Ask a Consulting Arborist Q&A: Tree Health

Q: Painters dumped their paint water at the base of my locust tree. Has this poisoned the tree?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015  

Q: Some very unprofessional painters dumped their paint water all over my front lawn and at the base of my locust tree. Has this potentially poisoned my lawn and tree? The paint is still visible on the blades of grass. How soon will I know of any negative effects? Thank you very much.

A: The good news is the paint is latex, which is water based and less likely to cause damage, as would an oil-based paint. Even more fortunate is that the contamination is from washout rather than full-strength paint. Damage will likely be minimal and not long lasting, although the contamination may impact the turf within the immediate dumping area. The best advice is to overwater the area to drench the paint wash to minimize the toxicity. Chances are you will not see damage next spring and the visual effects will go away quickly.

 

Responder: Donald Godi, RCA #444, Lakewood, CO