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Our Dying Maples

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Tbe dyiug of maple? in this vicinity has been causing such anxiety hereabouts that the Argus has been endeavoring to ascertain, if possible, the cause of tbe destruction and what remedies niight be applied to the diseaseWith this purpose in view we have consulted a few of the citizens most hkely to be informed upon the subject. The well-known chemist, Ottmar Eberbach, was flrst consulted, and in answer to the reporter's query, " VVhat's the matter with our maples?'' replied : " That's what I'd like to know. I have lost several myself, but haven't been ableto discover the nature of the trouble yet. I have noticed that the trees die froni the top ; ürst the branches fall off, and the disease spreads down to the trunk. I thmk it must be some insect that works in f rom the outside, and then forms its nit, resulting in the iufection of the tree. My hedges were troubled by insects last year, and I saved theta by washiug with an arsenical solutiou. This could be used to keep the insects f rom the trees, without killing the trees, if we knewjust where the trouble originated." Prot. V. M. Spalding, teacher of botany in the University, was also consulted, and gives us the following communication in reply : Ann Akbor Mich., Aug. 15th, 1888. Editor of the Argus: De ar Sir- In regard to the deceased condition of the maple trees in Ann Arbor, about which you make inquiry, I eau only say that, having made careful microscopic examination of the leaves, I am unable to refer it to the agency of any fuugus, although this miehthave been looked for as the occasion of the trouble. Many leaves show the presence of a fungus growth after they have become spotted, but there is uo evidence that this is the real cause. The 'whole appearance of the tree leads to thesuspicion that sometlring is wrong at the root, but whether the cuttiug off of roots when the water pipes are laid, followed by dry weather, or the removalof earth too close to the tree in the anniml clëaning of the streets. or the possible agency öf insects, any of thern, are the occasion of the mischief ! is yet to be deterniined. The fact that the trees out in the country as well as those iu town are affected seems 1 sistentwith the supposition that it has beeucausedbymechanical in jury to the roots in the wav suggested. A few days ago I wrote to Dr. W. G. Farlow, of Harvard Uuiversity, the best authority on plant diseases in this country, and received this morniug the following: " With regard to diseases of maples of which you speak, 1 can only say that a similar appearance of maples occurred at Newton, Mass., which was traced to the escape of gas from pipes on certain streets. The leaves appeared brownish in spots which grew larger and larger. I have not examined the leaves microscopically this year, but have done so before. I shall examine them again. The cause in past years (in the case of a tree specially studied) seemed to be clearly some emanations from the kitchen pipes, üur disease is confined to towns and the worst case I know followed a certain street and was checked by relaying the pipes." It would be desired, I think, to have some of the worst affected trees dug up and their roots caref ully examiued and cornpared with those of sound trees. Yours respectfully. V. II. SPALD1XG. Prof. B. E. Isichols was in from nis farm yesterday. A reporter met him and asked bis opinión about the matter. Ile said: "I have made no investigation this year, but a few years ago there was the same trouble and it was found that it was caused by worms boring in the trees. Judge Cooley's trees were afflicted, but he saved them by trimming, off the tops. In the hard soil there was not suffleient nourishment to support the tops and branches, and the consequencej was they coinrnenced dying from the top. That might be the trouble now. I have lost no maples this season." Prof. Emil Baur in a conversation had with him some weeks ago attributed the djing condition of some of our maples to a grub which eats into the tree and which is known as the borer. He advised washing the bark of trees in the spring time with a solutiou of soft soap and water into which a little carbolic acid had been placed. The editor of the Argus with tbe aid of a pen knife bas found the presence of these grubs or worms in all trees, the leaves of which were dying, which he has examined. They do not seem to be very f ar under the bark. A substance something like cotton is found covering the entrance to the holes in the trees which they have made and under it will be found the worm. In most of the trees a cursory examination will not reveal the presence of many of them. Ou the north east coruer of Fourth and Liberty streets is a tree which seems to be alive with thern. As has been stated in these columns before, it is said that there is a mau in Adrián who undertakes the contract of killing the grubs in the trees at twenty-üve cents a tree. He does ïtby digging in after the grubs. Ann Arbor many years ago lost her beautiful locust trees through a similar cause. It is time this subject received considerable atteutiou.


Ann Arbor Argus
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