Sick Sycamores,Trees & Shrubs

sycamoreA few weeks ago a reader named Mike emailed and asked me to write about the Sandy-damaged Sycamores that line our streets:

Most of all the sycamores are dying….I have been told its because of sandy and the salt water….Do you think Long beach would do anything about these? Taking them down is in the thousands for the 2 that are in front of my house….And after all I have spent, I am tapped….I don’t want them to fall over and hurt someone either

I wanted to wait until I actually spoke to an tree expert before I blogged about this, because it’s a gardening issue for most of the homeowners in Long Beach. What do we do with all these sick shrubs and trees??

An arborist from Oceanside told me that if any tree or shrub showed any sign of life this summer, even if the tips of the leaves turned brown, it’s worth it to just be patient and wait it out. There is a possibly chance that it will be fine in the long run. He called the salt water floods from Sandy an unprecedented event, so it’s best to just take care of anything you have that shows any kind of life.

One way to do that is to spread a premium organic compost (the compost/peat moss mixture) around the base of all your trees and shrubs. You don’t have to mix it into your soil, just spread about an inch on top and make sure you give enough water. Unfortunately we are in the middle of a drought, which is making things worse… The arborist stressed the importance of ‘making sure something is dead’ before you remove it. One way you can tell is by the strength of the branches. If you can easily snap a branch in half and the inside looks dry, it’s a goner. If the branch bends and looks white or moist on the inside once broken, it’s should be fine. Pretty self-explanatory.

As far as who is responsible for tree removal……hmm.. I have no idea. I don’t even think the city knows since there are so many street-lined trees that are indeed dead. This must something that FEMA has to cover, but good luck getting through with them. Is a grant in order? We can sure use the money!

If anybody has any other tips or info, please share!

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5 thoughts on “Sick Sycamores,Trees & Shrubs”

  1. Anthony, I believe many of the sycamores were struggling with athracnose, a fungal blight, before Sandy as limbs would fall without warning and leaf shrivel and bark rot was evident. Sycamores are very susceptable.

  2. The City removes its own trees from City owned property. When asked at the September Westholme Civic Association meeting if there can be a way for residents to pay the City to remove trees (at around cost), Jack said this was a good idea, and he would look into this… I haven’t heard any follow up on this issue but sounds like it may be a service the City could potentially offer.

  3. Thanks for the info. The sycamores around my place seem to be ok, so I don’t think he realized there was a fungal blight. It is sad to hear about it though, while messy, those sycamores are pretty trees

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