Case Study: Project 1

Challice Consulting Ltd. were commissioned to survey the Maple trees to decipher the reason for the death of five of these trees located on this site. Previous observations and reports of the subject trees noted a range of tree decline symptoms to include:
 

• Poor canopy coverage

• Limited stem extension growth

• Sporadic branch/stem and leaf die-back

• Stem lesions

• Presence of Sooty Bark disease

• Tide marks on the stems
 

Evaluation of leaf coverage based on visual observations over the course of two years recorded a positive increase in canopy leaf area. Works undertaken included the amendment of soil pH through the use of iron sulphate and soil aeration and biochar amendment. On a later date the soil was further amended with iron sulphate and organic matter incorporated. Addition of these soil amendments would account for the increased canopy leaf area coverage recorded.
 

In other cases some trees showed a marked decrease in canopy area. Due to the visible presence of “splash” marks at the base of the trees, samples were collected and submitted for analysis. Analysis of bark samples revealed the presence of detergent residues and uric acid (urine) within the bark tissue. Interestingly the location of the trees that have rapidly spiralled into decline corresponded to areas of buildings with high glass frontage and/or an area where a food outlet is located. The continual “dumping” of waste detergent washings during the cleaning process may be responsible for the decline of these trees. A fungicide bark spray was applied to trees displaying symptoms of Sooty Bark disease. 

Action Required by Client:

  • The five dead Maple trees should be removed

  • Reduce dog urination if possible

  • Educate all staff engaged in cleaning on the site of the importance and consequences of tipping detergent into the bases of the Maple trees

  • Attach signs to trees to reduce chances of contamination

  • Set up a monitoring system to identify the source of the detergent deposits

 

Action Required by Challice Consulting Ltd.:

  • Carry out a post mortem of two trees following removal to verify source and location of contamination

  • Appy fungicide bark spray to trees displaying symptoms of Sooty Bark disease

  • Return to site at a later date to monitor tree health and prepare a report on tree condition and health

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