Was my tree poisoned?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Justwanttofish, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. Justwanttofish

    Justwanttofish New Member

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    Hello my name is George,

    I planted this Blazing Red Maple tree 3 years ago in October. It has always been very vibrant and green with never any issues. About a month ago after a good rain I noticed the grass was dying on one side of the tree “south side” but not the other. This what makes me think it was possibly poisoned. I live in zone 8 so I know it gets hot but I’ve always kept the tree healthy and vibrant until now. Usually after a good rain she really springs to life like my other plants. I have fed it Shultz plant food with epson salt every two to 3 weeks since I planted her. I am new to the forum and would greatly appreciate any advice anyone can give. Thank you
     

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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @Justwanttofish good morning George and welcome to the forum, first of all to ascertain if the soil has been poisoned a soil sample would need to be taken and analysed. There are labs in all areas that can do this at a price. Do you suspect a neighbour or someone else for poisoning your tree? Your thread title hints at this.
    Secondly why are you feeding the tree, it does not need it!! But if you want to then once only in Spring is all you need. A slow release granular pellet is best IMO. I am a little suspicious about the strength of the Epsom salts you are using regularly and the run off towards the grass. Yes a little Epsom salt in a watering can can green up a lawn, but it's over use can be problematic IMO. The area of concern does seem to be lower, so run off from this maybe the problem.
    You say it has been hot, is the side where the grass has yellowed mainly in the sun and the other side in more shade ?
    If the above is not the case then insect damage to grass can cause this appearance. But what maybe the cause is compaction of the soil.

    Your tree is suffering from leaf scorch that is quite typical at this time of the year from water not getting to the upper branches during a hot spell. Compacted soil will increase this problem, as although you water your tree it does not penetrate enough and runs off before being absorbed by the roots.
    IMO I would remove the turf around the drip area of your tree and loosen the soil to aid nutrient and water intake by the roots which in turn passes this up the tree.
    You also do not need grass up to the trunk, Acers do not like this at all and can lead to problems with the trunk rotting overtime. They do hate any competition even from grass.
    I would also rake the dead grass out and spike to aid good penetration of water to the roots. (Of the grass).
    So IMO you may have two minor problems that can be rectified simply. Stop feeding and aerate the soil.
     
  3. Justwanttofish

    Justwanttofish New Member

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    Thank you so much for all the helpful information! I will try everything you suggested!
     
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  4. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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  5. Justwanttofish

    Justwanttofish New Member

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    Will do. Thanks!
     
  6. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    The grass looks really like it has treated with glyphosate.
     
  7. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @Sulev good evening Sulev, that's an interesting theory. If @Justwanttofish does end up getting a soil sample, then this will show up.
    If it is, then I do hope it's an innocent application.
     

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