing was growing anymore (grass, etc). It was still pretty bare when I was there today, two something years later.

    I, just guessing, based on what the HO told me, was that this neighbor might have dumped salt or chlorine (for his pool) around the tree base. It could have been salt because it was winter and everyone uses salt - plus it is pretty cheap (as opposed to chlorine). But, it could have been chlorine because this guy could have stocked up in the winter because it is cheaper then. And, I am guessing that chlorine would be more powerful a killer than salt.

    My question is, of the two, chlorine or salt, which is more likely to kill a tree so quickly (if that is in fact what happened).

    I know that the Romans used to salt the fields of peoples they conquered to kill their crops and pretty much ensure that nothing would grow for some time, but I have no idea how fast this can happen (vs chlorine).

    Thanks
     
  2. moray

    moray AboristSite Guru

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    This may be more complicated than you think.

    First of all, chlorine for pools is some form of hypochlorite, calcium or sodium, not free chlorine, which is a gas. It is very basic, and once the chlorine has broken free and done its nasty work, oxidizing anything organic it contacts, the calcium hydroxide that is left will react with CO2 in the atmosphere to form lime. It may be harmful for only a short time; the eventual end product, lime, may even be beneficial.

    Road salt is usually calcium chloride. It is much more soluble than lime, so it will wash away in time. I don't know the mechanism by which it poisons plants, but it would certainly make it hard or impossible for the roots to absorb water, depending on concentration.

    Even though both could probably kill a tree, I would bet on the salt, pound for pound, as a much more reliable way to harm the roots, especially the deep ones.
     
  3. memetic

    memetic ArboristSite Operative

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    Gawd damn the Romans were smart!!

    edit: "This may be more complicated than you think."

    Nothing is more complicated than I think, I just haven't read it yet.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  4. treemandan

    treemandan Tree Freak

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    I would just test the soil for contaminents and while I was waiting for the results clean my gun, hell I would clean them all.
     
  5. treemandan

    treemandan Tree Freak

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    One quick way to see is to taste the soil. If it burns then I would stop cleaning and load.
     
  6. memetic

    memetic ArboristSite Operative

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    That was going to be my next question, testing the soil.

    I ain't cleanin' my remington 870 - not my trees. If it was, there ain't no pistol or shotgun worse than what my mind can concoct for revenge. My f'd up brain can think up far worse things. I save shooting for the range and home invasions (that I hope never happen). I know you're kinda joking anyway. Kinda.

    I think I'll talk to the HO about having him dig up some soil and take some root samples to the local university for some testing. If the tests are positive for salt or chlorine I'll leave it to him for some sweet revenge - or is it avenge? Whatever he wants to do.

    Not much left for me to do since the tree is gone and all chopped up. Unless, he wants me to replace it with something new (hopefully at the other guys expense, if that is what happened).
     
  7. treemandan

    treemandan Tree Freak

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    I really do hope its just coincidence the tree died but after walking this earth for 38 hard years nothing is really going to surprise me. I know I am young still.
    neighbors do bad things to each other, its sad. This whole situation has got me upset, I hope you do what you can to find out what happenend. Its just freaking nuts.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  8. memetic

    memetic ArboristSite Operative

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    "neighbors do bad things to each other, its sad."

    You're telling me. My neighbor killed (poisoned) our American Bulldog that we had for 6 years since a baby. He was our first son. He was so smart and only wanted to be loved. It was a few days before last christmas. We just had major renovations done on our first floor and I had to have the sheetrockers back because I f'd it all up. You can imagine why. It is the first time I REALLY wanted to use brawn and/or mechanical devices over mind and believe me I got both. It took a lot of will power to say the least. The only reason I didn't was because of my new born son and wife.

    Everyone at my gym - especially those who knew my best friend - wanted to take this guy off the face of the earth.

    Instead, I used my brain and got that mother f'rs house condemned (architecture is my first profession). He was constructing a new house in the worst way imaginable and not too long after he killed my dog, I met with city officials with a 10 page write up of his violations and they condemned his ####. The police came and threw his arse out. Then, I checked zoning and he was 6" over the setback. Now, that son of a biotch has to demo the whole mess. I just bankrupted that piece of ####.

    I still think about our dog every day and how I had to bury him because of this prik and I still think of the pleasure I would have of unloading. But, I have a family that needs me at home, not in prison. If it wasn't for them, this prik would be dead. But like my dad advised me when I was crying on the phone to him, "make this this piece of #### suffer long and hard, it's worse than death." I believe him because he is old and has been in a real war and actually killed people.

    Me, I just wish people would be cool with each other. I would much rather focus my energy on learning than revenge/avenge.

    Take a look at my neighbors' work and tell me if you got the will power not to take him out over this and killing your best friend of 6 years.
     
  9. wireedm

    wireedm ArboristSite Operative

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    Freak! That is BAD man!

    Is that your house in the background? Or, if your comparing the two, your castle!

    Once that is cleaned up, your place will appreciate about a 100 fold!

    Wow, there's no excuse for lazy.
     
  10. memetic

    memetic ArboristSite Operative

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    "Is that your house in the background?"

    Of course not. That is the neighbor's. He bought his house two weeks after we got ours. My property is the end of a bluff overlooking a big river.

    The neighbor has to look across my property to have the river view, so I built a 3-4 foot retaining wall (had the rear yard back filled) and planted 15 green giants all along the property line. This time next year he will never see the river from his house or property again.
     
  11. buzz sawyer

    buzz sawyer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Very sad about your dog but it sounds like you really took the best action - proving the pen is mightier than the sword! I can't believe anyone getting away with a mess like that in that anywhere.
     
  12. memetic

    memetic ArboristSite Operative

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    "I can't believe anyone getting away with a mess like that in that anywhere."

    No kidding.

    I was surprised to learn how careful a city has to proceed for fear of being sued. But regardless, this property is clearly in violation of so many ordinances it IS funny. It's almost hysterical because of the insanity off it all and the lack of enforcement from the city. The officials here just don't want to follow through with this. There are no time limits. It's going to sit here condemned with a stop work order until my thuja green giants are 20 feet tall.

    If 15 years roll around and there is still a mess next door, by then my son will be near a black belt in jiu jitsu and muay thai. Since he will still be a minor, maybe I will have him layout out the neighbor, maybe dislocate his arms and legs, but not break anything, watch the guy flop around on the ground like a fish out of water.

    Of course I'm just daydreaming here...I would never put my son in danger. I think just thinking about it helps not actually doing anything crazy. You have no idea the amount of self control this has taken. I still think about my best friend everyday. He didn't deserve to die - especially like that.
     
  13. RCR 3 EVER

    RCR 3 EVER AboristSite Guru

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    I feel for your loss of your best buddy, If anyone did that to one of our dogs heaven help them. :angry:

    On a side note about neighbors, one of them complained to the city about our bird feeding he was concerned that the birds may get sick when they eat and defecate in the same area (as they have done for eons). I told the city I guess I need to put diapers on them. City people just laughed. The neighbor did not have any concern for my well being when their fireplaces emitted noxious odors and fumes that put me on the ground having an asthma attack for 30 min gasping for air.

    The next Spring and summer we applied fertilizer during their family gatherings outside around the fire pit burning wet wood & leaves.
    The fertilizer for our trees and plants along the property line was a concentrate and should have been diluted but I misread the label for the Fish Emulsion concentrate and used it pretty much full strength. I could not help it if the wind was blowing wrong either:laugh:.
    I was trying to keep from gagging myself and was glad to see their yard clear out of guests!!!:blob2: :laugh:
    I applied the fertilizer numerous times and apparently they got the message since they leave us alone now.
     
  14. memetic

    memetic ArboristSite Operative

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    "I could not help it if the wind was blowing wrong either."

    Sounds like it was blowing right.

    I wish my problem could be avenged so easily.

    BTW, I went back to visit the HO and we came up with a plan to replant some new Japanese maples. His neighbor has one that has created seedlings all over the place. One 4 foot JM is growing at the fence line that we will transplant farther in to his property towards the house as a specimen tree. Never did find out what the cause of death was for the older sugar maple. I don't think he has the resources or care to figure it out. Maybe if the tree was his deceased best friend he would find the means.
     
  15. gdn

    gdn ArboristSite Operative

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    sorry about your dog man, i'd have (somehow) put pigs blood in his hot water system
     
  16. memetic

    memetic ArboristSite Operative

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    That's a great idea, but his house is now condemned. Check out today's pictures.

    We didn't work today because of all the rain. I'm thinking of starting a blog about this whole mess next door. Does it sound interesting to anyone? Is it a waste of time? Someone told me I should document the whole affair and write a book about when neighbors go bad.

    Check out his construction "project".

    edit: In the "six months later" shot that is a broken boat and a beyond repair MG in the background. There is a lot more junk, but the weeds have grown so tall.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2008

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