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Did I Kill my Hemlock?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by velvetfoot, Jul 14, 2006.

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  1. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I just noticed that a large hemlock at the edge of our clearing appears to be dead. I didn't really notice it before and we don't have much history with the house, being here only since Jan. All the needles have fallen off except for a few, and I mean very few. The needles are on the ground, so I figure it's a fairly recent thing. Now, here is where I might have done it: I rinsed out the salt remains in my softener's storage tank in the Spring and might have dumped it in the general area. Could I have killed this hugh ~2.5-3' tree? I'm thinking it's not going to bounce back, but could it? Even though we have lots of trees I'm bummed that I could have unwittingly done this. No other trees, including other hemlocks, nearby are affected.

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  2. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Is there stuff growing on the ground around it? If so I doubt it was the salt, could've been though. My brother had a pine tree die in his yard. Pretty much the same thing, it looked good and the next week it was dead. The nursery people told him it was a disease and that any other pine trees in the vicinity should be immediately sprayed or else they would do the same thing.
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Trees, like all other living things, occasionally die without any apparent reason. Don't lose any sleep over it. I doubt the salt had anything to do with it.
  4. PutnamJct

    PutnamJct Member

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    My backwash check valve was on the fritz for my softener and I had to bail out and dump the water from the brine tank. The spot I kept dumping it out on (about 100 or so gallons at a time) is totally dead 6 months later. Nary a weed growing in that patch of brown......
  5. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks guys. Stuff is still growing there - I don't even know where exactly 'there' is. I dumped out the salty water that was left after emptying all of the solid salt. It wasn't all that much, as I recall. Oh well.
  6. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I took a closer look at the tree and it has a bunch of round holes in the bark about 1/4" in diameter. I am thinking it is the imported asian hemlock borer pest. Will take off a little bark tomorrow to see if larvae can still be seen, but they're probably gone now they've killed the poor thing. The other hemlocks nearby don't seem to have those holes. They say this borer can attack opportunistically if the tree is weakened. I don't see any evidence of that other hemlock pest, woolly adelgid, although it is the slow time of the year for them I understand.
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    You will be giving that poor tree a proper cremation burial will you not?
  8. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Are you sure those aren't woodpecker holes? When a tree dies for whatever reason, the bugs get under the bark and the 'peckers go to town.
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I have lots of huge Poplars on my place that have always looked like they were riddled all the way up with a BB machine gun. It appears that the Woodpeckers feast on the bark borers and keep the trees alive by not letting the bugs get the best of the trees.
  10. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    Just over the border in Quebec from VT we are seeing more of those sapsuckers..do not have a bird book around...They do that ring around the tree stuff...some trees can handle it others cannot..we lost one birch...machine gunned it..they hit another birch and it made it? Looks like a cribbage board...

    Those hemlock are frequently used for beams...if big enough and straight...these guys with mobile mills (woodmizer) will show up for small quantities...or might be interested in buying it..dpends on the operator.
  11. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the tip, V181.
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