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Landscapers girdled young Japanese maple - hope?

Discussion in 'Arborist 101' started by Barbara 8, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. Barbara 8

    Barbara 8 ArboristSite Lurker

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    upload_2018-7-21_11-4-42.jpeg upload_2018-7-21_11-4-4.jpeg
    Hello,
    I found my young red maple took girdling impact sometime this spring from a new landscaping company, most likely aggressive edge trimming which I did not catch.
    I am so sad to learn about girdling and how destructive it is. Do you think there is any hope for this tree? Tree reaches about 6’5” and is over 5 years old (moved here 5 years ago). I discovered it after the stripped bark had broken down, so I was not able to attempt to reapply bark. Thank you very much for your thoughts
    (and possible Sympathies). : /

    upload_2018-7-21_11-4-4.jpeg
    upload_2018-7-21_11-4-42.jpeg
     
  2. diezelsmoke

    diezelsmoke ArboristSite Operative

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    If it all the way around, no hope, if only 3/4 way around you might get lucky. Looks like a mower girdled it!
     
  3. Barbara 8

    Barbara 8 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thank you. They aggressively hacked through the circumference.

    :(

    I am trying to determine if it happened with last years lawn care company and I didn’t notice, or if it happened this spring with a new company. (I noticed cuts to wood beams, another larger tree and wood furniture.)

    Would you, or anyone have any thoughts on, based on the decline of the tree, it looks like this would have happened ?
     
  4. Barbara 8

    Barbara 8 ArboristSite Lurker

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    It’s all after the fact now, and I appreciate your insights.
     
  5. CacaoBoy

    CacaoBoy ArboristSite Member

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    Sorry to see that. It looks like that was a very nice tree. When I was in Oregon I had some Japanese red maples of which I was especially fond.

    You could call the owner of the landscaping company and ask what he will do to make this right. The correct answer would be to replace the tree with a red maple of comparable size, but I would be surprized if the typical landscaper is willing to spend the money for that.

    I found that my Japanese maples responded well to agressive pruning, although I kept pruning during summer to a minimum. With the loss of leaves that tree is clearly struggling to get nourishment up the branches. It probably will continue to lose leaves with those at the tips the last to go leaving just dead wood. If it is to survive, which is doubtful, early removal of doomed branches could help, but from the photos I cannot identify any particular branches which might survive if they do not need to compete for nourishment.
     
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  6. Barbara 8

    Barbara 8 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thank you so much for your thoughts and insights - I really appreciate them.

    The previous owner of my home loved his yard and filled it with Beautiful plantings and trees - am sad about the impact on this lovely Japanese maple as it has a very special presence and I wish I could have protected it.

    Since I have changed landscape companies, I’m unsure of when and how this happened ....

    do caring arborists let such impacted trees just die a natural death ?
     
  7. Jed1124

    Jed1124 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    That amount of damage is very unlikely to be from your landscaper. More likely to be rabbit or mice chewing over the winter. They love to chew jap maples.
     
  8. Jed1124

    Jed1124 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    There's nothing an arb can do. Make sure the tree has adequate soil moisture and hopefully it can compartmentalize the damage.
     
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  9. Barbara 8

    Barbara 8 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thank you - I really appreciate these insights. Appreciatively ~
     
  10. capetrees

    capetrees Addicted to ArboristSite

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    fact is, it's still alive. Keep it watered and watch for bugs or pests that could do further damage. Give it a chance. What have you got to lose?
     
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  11. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I agree...keep it watered
    But do NOT prune it except to remove the dead. Every leaf is a food factory and you need them cranking out production to give the tree resources to respond to the damage.
     
  12. Del_

    Del_ Life is but a song we sing.

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    The tree is history and is suffering either weed eater or lawn mower blight.

    Probably best to just move on and not try to place blame.

    Read up on the internet about good tree care practices.

    You will find that you should have had mulch around the tree which serves several purposes, one of which is to keep machines away.

    A remote chance that it is a rodent of some type but my money says it is machine damage. Animals usually do much smoother damage that we are seeing.
     
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  13. buzz sawyer

    buzz sawyer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    One way to help prevent damage like this is to apply a mulch ring around the tree out to the drip line - then there is no need to trim close to it. It may even help now if the tree has any chance of survival - at least it can't hurt. Just don't pile it up around the trunk.
     
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  14. ProperArborist

    ProperArborist New Member

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    You can graft it if you really want to go through the effort.
     
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  15. Barbara 8

    Barbara 8 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thank you for all the insights and information - I really appreciate your responsiveness and help.

    Your community has an air of perspective, as well as rootedness that is apropos to the glorious nature of trees.
     
  16. BC WetCoast

    BC WetCoast Addicted to ArboristSite

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    To me the tree loks like it has been hit a couple of times. My first guess was rodents because its so high off the grass. But looking at the bark zoomed in, it is too ragged for a rodent.

    I would call the landscaper and show it to him and find out if he will make amends. Dont expect a tree the same size, at least around here a jap maple of that size is a couple of thousand bucks.
     
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  17. rarefish383

    rarefish383 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    That's just about how high my walk behind would hit. Not likely weed eater unless using blades instead of string. The gap is wide. Like the side of a big mower. Not much hope from what I see.
     
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  18. Canyon Angler

    Canyon Angler Addicted to ArboristSite

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    +1

    It ain't dead yet, so something is getting water from the roots to the leaves...barring additional chewing/damage, it might survive...
     

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