Dying or dead trees and Gas leaks

Asked May 9, 2018, 12:53 PM EDT

Hi, I wanted to know if the gas leaks in my neighborhood could have caused the alarming number of dead trees that follow the lines. there have been more than 30 leaks in the last 2 years. Also, is there a way to test the soil near the trees to see if there is natural gas present? Thanks!

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Yes, it is possible for gas leaks to kill trees. The roots of affected trees typically look very dark, almost black due to anaerobic conditions in the soil. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/natural-gas-injury-trees-and-shrubs If you are willing to share some photos of the site and the symptoms you see, our plant pathologist is interested in seeing and possibly using them for teaching purposes (with your permission). If you are willing to send photos, you can upload up to three files to this reply.

In order to find a laboratory that is capable and willing to test for contaminants in the soil, you should search online for "Environmental Testing Services in Maryland” or “Analytical Services in Maryland”. The lab you choose will need to know exactly what you want to test for (natural gas). This testing can expensive, but it is available. We recommend that you call the lab first to discuss the type of test you want to have done.