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Nelson is a great person. He loves his work and treated our trees & shrubs as if they were his own!!! ” - Crystal C.

Signs of Construction Damage Stress on Elm Trees

One of our certified arborists, Getth Nelson, recently discovered multiple problems when evaluating a suffering American Elm tree. First problem? Its planting location.

This particular American Elm is on a slope in sandy-type soil. During construction of the nearby Chisholm Trail Parkway, the tree’s roots were severely damaged. To make matters worse, the understory leaf debris was scraped and hauled away, leaving the soil exposed to direct sunlight. This exposure causes the soil to dry out quickly. Since the tree is located next to a busy highway, it also experiences higher temperatures due to the radiant heat coming off the vehicles and the road surface.

Urban American Elm With Stressors

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“This tree is showing typical signs of heat and drought stress,” says Getth.

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“It has tip dieback dating back to previous years of drought stress," Getth explains. He adds that the tree is rapidly defoliating (losing its leaves) which is its natural response as it tries to conserve precious water. Throughout the canopy are dying limbs. Leaf size is reduced and there is evidence of sunscald on the west side of the tree.

And to add insult to injury, the tree also has mistletoe. The prognosis is not very good for this neglected urban tree. 

Cases like this remind all of us how truly damaging construction can be for already established trees. Plans must be in place prior to construction to keep the root zone of trees protected in order to make sure they keep flourishing. If you have a tree in danger due to construction, contact us for a professional evaluation and protection plan.



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Posted: August 7, 2018