Tree roots poisoned by gasoline

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  #1  
Old 06-18-05, 02:47 PM
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Tree roots poisoned by gasoline

Please help! My idiot former girlfriend just poured about a gallon of gas all around the base of one of my favorite maples! This tree has to be about 20 years old and it's beautiful. She's already got the cops called on her just before I typed this message. Should I even be concerned? Can the tree survive this poisoning? or is there anything I can do to neutralize the gas?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-18-05, 04:37 PM
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You also need to turn her into the EPA in your state, but doing so may implicate you because you are the property owner. Even a tiny gasoline spill in the landscape can pollute the air and water table. Because maples are so shallow rooted, it is likely you can kiss your favorite tree good-bye. Deep watering will not help because oil and water do not mix. All we can do is pray for the tree. Take pictures of the tree.

You are actually lucky that she took the violence out on the tree and not you. This does not mean that you are not still on her hit list. Take care. The tree may have been a warning.

Change your locks. Close your checking account and credit cards. Get new ones. Change your telephone numbers. Get a security system. And, tell the local police that you and your property are under threat. If you can afford it, install security cameras. If necessary, get a restraint order.

If the gal is employed, you might want to talk with an attorney to bring suit against her for property damage. You might also want to explore your homeowner's insurance re: vandalism and tree loss. Problem with that is these days according to internet forum posts, insurance companies can cancel you at will if you file a claim. Alert your neighbors to keep an eye on your home and call police if anyone or anything looks suspcious. Surely, they know what that person looks like by now. And, you might want to consider moving. Once a psycho-path has you within their radar, they tend to be relentless until they have destroyed you. What is worse is one that lies in the bushes for years and then suddenly strikes in revenge. Always cover your bases and your back. I don't mean to frighten you to death, but I am in that position.
 
  #3  
Old 06-18-05, 05:54 PM
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Hi twelvepole and thanks for your input

I called a local garden store here. They too said she neds to be turned in to the EPA immediately! But my thought was, "What actual proof do I have she did this?" I did not have a camcorder running at the time. The good news is that the maple has a 60% or better chance of survival because the tap root is the root that feeds the tree. The side roots are mainly for support. It will kill the grass around for sure, but the tree will most likely make it.

That was good news to hear. I feel a little better knowing it has at least a fighting chance. How someone could hurt something innocent is beyond me. I mean ... <example> if someone has a direct problem with me and my car is there while I'm not near it, they would take their yellow sickness out on my car instead of taking it out on me. WHY?? My car didn't do anything to anyone! It was just sitting there minding it's business. I don't get it. People are weird, and I'm soon to go 'hermit' with just online chat as my only form of communication for now on.
 
  #4  
Old 06-18-05, 06:04 PM
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J.D. White,

I would suggest that if it was only a gallon, you may be able to minimize the impact on the tree and ground by getting a shovel and digging up the affected soil.
If you shovel it onto a plastic tarp you can deal with disposal later.
 

Last edited by GregH; 06-18-05 at 06:20 PM.
  #5  
Old 06-18-05, 07:56 PM
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Local EPA, garden stores, and local Dept. of Agriculture can offer the best advise. Call them direct.
 
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