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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 9:12 am
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Location: Dallas, Texas
I was shocked and saddened to find that my fire dragon shantung maple had been completely girdled by something in my back yard. The tree had been in the ground for two years, and was thriving. It was probably 2 years old and 5 feet tall when planted. Today it is 8 feet tall, as high as my privacy fence that surrounds it. I don't have any cats or dogs. There are some squirrels around, but the upper branches of the tree are still about 5 feet from the top of the fence - it'd take a brave squirrel to make that leap. The damage starts on the trunk about 3 feet off of the ground and works up for about 8 inches. It appears about 90 - 95% of the bark was removed (or chewed off) for this 8 inch stretch. Ketih at Metro Maples told me the tree would last at least a week before starting to wither and die. I have no idea how long the damage has been there, I cannot see the trunk of the tree from my house due to the density of the foliage around the tree. The tree still seems healthy now, but I'm expecting the leaves to wilt soon. I am all organic and have spotted mice around the compost pile in the past, but nothing else. Has anyone ever heard of damage like this? I expect I will replace the tree with something native next time.
-sad


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:10 pm 
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Location: Dallas, Texas
Now over a month later and the only problem I've noticed with the tree so far is burnt tips on some leaves above the wound. Keith at metromaples said the tree could survive and it appears the rat wound is slowly healing. The tree has even flushed new leaves beneath the wound. I'm very impressed.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:52 am 
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Fairly common problem this year, especially if plants are in stress. What kind of fertilizer have you been using? Mix up some of the Tree Trunk Goop, soak some burlap in the material and wrap aroung the wounds. Re moisten every few days. We have gotten some success stories about usin this technique.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:39 pm 
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Location: Dallas, Texas
The tree was planted 2 years ago in soil that used to be fill for a raised bed. There was a magnolia tree and two savannah hollies along with some flowersin the bed. I don't know how heavily the bed was fertilized because I tore out the border, and evenly distributed the bedding loamy soil and laid saint augustine sod on top a few weeks after purchasing the property. Since then I've fertilized a few times with dried molasses, but also have used 7-2-2 from Garden-Ville once. I know I put compost on it once - probably a few other amendments. I've got too many other things occupying my time to "nurse" a tree - that's one reason I bought a well adapted tree in the first place - a Texas Superstar - no less! If mother nature is going to kill or seriously weaken the tree for me, mother nature can have it. I would consider that a good argument to stick with native trees only. But so far it looks like this tree will recover and continue to thrive with no help from me.


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