Soil testing

Asked August 14, 2014, 12:24 AM EDT

Our neighbor poured something on a cedar tree stump in his yard the end of June after having it cut down by a tree service. We have a cedar tree that is the same size his was just on the other side of the fence we share. Our tree started turning brown the 1st week of July, was mostly brown the middle of July and is pretty much completely dead at this point. (I attached a picture from 2 weeks ago, it was the most current one I had available to me.) My husband went to talk to our neighbor who told us that he poured a half of a container (size unknown) of Roundup. In talking to some people, we have been told that it is unlikely that it was Roundup but instead something else that could have killed our tree our size as quickly as it did. At this point, we aren't going to have a choice but to take it down (which I am heartbroken about) but we would like to know what was actually poured to kill it as we decide whether or not we can even plant something in it's place. What would be the best course of action for us to get our soil tested? Thank you...

Marion County Oregon tree health horticulture

1 Response

It may be a challenge to determine what killed your tree. Round up does not move readily in the soil, so depending upon how much was poured on the stump and how close to your tree, it may not be likely. If you were to send in a sample for analysis, since it occurred awhile ago, it is possible the chemical has broken down by now. It could also be coincidental that your tree died around the same time. You could also bring a sample of your tree to the Marion County Extension Office to see if they see symptoms of disease or other problems.

If you are interested in sending in a soil sample, below is a guide to laboratories that do testing for pesticide residues. However, these tests are not inexpensive, and since you have no idea what was applied, it will be hard for the lab to know which tests to run. I would call a couple labs and see what the fees are and what they suggest if you would like to move forward in that direction.

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