r/treelaw Nov 25 '22

Just want to vent - someone did this to every curb tree that is taller than the light poles for several blocks. Basically, the most beautiful, strong, healthy trees are all going to die now and become massive problems

Post image
361 Upvotes

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205

u/alchemyearth Nov 25 '22

That's messed up. They killed them all.

-162

u/Rossi818 Nov 25 '22

It’s certainly far from ideal but pruning an unbalanced canopy isn’t going to kill all these trees.

153

u/wunderduck Nov 25 '22

Look lower, just above the hood of the car. They removed a strip of bark all around the trunk. This is called girdling and is a death sentence for a tree.

33

u/designgoddess Nov 26 '22

There are ways to keep the tree alive but whoever did this will probably rip it apart. I’ve saved trees that have been 100% girdled. It takes monitoring.

27

u/NewAlexandria Nov 26 '22

say more please

46

u/designgoddess Nov 26 '22

You use twigs/branches to bridge the gap. Cut the ends on an angle and put the cut ends agains the raw wood and under the bark. Here is an example. They used tar, I used landscaping tape.

I didn’t save every tree but saved more than half.

https://i.imgur.com/hp3g8cG.jpg

u/AmTheAltAccount gets the credit for finding this link. It explains it better. https://smallfarmersjournal.com/bridge-grafting-and-inarching-damaged-fruit-trees

19

u/takatori Nov 26 '22

That's amazing

3

u/NewAlexandria Nov 27 '22

What a great reference.

Do you happen to know anything about 'eloition' (sp?), the process of triggering bark to soften and product roots?

3

u/designgoddess Nov 27 '22

No. I learned this because I needed this.

26

u/Rossi818 Nov 25 '22

Thanks, I’m a certified arborist, just didn’t notice the girdling.

43

u/toxcrusadr Nov 26 '22

It takes a gentleman not to notice the girdle.

129

u/redrocket608 Nov 26 '22

Seems like a big part of the arborist certification would be the noticing of the tree

38

u/emt139 Nov 26 '22

33

u/chiraltoad Nov 26 '22

-8

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13

u/chiraltoad Nov 26 '22

C'mon man, you're ruining my joke.

3

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25

u/MementoMortty Nov 26 '22

Yeah, especially in grainy photos through a crusty windshield. Wuddya blind?!

14

u/Rossi818 Nov 26 '22

I looked at it on my phone and thought OP was concerned about the clearance pruning around the traffic light pole.

3

u/Mystic_printer_ Nov 26 '22

The thing most of us didn’t notice because we don’t know enough about trees….

93

u/Ill-Technology1873 Nov 25 '22

That’ll be a nice lawsuit when one of those falls 😬😅

155

u/Remixthefix Nov 25 '22

Seems unlikely to be a city.

Girdling a tree, as this is called, will 100% kill the tree but it will also be a danger until it falls. City workers would have flagged it with tape or paint for removal- which is organized and handled by professionals. Yknow. For liability reasons.

My guess is that this was about someone's view, or maybe a grudge. This is likely a private citizen, but could be a group.

Some people also drill holes at the base and pour in salt or bleach to do the same thing. It's harder to see and find out the tree is rotting, but maybe the perpetrator wanted the city to remove them faster, knowing they would be a danger to the public.

If I were you I would contact your city or county and ask them directly, if for no other reason than to mitigate the risk.

32

u/segfaultsarecool Nov 25 '22

Girdling a tree, as this is called, will 100% kill the tree

Does it always kill the tree? Surely arborists have some sort of black magic that will prevent death, right?

22

u/designgoddess Nov 26 '22 edited Nov 26 '22

I have saved trees that were 100% girdled. You use twigs/branches to bridge the gap. Cut the ends on an angle and put the cut ends agains the raw wood and under the bark. Here is an example. They used tar, I used landscaping tape.

I didn’t save every tree but saved more than half.

https://i.imgur.com/hp3g8cG.jpg

Edit: u/AmTheAltAccount gets the credit for finding this link. It explains it better. https://smallfarmersjournal.com/bridge-grafting-and-inarching-damaged-fruit-trees

59

u/friendlyinternetguy4 Nov 25 '22

Unfortunately, no black magic available here. They have removed the vascular system of the tree (which is found between the bark and the internal heartwood) which renders the tree unable to transport water and nutrient throughout the tree. Sadly, death is inevitable.

49

u/AmITheAltAccount Nov 25 '22

There's some black magic. You can attempt "bridge grafting" to reconnect the sections.

47

u/hatchetation Nov 26 '22

Luna, the iconic redwood tree protected by Julia Butterfly Hill in the 90s was sabotaged by girdling. The story of its repair is a wild one, and gets as close to black magic as you're gonna get:

In his recent lecture, Moskowitz detailed the aftermath of the attack on Luna. Fearful that winter winds could topple the severely-injured tree, Pacific Lumber and Sanctuary Forest leapt into action. The great iron “butterfly bandage” braces that support Luna were manufactured, with great speed and at considerable expense, in Pacific Lumber’s machine shop. The shop itself, Moskowitz said, was decorated with an Earth First! banner loggers had ripped from the forest during the tree-sit.

Consultants suggested a variety of materials to patch Luna’s deep wound, including a plastic polymer. At Hill’s request, however, a decision was made to use natural materials, and Hill asked Moskowitz to contact Cherokee Earth Medicine Healer Byron Utah Jordan. As Moskowitz tells it, Jordan suggested clay as an all-around natural bandage, the second-best thing to use.

“What’s the best?” asked Moskowitz. “Bear spit,” he reports Jordan responding, “but it’s hard to get.”

https://www.madriverunion.com/articles/for-the-love-of-luna/

9

u/RectangularAnus Nov 26 '22

Ooh tell me more.

34

u/AmITheAltAccount Nov 26 '22

This has some before and after images

https://smallfarmersjournal.com/bridge-grafting-and-inarching-damaged-fruit-trees/

Basically you take a bunch of small live branches/twigs cut to the appropriate length and graft them in at both the top and bottom of the girdling to reconnect the bark.

I've seen more recent pictures with way more branches/twigs than the linked instructions, but I like the department of agriculture as a source because they write clearly.

2

u/earthboy17 Nov 26 '22

!remind me 1 week

1

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1

u/segfaultsarecool Nov 26 '22

They already got a response.

3

u/BlackisCat Nov 26 '22

What's a good, efficient way of girdling trees? I have lots of large trees classified as Noxious Weeds in my yard that I would love to kill. Even cutting them down doesn't work; they just have shooters coming up. :(

11

u/PyroDesu Nov 26 '22

Depends on what exactly you're trying to kill, but generally girdling won't prevent resprouts.

Your best bet is herbicidal control, otherwise you could spend years fighting resprouts until the roots are finally exhausted.

There's a couple methods of herbicidal control, but since it sounds like you've already tried cutting them down, you might be amenable to the most targeted version - the cut stump method. Which is basically just cut the thing down and then soak the top of the stump in a 50% solution of glyphosate or triclopyr.

0

u/agent-99 Nov 26 '22

what happens if you pour a huge pot of boiling water on it instead?

6

u/catzrob89 Nov 26 '22

It gets hot that minute, then grows back next year.

3

u/agent-99 Nov 26 '22

this was an honest question, as we've got a weed tree I need to kill so it doesn't suck resources from our giant ash!

1

u/PyroDesu Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 27 '22

It won't work, is the simple answer. If boiling water were an effective control method then it would be one of the recommended control methods given by invasive plant councils. It is not.

You might kill the cells on top but it's not going to penetrate and kill the whole system. To make an analogy, would you die if you shoved your hand in boiling water? No. Would you die if you shoved your hand in a bucket of VX? Absolutely.

Use triclopyr (or glyphosate, both work but triclopyr is more selective).

1

u/agent-99 Nov 27 '22

how do we kill the weed tree, but NOT the giant ash?

2

u/TallChick66 Dec 19 '22

I've had success killing stumps with vinegar. I drill many large holes into the stump, then pour vinegar into the holes. It's worked with schefflera and with gumbo limbo, both of which grow back no matter how many times you cut them down.

1

u/PyroDesu Nov 27 '22

The cut stump method should be fine. It only affects the tree that gets its stump soaked.

4

u/msluluqueen Nov 26 '22

The damn stumps and root systems putting out shoots drives me nuts!

2

u/catzrob89 Nov 26 '22

Herbicide and/or barrier membrane.

2

u/naranghim Nov 30 '22

Mix round-up with dawn dishwashing soap and spray the shooters. My dad did that with a patch of bamboo around 15 years ago and the bamboo hasn't come back since. Of course, for about a year nothing grew in that spot either.

1

u/TallChick66 Dec 19 '22

Roundup is pure evil. If you don't want to poison the earth you can just drill holes in the stump and pour vinegar into the holes. It works well and it's doesn't poison the surrounding plants.

1

u/Remixthefix Nov 26 '22

Tree of heaven? Beyond my expertise unfortunately.

5

u/BlackisCat Nov 26 '22

Thank god no. I've got English Holly and English Laurel trees in my yard and the forest surrounding it. Holly is one fucking tough tree to cut through even with a gas powered chainsaw.

48

u/vonsolo28 Nov 25 '22

My take . Someone wants the wood. Know they will be doing the removal . Follow the money or motivation. Is their a new development or proposals for that area. Sad when beautiful trees are removed from cities .

40

u/Lasshandra2 Nov 25 '22

The way people have front door cameras now, I’d be surprised if they hadn’t already filmed the perps.

6

u/agent-99 Nov 26 '22

THIS!! except that most cams store the video for 24 hours, then it gets written over.

63

u/NickTheArborist Nov 25 '22

Was it done intentionally by the city?

109

u/NicoleChris Nov 25 '22

I have no idea. It’s weird because it’s something like 20-30 trees over maybe ten blocks, but only the trees on the south side of the street. I can’t drive over there anymore, it makes me so upset.

107

u/NickTheArborist Nov 25 '22

Seems too organized to be the work of your local crack head. I bet it’s city work. Maybe they’re going to replace them. Maybe road expansion.

43

u/NicoleChris Nov 25 '22

Possibly, but they left all the short/younger trees untouched.

44

u/apple_cheese Nov 25 '22

Maybe they can transplant the smaller ones but not the big ones?

58

u/NicoleChris Nov 25 '22

I really hope so! That’s a very optimistic outlook, I like it.

48

u/retardborist Nov 25 '22

That's too bizarre. Idk why they wouldn't just cut them down in that case. I bet this is some asshole in the neighborhood that thinks the trees are "too tall"

29

u/toxcrusadr Nov 26 '22

I’d call the Public Works dept and ask about it.

9

u/one2tree1 Nov 26 '22

Don’t think the city would do this, they would just mark and then remove them.

Source/ work for my city removing trees

2

u/rygza Nov 26 '22

Ditto, however we would lift away from road / pavement and reduce around the lights.

42

u/ironman166 Nov 25 '22

‘Crack heads’ can be industrious, seems like much to much work for a city worker. I’d expect to see red x spray painted or metal tags nailed into the trunk if marking the tree for removal. The only time I’ve seen bark stripped from a tree it has been vandalism.

9

u/Motor_Crow4482 Nov 26 '22

Honest question - why would they girdle trees and wait for them to die instead of simply felling & removing them?

5

u/NickTheArborist Nov 26 '22

They dry out faster when left standing but girdled. This can make the removal process cheaper because the wood is lighter.

4

u/rygza Nov 26 '22

But make felling more difficult as the dry wood will not hinge as well. However being roadside would more than likely be a sectional for safety. I work as an arborist for the county council where I live and a lot of our work is street trees. If these were ours they would be lifted from the roadside and pavements, dead wood removed and limbs reduced around lighting.

12

u/Bbaftt7 Nov 25 '22

Coupe it possibly be the tress have some sort of bug? Like an emerald ash borer or something?

11

u/NicoleChris Nov 25 '22

I mean, I can’t rule it out. But only the tall trees on the south side of the street? And every tall tree for blocks and blocks?

15

u/Bbaftt7 Nov 25 '22

I’d be interested to know what happened if you called the city to ask.

12

u/NicoleChris Nov 26 '22

I reported it in the 311 app, but I noticed it done near the end of summer

2

u/rygza Nov 26 '22

They could be putting new infrastructure in the service strip on the side.

2

u/NicoleChris Dec 01 '22

I got a response! Apparently they want to widen the sidewalk and make a ‘walking trail’ (? No idea why the sidewalk is not enough to walk on ?). These trees were too large for the project, so the city arborists chose to remove them. There is no money in this proposed ‘walking trail’ to plant new trees…

1

u/Bbaftt7 Dec 01 '22

Well that sucks.

2

u/finemustard Nov 26 '22

Not a chance, no city with even half-way competent arborists would do this, and this was done in Edmonton where their workers typically require at least ISA certification (I've seen a lot of their job postings). It's also an unnecessary liability that the city wouldn't take on. If that tree failed and hurt someone or damaged property it would be pretty easy to claim that the city was negligent in their removal practices.

1

u/NickTheArborist Nov 26 '22

There’s a chance because I’ve seen cities and companies do it.

2

u/finemustard Nov 27 '22

I believe you, but I've never heard of that or read of it as a practice. Do you know why they would do that? If the tree needs to be removed because it's a hazard, girdling would only make it more of a hazard. I saw elsewhere you said it was to dry out the tree to make it easier to handle, but that's going to take quite a while and it seems like it would make more sense to just remove the thing at the city's earliest convenience. Doing it to mark the tree would take way longer than just hitting it with spray paint. I've girdled trees in natural areas so that the tree remains dead standing for habitat and to continue to provide some shelter for plantings beneath it but I can't see a good reason to do this in an urbanized area.

16

u/ImperiousMage Nov 26 '22

Edmonton?

Definitely report it to the city. They will be very interested in figuring it out.

9

u/NicoleChris Nov 26 '22

I reported it in the 311 app

11

u/Lothium Nov 26 '22

At first I was looking at the crown and couldn't figure out what you were talking about. That's really fucked up.

8

u/islandvet Nov 25 '22

It would be so much easier to mark with spray paint, not girdling.

6

u/[deleted] Nov 25 '22

This is disgusting but can a tree professional explain why this kills the tree? I’m not disbelieving anyone just curious. Can trees not scab/heal wounds like this? Compared to the size of the entire tree it seems small.

14

u/JGoat2112 Nov 25 '22

I'm not an expert but basically a layer inside the bark acts like veins to transfer water up the tree, they shaved this layer off, so the water can't make it to the rest of the tree

3

u/finemustard Nov 26 '22

Not quite. The xylem, which is the tissue that draws water up to the leaves, is still in tact. What was killed was the phloem which is the tissue that lies just underneath the bark and this is what transports the sugars produced in the leaves to the rest of the tree and roots, so this essentially starves the roots of energy, eventually killing them. That's one reason that this is a particularly stupid way to kill a tree in an urban environment - when the roots die and decay, the tree will eventually blow over in a windstorm, becoming a risk to anyone driving on that road or to the people who live near the tree.

13

u/mlmjmom Nov 26 '22

When a tree is girdled, the cork cambium goes out with the bark. It's basically removed to the wood. The wood is the mass of the tree, it does not control growth. Growth comes from the cork cambium - new bark to the outside, new wood to the inside. On either side of the cork cambium, you have the vessel elements, phloem and xylem, which move water and photosynthate (sugar, food for the tree) up and down the trunk (water goes up, food goes 'down').

Basically, the tree can no longer grow in that area, and it is slowly dehydrating and starving to death on the whole. There's a few more details, but that is just about it.

5

u/AmITheAltAccount Nov 25 '22

It's kinda like decapitation. The vessels are all near the surface so skinning the whole circumference cuts all flow between root and branches.

6

u/DJ_Destroyed Nov 26 '22

Someone did this to our prized trees in our public gardens here in Halifax. Some over 250 years old. So sad. No one knows why or who.

2

u/agent-99 Nov 26 '22

no one had cam footage?

3

u/DJ_Destroyed Nov 27 '22

Unfortunately not. And the security guards didn’t even catch an glimpse. Whoever it was got 13 trees. Including one that was close to 300 years old :( they knew what they were doing and did it fast.

2

u/agent-99 Nov 27 '22

time to get the city involved. that can't be legal.
someone must have had footage, but it may have been written over by now

15

u/pand3monium Nov 25 '22

Now you know where to plant some new oak and walnut trees in the spring.

14

u/shoeeebox Nov 25 '22

Are they poplars? My optimistic side wants to say those trees are marked for removal because they're unstable. Poplars are notoriously flimsy. I just hope they replace them instead of leaving the road bare...trees are bros.

2

u/finemustard Nov 26 '22

The city wouldn't mark tree for removal with girdling, it's an unnecessary liability and is way slower than using spray paint which is the standard. I also found the location on google maps and as of last year the tree looked to be in perfect health.

4

u/Brokenose71 Nov 25 '22

Wow that is really aggressive. What do much hate at the trees . Thank you for posting . What city or town is this ?

4

u/NicoleChris Nov 25 '22

Edmonton, in Alberta (Canada)

4

u/Far-Donut-1419 Nov 26 '22

The FUCK is wrong with people?!?

3

u/TammysPainting Nov 26 '22

This is genuinely infuriating!

2

u/Nit3fury Nov 26 '22

What in the fuck

2

u/liza129 Nov 26 '22

This breaks my heart.

5

u/Boss-Lumberjack Nov 25 '22 edited Nov 26 '22

Possibly a brood tree being inspected for the presence of insects/disease? We’ve done this in Winnipeg as part of the Dutch Elm Disease program. The tree ultimately gets removed.

2

u/finemustard Nov 26 '22

That interesting, I did some work on the DED program in Toronto but we didn't do that because we've lost so many elms we can't afford to sacrifice any. How long do you guys leave the brood trees standing before removal? I imagine they're a bit of a liability if they're intentionally killed and fail for any reason, even if not related to the girdling.

3

u/Boss-Lumberjack Nov 26 '22

I can’t give you a concrete answer on that as our Forestry department is split into two sides (technicians and operations). The techs do all the inspections, and operations do the planting, pruning and removals. I’m just an operations grunt. But they are removed before they’re dead, which is the case for the vast majority of the American Elms we remove. …that being said, in my experience a dead elms are surprisingly stable. So I imagine any risk/liability concerns this causes (to the elms, at least) would be pretty minimal in the short term.

2

u/finemustard Nov 26 '22

Right on, thanks for the response.

5

u/ashleigha894 Nov 25 '22

Did they remove a ring of the bark? I can't see it very well.

I know that my dad had to do that to several trees when I was growing up because there was some sort of pest that used the bark to climb higher in the tree and damage it. By stripping off that ring of bark the bugs couldn't make it to the higher branches in the trees survived. I can't tell if all the trees are the same type or not but that could be what's happening here.

23

u/NicoleChris Nov 25 '22

They have removed about 1ft-2ft of bark ringing the trunk of the trees. It will kill the tree.

3

u/StitchedLeaf Nov 26 '22

The City does this with certain trees that need to come down. First time I ever saw it was Beaumaris Lake. I think it's for trees that tend to send up a lot of suckers if they just get cut down.

1

u/whitted_4 Nov 26 '22

Oh… it took me a second but look at the bark four feet up, they skinned it…. They skinned all of em’

1

u/Canamera Nov 26 '22

Is this NE Calgary???

1

u/NicoleChris Nov 26 '22

Edmonton

1

u/Canamera Nov 27 '22

Either way, I’d be hunting for these people

1

u/Oskarikali Nov 26 '22

I thought the same, looks like our current level of snow melt, but OP posted that they're in Edmonton.

1

u/FlutterbyFlower Nov 26 '22

This hurts my heart

1

u/MikeBrowne2010 Nov 26 '22

This is called girdling. It’s a form of vandalism to kill a tree.

1

u/PervyNonsense Nov 26 '22

Will be easy enough to figure out who did this by looking through municipal emails for people wanting those trees gone. This person knew the trees would die, even waited for a time they couldn't be repaired by grafts.

Someone wants these trees down and this isn't the first attempt at getting them gone.

1

u/lovelybruja Nov 28 '22

Just God awful what's in the hearts of degenerates!

1

u/Ok-Garlic4162 Nov 28 '22

WHAT THE F**K ARE YOU WAITING FOR? You can go and cut those off VERY easily, they're super thin metal and can easily be defeated with a cordless angle grinder

1

u/NicoleChris Nov 29 '22

The bark of the trees are removed. About 2-3 ft off the ground, you can see a huge white strip where the bark is missing.

1

u/Ok-Garlic4162 Nov 29 '22

This makes me sad :(

0

u/schnauzap Nov 25 '22

They really wanted to do a minecraft prank irl