Our Tree Guy answered a call from a concerned landowner with a tree problem. Several of the maple trees that lined his laneway were showing an out-of-season ‘fall-like’ colour change.
Premature leaf colour change is a reliable indicator of failing health.
First thoughts were that the trees were suffering from extreme drought stress. The trees hadn’t been watered this year. Trees that don’t get enough water, or are stressed for other reasons may stop producing chlorophyll causing the other pigments within the leaves to begin to show.
Further examination revealed the cause of the stress.
Routine property maintenance included the use of a string trimmer to cut the grass around the trees. Repeated use of the string trimmer had completely cut through the bark at the base of the trees that were showing the leaf colour change.
The”xylem” tissue, found under the bark, was exposed and had been damaged as well, reducing the tree’s ability to move moisture and nutrients from the roots to the rest of the tree.
Five of the 22 trees were damaged beyond saving and will be expensive to replace. Several others will require attention to avoid additional losses.
An action plan was discussed. References were provided to help the landowner as he begins to make repairs to the remaining trees and attempts to improve their health.