Tuesday, July 19, 2011

DuPont Killed My Pine Tree

Last December’s One Small Green Change was to grow my Christmas tree from a pine sapling I won in a contest.

The little guy grew well in his pot on my sunny patio. I transplanted it this spring when Husband and I made a raised garden bed and filled it with plants. 

 The front yard shortly after we planted the garden bed

Husband took over the hand weeding and watering duties. It is his moment of zen after a long workday. Blitzkrieg likes to supervise. It’s their Guy Time.
You missed a spot.

We’re amazed that the majority of front yard garden grew from tiny seeds. The transplanted lavender and chive love their new roomy bed.

I took this photo of the same garden bed yesterday. It's growing!

The pine tree is another story.

It’s dead.

Dupont killed my Christmas tree to be.

My condo community’s lawn service is an accessory to the murder.

My community’s lawn service, Five Seasons, like most of the lawn care services in central Ohio started using Dupont’s Imprelis herbicide this year. Dupont said they thoroughly tested Imprelis. They convinced lawn care companies to try it because Imprelis is supposed to fight weeds more effectively. Unlike other herbicides, Imprelis doesn’t wash away during a rain because it works its way into the roots which means less is needed.

And that’s the problem.

At first husband and I thought the spring rains watered our little tree too much and that’s why all the needles turned brown and fell off. According to local news articles, the massive spring rains allowed Imprelis to leach past my brick garden borders, into my flowerbeds, and attacked the roots of my pine tree. Imprelis didn't affect the crab grass. I had to yank that by hand. Oh the irony!

 That explains why the plant next to the pine tree is struggling too

“Norway spruce, blue spruce and white pine have the most damage, Ahlum and others said, but they also report problems on honeylocusts, maples, oaks, walnuts, redbuds, cottonwoods, birches, viburnums and taxus.” reports The Columbus Dispatch in Is Weedkiller Killing Trees? 

Of course, I would prefer it if my lawn service did not use herbicides at all. However, they are a necessary evil. Five Seasons has a horrible habit of not rising off their mowers after each job unlike our previous lawn service. It didn’t take long for Five Seasons to introduce a swathes of weeds and crab grass to the once weed free lawns of our neighborhood.

Husband and I are extremely disappointed our tree died and more than a little ticked. We don’t know what to do about it either. Do I contact my lawn service? My Condo Association? My Association will tell me that keeping things alive in my flower beds is my responsibility. Which is what were were doing until Imprelis reared its ugly head.

Dupont isn't admitting to any wrongdoing or lack of testing. The only thing they did after the face was to advise lawn companies is not to spray Imprelis around trees. That’s just a little too late Dupont and BS advice at that.

 I am not the only person who is mad. A Michigan Golf Club is suing Dupont for not testing Imprelis thoroughly or issuing warnings until it was too late.

Notice how the other plants are growing like gangbusters in the same flower bed? All of those plants are not near grass. They are on the sidewalk side of the flowerbed.

Five Seasons says Dupont isn’t taking responsibility for killing client’s trees. If I contact Five Seasons they may reimburse me for the cost of my tree but it was free, remember?

What does this mean for the vegetables and herbs that are growing in my flowerbeds? What about next year’s new plants? Am I screwed out of planting herbs I want to eat in that garden bed thanks to Dupont?

I have no idea what to do or where to turn. What would you do?

Did you enjoy this post? Get more like it by subscribing to the Condo Blues RSS Feed  or to Condo Blues by Email.