Any idea what may have caused this?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by mattzone5b, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. mattzone5b

    mattzone5b Active Member

    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Winchester,Va. US
    It looks like something has happened to a couple trees which I thought might be ants causing it but not sure. Anyone ever seen something like this? It seems like something is pushing dirt up in small bits around the trunk only of both trees. It looks like mouse droppings but am pretty sure its not because of the way its only on 2 trees and its right at the trunk only. Should I be concerned about this?

    Both trees came from the same nursery so I thought since its a localized problem I could check with them if needed.

    http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j73/c3lt1c/ants1.jpg

    http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j73/c3lt1c/ants2.jpg

    thanks,Matt
     
  2. JoeMaple85

    JoeMaple85 Active Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Is the "rat dropping" stuff the same color as the dirt under the ground?

    I have an ant problem in my yard, but that is a strange thing that its only around the trunk.. maybe it's some other sort of bug burrowing under the tree... I'm far from being an expert, but that is a very interesting situation.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,883
    Likes Received:
    625
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Earthworm poop?
     
  4. mattzone5b

    mattzone5b Active Member

    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Winchester,Va. US
    Yes, the dirt is the same color. I am pretty sure it is dirt but its like something ate or changed the dirt into little balls.
     
  5. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,154
    Likes Received:
    2,597
    Location:
    Normandie, France
    I'm with Ron, looks like wormcast.

    -E
     
  6. mattzone5b

    mattzone5b Active Member

    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Winchester,Va. US
    I suppose having worms in there is a good thing to aerate the soil,etc?
     
  7. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,154
    Likes Received:
    2,597
    Location:
    Normandie, France
    worms = good :)

    unless they're the wrong kind of worms, I suppose. Anyway earthworms are good.
    -E
     
  8. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,064
    Likes Received:
    181
    Location:
    ROME Italy zone9/b
    hi friends! for me are moles ....not 100% but 99....
    ciao
     
  9. mattzone5b

    mattzone5b Active Member

    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Winchester,Va. US
    I just realized that it is not apparent in the picture but these are potted trees.
     
  10. MapleMadness

    MapleMadness Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Franklin,TN
    Since they're potted Matt, I would probably scratch around the surface soil to see if I could find the worms. Another tip would be did this appear after a watering? Which would again lead to the belief that it's earthworms.

    If it is indeed worms consider yourself lucky that the nursery you got the trees from included them at no extra cost. I go to great length to make sure that my soil is a happy place for earth worms.
     
  11. Worthy42

    Worthy42 Active Member

    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Southeastern, PA
  12. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,154
    Likes Received:
    2,597
    Location:
    Normandie, France
    Well in fairness to Alex there are two kinds of mole hills. There's the really big kind, a la Caddyshack. I have those, currently digging up A. pseudosieboldianum. Sometimes these get _really enormous_ in which case it is usually the central den. Then there are areas where the moles stay very close to surface, leaving visible trails and small hills that resemble vole nest diggings. I've got that too, currently unearthing A. rufinerve 'Albolimbatum'. The former kind can kill plants, the latter kind isn't so bad. And as anyone with really clay soil knows, there's a good side to moles because they really help drainage a lot.

    Sorry Alex, don't know which moles they have in Rome but if those are what the hills look like, they wouldn't last long in Normandie! ;)

    I had an old fellow who came and hunted moles, for pleasure, in my garden. He was really efficient, killed over 100 per year. But now he's too infirm, so I'm trying to figure out a plan. Current thinking is I will dig the holes and my wife will set the traps. (As a violinist I don't dare do it myself.) My thinking is that the explosive kind will kill the cat, dog, children or all of the above.

    Once we tried putting brambles down the mole holes. I leveled all the hills, we got the nastiest brambles available and stuck them down. The theory is that the hemophiliac moles will prick themselves and bleed to death. In the morning there where 208 new mole hills. I counted. Bits of brambles thrown 3-4 feet away from the holes. I slept through it but I'm sure if you'd have been listening, you'd have heard moles laughing from miles away.

    There used to be a lot of professional mole catchers (taupiers) but now that moleskin is no longer used in garment making the profession has disappeared. If worst comes to worst I'll find a farmer's kid and pay him by the mole, I guess.

    -E
     
  13. paxi

    paxi Active Member

    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    St. Louis
    I've wondered whether moles are worse for maples, or whether the grubs they eat are more destructive
     
  14. mattzone5b

    mattzone5b Active Member

    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Winchester,Va. US

    That looks exactly the same, at least the texture. I suppose the soil color/composition are reflected in the castings. Thanks much, I learn something every day it seems. The peace of mind is nice to have for the 2 specimens in question are expensive and are my favorites.
     
  15. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,064
    Likes Received:
    181
    Location:
    ROME Italy zone9/b
    today i read that maples are in pot...i agree with Ron ..
     

Share This Page