The Edwards Agency

Opinion

Vine maples weed-whipped to death

weed-whipped vine maples I am sad in my heart again.
   By spring, two lovely vine maples by tributary 87, as it flows along the south bypass, will be dead. Weed-whipped to death.
   Apparently, the person(s) responsible for mowing or weed-whipping the grass from the base of the plantings on this strip are unaware that when bark of a trunk, vine, branch, shoot, etc., is cut or girdled, the cambian layer's job of delivering nutrition to the leaves is interrupted. If the entire perimeter is affected, all upper growth dies.
   Continued cutting into the trunk with a mower can lift the bark, but usually the weed whip is the culprit. That also explains why the shrubs on this strip are getting smaller.
   First, the outer row of shoots or branches catches the whip, then they die, and, as is fairly apparent in this case, they are removed, exposing the next row to damage, and so on.
   I would hate to have to replace those two vine maples at today's cost. I hope this is just an isolated case and has not also occurred along the trail.
   If the responsible parties were not aware of the impact on growth of girdling bark on trees and other vegetation, instruction is in order. If they were aware, then they, along with the dying trees, should be replaced.

Maudie Eastwood, Woodinville