Ask a Consulting Arborist Q&A: Tree Appraisal

Q: Neighbor's pool burst and soaked our Japanese maple which is now dying. Can it be saved?

Thursday, December 31, 2015  

Q: We just moved into a house because we fell in love with the landscaping, in particular, a lovely Japanese maple. Last summer, our neighbor's aboveground pool burst and soaked the area around the tree. The leaves started to burn out, and now it seems like half the tree is burned out, dry, and dying. Is it possible to turn the tree around, or is it done?

A: There are many factors that may contribute to the decline of a tree. Japanese maples, while beautiful, can be susceptible to biotic factors, such as verticillium wilt, or abiotic ones, such as girdling roots. Dry conditions like we have had this summer can also cause issues. However, the accidental bursting of a pool and the subsequent flooding of the roots may also be related to what you are seeing and should be investigated further. I recommend the tree be physically checked out by a Consulting Arborist as soon as possible. With a thorough assessment, he or she should be better able to determine the cause of decline and what, if any, mitigation measures might help. If it turns out the flood contributed to the decline and/or death of the tree, The Consulting Arborist may also be able to help you by appraising the damage to, or value of, the tree.


Responder: John Wickes, RCA #455, Spring Valley, NY