Root Damage to my Eastern White Pines

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treelovingcat

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Hello. I am new to this site and I am looking for some advice…. I am absolutely worried sick over root damage that has occurred to my beloved large white pines. I’m in Ontario, Canada and in the spring, we had a tornado take down 78 of our huge, beautiful trees on our property. The heavy bobcats that came in to do clean up and push down uprooted stumps, etc ran over my remaining trees’ roots, despite me threatening the guys and telling them to avoid getting close to the trees and roots. I am just so upset over this - the list is endless - one four inch pine root cut off about 13 feet away from the trunk of a 90 foot white pine, a stump pulled out of the ground within 3 feet of another existing white pine tree, bark sloughed off tops of pine and cedar roots right at the root flare… I am almost ready to divorce my husband, since he was to keep an eye on these guys while working… Will any of my pines and cedars survive this?? I am just heartbroken. What can I do to help my poor trees? I’ve had enough tree loss as it is. :(
 

treelovingcat

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It does sound like your beloved white pines have suffered damage.

Photos most always help us help you.
Here are pics of one of my damaged pines showing roots from all sides. You can see the visible damage in several pics, close up of one damaged root surface.
 

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Lightning Performance

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Here are pics of one of my damaged pines showing roots from all sides. You can see the visible damage in several pics, close up of one damaged root surface.
Better paint them with some whitewash to seal the roots up.
Get them covered up from the direct sunlight.

Take pics and go after the company who damage your property if you think you have merit to do so.
 

davidprivett

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I do not think it would hurt to get a bucket of tar and dress the wounds, it will help to keep the bugs out of them
 

Raintree

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The damaged cannot be repaired. In my opinion the wounding is not fatal. Best to leave the areas uncovered and dry. Wet rot is far more aggressive than dry rot. Maintain proper tree health with soil and water management. Long term structural stability of the stump is a concern, monitoring is advised. Crushing of the feeder root system is far more damaging than debarking the tops of a few buttress roots near the stump.
 

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Work as a team with your husband and quit blaming him for the actions of those you hired. Hire a arborist to get their opinion on the damage and disclose intentions to likely call them into a legal battle.
 

treelovingcat

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Work as a team with your husband and quit blaming him for the actions of those you hired. Hire a arborist to get their opinion on the damage and disclose intentions to likely call them into a legal battle.
Unfortunately there are no arborists for hire up north where we are. Problem is, up here you’re lucky to get any workers at all to come to your property for any kind of work at all. My husband just thinks I’m overreacting and that all the trees will be fine. He’s cheerfully oblivious of the damage.
 

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Unfortunately there are no arborists for hire up north where we are. Problem is, up here you’re lucky to get any workers at all to come to your property for any kind of work at all. My husband just thinks I’m overreacting and that all the trees will be fine. He’s cheerfully oblivious of the damage.
Find one willing to make the trip from outside your area for proper compensation
 

Del_

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Unfortunately there are no arborists for hire up north where we are. Problem is, up here you’re lucky to get any workers at all to come to your property for any kind of work at all. My husband just thinks I’m overreacting and that all the trees will be fine. He’s cheerfully oblivious of the damage.

Well there is damage done but it's hard to say just how much. It may reveal itself in the years to come.

It is very difficult to put a dollar figure on the damage if that is what you are thinking. You are doing a good job of researching and I suggest that you research how to promote the healthiest environment for your trees so that they can react as well as possible to the damage done.

Almost all of the arborist here are men so you can bet we are getting a little chuckle out of your hubby comments.

You did well to point out a bit of the not so good advice being offered here. Many of us are not arborist at all, some are chainsaw aficionados and some I have no idea what they do. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
 

treelovingcat

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Well there is damage done but it's hard to say just how much. It may reveal itself in the years to come.

It is very difficult to put a dollar figure on the damage if that is what you are thinking. You are doing a good job of researching and I suggest that you research how to promote the healthiest environment for your trees so that they can react as well as possible to the damage done.

Almost all of the arborist here are men so you can bet we are getting a little chuckle out of your hubby comments.

You did well to point out a bit of the not so good advice being offered here. Many of us are not arborist at all, some are chainsaw aficionados and some I have no idea what they do. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
Lol. Yes, we are having quite a few arguments over this. I am not looking for financial compensation - in Canada we don’t sue people so easily and it would be difficult to do. Besides, money won’t help me get back my lost trees - I just don’t want to lose any more due to sloppy contractors. It’s heartbreaking enough to have lost so many in the storm. I’m looking for ways to now help the ones damaged after the storm. I thought perhaps other people had pine trees with roots damaged by contractors and could pass on some helpful tips to save them.
 

Lightning Performance

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Lol. Yes, we are having quite a few arguments over this. I am not looking for financial compensation - in Canada we don’t sue people so easily and it would be difficult to do. Besides, money won’t help me get back my lost trees - I just don’t want to lose any more due to sloppy contractors. It’s heartbreaking enough to have lost so many in the storm. I’m looking for ways to now help the ones damaged after the storm. I thought perhaps other people had pine trees with roots damaged by contractors and could pass on some helpful tips to save them.
You were given helpful tips but continue to complain.
Seal the roots and keep the sun off of them, pretty simple yet I'd bet you've done nothing.
The same thing any trained arborist will tell you.

-----

If you were referring to me as chainsaw aficionado, thanks Del. Tell her to try more research vs whining. It's always good advice.

You Welcome OP
 

Del_

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You were given helpful tips but continue to complain.
Seal the roots and keep the sun off of them, pretty simple yet I'd bet you've done nothing.
The same thing any trained arborist will tell you.

-----

If you were referring to me as chainsaw aficionado, thanks Del. Tell her to try more research vs whining. It's always good advice.

You Welcome OP

I'm a retired arborist and was a Certified Arborist for 18 years. 35+ years in the biz.

I've not heard of whitewashing damaged tree roots.

Or putting tar on them, as another responder suggested.

I love chainsaws too but as you already know, a chainsaw in seldom a tree care tool.
 

Lightning Performance

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I'm a retired arborist and was a Certified Arborist for 18 years. 35+ years in the biz.

I've not heard of whitewashing damaged tree roots.

Or putting tar on them, as another responder suggested.

I love chainsaws too but as you already know, a chainsaw in seldom a tree care tool.
Congrats
They white washed anything for a thousand plus years to keep it dry. Seems like it won't hurt anything and possible keep off some of the borers that are sure to show up eventually.

Tree care isn't what she got. Would you best describe it as a butcher with a machine?
 

Del_

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Congrats
They white washed anything for a thousand plus years to keep it dry. Seems like it won't hurt anything and possible keep off some of the borers that are sure to show up eventually.

Tree care isn't what she got. Would you best describe it as a butcher with a machine?

I agree that tree care isn't what she got. But tree care is what she needs is she wants to do the best thing for her damaged trees.

I like the term 'Bulldozer blight'.

It's pretty descriptive and I've seen a tremendous amount of it.
 

pdqdl

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Thanks. I have heard that dressing tree wounds with tar is more harmful than good… Do you have any other suggestions?

The damaged cannot be repaired. In my opinion the wounding is not fatal. Best to leave the areas uncovered and dry. Wet rot is far more aggressive than dry rot. Maintain proper tree health with soil and water management. Long term structural stability of the stump is a concern, monitoring is advised. Crushing of the feeder root system is far more damaging than debarking the tops of a few buttress roots near the stump.

Just listen to Raintree's advice. He consistently has some of the best advice offered on this website, and is quite knowledgeable on most arboricultural topics.

As for those guys offering different "painting" solutions to root damage: please quote some authoritative technical support for your proposed treatments. Everything I have ever read has stated that any kind of pruning paint or any other kind of "bandaid" for trees is ineffective at best.
 

pdqdl

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Work as a team with your husband and quit blaming him for the actions of those you hired. Hire a arborist to get their opinion on the damage and disclose intentions to likely call them into a legal battle.
That's good advice for almost any situation in life.
 

Stone824

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I would absolutely agree with raintree on this as well. I have never seen a healthy tree with any sort of tree tar. Your cedars will be fine regardless as the wood hardly rots at all. The larger wounds on the pines should heal over similar to a branch collar healing over a trimmed off branch. I have seen plenty of pines and spruce with similar root wounding from lawn mowers in someones yard. If the trees are overall healthy with little to no stress i wouldnt be concerned. The wounding is surface level so you really shouldnt see a difference in water or nutrient uptake. If you do begin seeing health decline try to pay an actual arborist with years of experience to come take a look at them. The trees are in the woods as well so there shouldnt be continued damage to those roots like most people who hack up roots with their mowers. Hopefully they last a long time so they can reseed your forest.
 

pdqdl

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I was also considering your feelings concerning the loss of trees from the tornado. It's just Nature at it's most extreme. Rather than mourning the loss of your trees, you might just learn to go into the damage zones and revel in the peace of the moment, all while envisioning how the trees protect that area from the violence of our weather. Tranquility is of little value if you have no realization of how nice it is when you have it.

In the same line of reasoning, you can also get a great deal of satisfaction from watching how the earth slowly restores itself from the minor perturbations of the weather. From hurricanes & tornados to earthquakes & volcanoes, nature tends to settle back into where it was before the damage came through.
 

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