Most people love a weed-free grass and landscape. However, residents are not properly informed on the negative impacts chemical fertilizers have. The steps to get the picture-perfect yard, could be killing your trees and that is only the tip of the iceberg with herbicides.


How can I tell if my trees have been effected by herbicides?

The best way is to find a local ISA Certified Arborist, they can tell you in confidence and some can run labs on your soil and trees. However, if this is not an option, you can tell by noticing stem die-back, foliage can look dried, burnt, or fried, leaf appearance can be delayed in the spring, and patches of dead tissues appear throughout the tree.


How does this happen?

Herbicides for the most part, are systematic herbicides. Meaning, that the herbicide is translocated and moves throughout the plant. While the targets are weeds, such as dollar weed, buttonweed, and thousands of others, the herbicide does not stop there. The Herbicide does not discriminate against tree roots and more often than not, tree roots extend into treated areas. Trees absorbing roots are right near the surface, comingling, near where the targeted weeds’ roots would be. With this close contact, this promotes absorption of the herbicide into the trees phloem which is absorbed and distributed throughout its structure.


Are some trees more susceptible than others?

The short answer, possibly. There is not enough evidence to deem a factual yes or no. However, herbicide damage reports have become more common in Palms, Shrubs, Ligustrum, and the Oak species, then others. Keep in mind that herbicide damage is NOT limited to these specific species.


I haven’t used herbicides?

If you, personally, don’t use herbicides throughout your lawn, one of the first questions is: If you have someone who tends to your lawn that could have put something out? Secondly, is could your neighbor be putting herbicides on their lawn? Critically consider this question, if they are up-hill from you, even if it is a slight slope. Lastly, Did you recently buy your home? If so, did the previous owners apply herbicide? A general way to see, is to examine your yard and see if you can spot any weeds or grass that is different than the primary grass that is growing. If there aren’t any weeds growing, it is likely at one point a herbicide was applied.


Why has this problem just now surfacing?

Overlooking herbicides, most were introduced in the 1990s. This being said, when they were first patented, they were pricey and not affordable to most, so golf courses and well-maintained commercial properties were generally the only place they were applied. After, the patent was lifted, they became more affordable, allowing merely everyone to purchase at their convince. Resulting in residents applying herbicides numerous times throughout a year, which is not recommend.


Can I save my tree?

Each tree is different. The best way to find out if your tree is salvageable, is to consult a local arborist and see which way they will direct you. There are a few organic ways that Eric Artmire, ISA Certified Arborist TX-3790-A, has found to mitigate the herbicide damage, if caught early on. There are also a few other ways that can help slow down the decline and potentially reverse it, but are chemically formulated. Weed N Feed, Scotts Bonus S, and numerous others have made themselves evident throughout East Texas and The United States by killing residents’ century year old trees. If you have given your yard guys permission to apply fertilizers to your yard, we recommend you looking into them and in the future contact us for an organic fertilizer. So, we can ensure the treatment that is put out will not jeopardize the health and well-being of your trees, but instead incline the health of your tree and any other organism that comes in to contact with it will benefit. There is no guarantee, that if your tree is treated that it will save it, but there is a good chance that it can be saved. The price to save it is typically less expensive than the price to remove it.

You can find a local arborist, by visiting https://www.treesaregood.org/ findanarborist/findanarborist