Copper Sulfate effect on Tree

There is a city tree, an American Elm, that has a diameter of about 4'. It is a source of sewer backups, the roots get into the pipes. This tree is on the tree belt and between two houses. I don't really care for all the extra trouble because of the tree but don't want to see it destroyed. Today a neighbor told me that he had poured copper sulfate around the base of the tree. I understand that this is poisonous to the tree roots.
Can this really kill a large tree?, it's about 80 ft tall with a spread of at least 50'. Is there something I can do to neutralize the copper sulfate? If the copper sulfate does harm the tree what should I look for and what kind of timetable?
Is there something that I can put around the tree that will absorb the copper sulfate if the neighbor adds more?
The tree is in MA and I think that this is not legal. Any ideas on how to best proceed to first save the tree and second stop this nut?
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tree will likely die.........
call authorties and report that jerk copper sulphate is very hazardous and the chemical could poision a child who plays in the contamination.
sadly copper sulphate isnt necessary.
just pour common ROCK SALT mixed in water on a regular basis down the drain lines this tree is using as a water source.
like 25 pound bag 3 or 4 times a year.
kills the roots in water nearly instantly, doesnt harm the tree at all.
i have been doing this for over 10 years here rather than replace the sewer line.
cheap easy quick. softener salt can be used rather than rock salt if you want.
of course another solution is have the sewer snaked and cleaned well, then they install a liner like a sock sealing the inside of the line so the roots cant get in anymore.
if its truly a elm thats so sad since most were killed by elm disease years ago.
call the authorties immediately the soil contaminated should be removed and handled as hazardous waste..............
what a jerk
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I was worried about using a root killer myself so I did some internet researching
commercial root killers are copper sulfate http://www.spotfree.net/rootout.html http://www.roebic.com/catalog/root.htm
It turns out that the copper sulfate does not move very far into the root system & only the roots directly exposed (ie in the pipe) die & wither away.
Not to worry about the tree it'll be fine & your sewer will be root free. :)
I've used after researching it & my 70 year old camellia "trees" are still going strong.
cheers Bob
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wrote:

The jerk poured it around the base of the tree, not down the drain.

What would flooding it with water for a long time do?. It might make some CuSO4 go further down, but wouldn't most get washed away?
Call the city, or the arboretum, or the botanical garden (and ask them who to call about trees) and find out. I'd rather have a tree even if it was trouble** and he should have asked you before doing this anyhow. It was near your property too, and on your street.
**I have a couple 30 foot dead trees behind my house because they're old or something, and the county would cut them down for free because it's country property, but I like them. Sometimes a chunk falls off and down to the ground, and last spring, 3 out of 4 trunks of one tree fell over in the wind. Damaged my wood fence, but I don't care. I cut the tree up for fire wood and repaired the fence as I've done many times before.
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MM-
Missed "around the base if the tree"...oops!
Tell that idiot to stop dumping it around the tree.....the few pounds he dumped won't have much effect on the tree.
Tell him to use the root killer properly (in the drain) & the root problems will go away.
You'll need yearly treatment to keep the lines clear.
Tell him that if he thinks a 80 ft tree is a problem..... a dead 80 ft tree is worse.
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a buddles neighbor used copper sulphate root killer that had invaded his sewer line.
killed two 200 year old trees, one owned by the fellow using the root killer, the other tree was my buddy.
neighbor paid for both dead trees to be removed
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:
...

Some of my buddies are trees, also.
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M Q wrote:

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I wonder how the commercial root killer products (copper sulfate) stay on the market if they wind up killing the whole tree & not just the roots?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

Existing products often escape the scrutiny applied to new products. If it were invented today, do you think anyone would seriously suggest selling squeeze bottles of hydrofluoric acid as rust stain remover?
--
snipped-for-privacy@phred.org is Joshua Putnam
<http://www.phred.org/~josh/
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Whose property is it on? What is a tree belt? Is he going to pay for having it taken down, now that it is a hazard? If so, he better do it fast, as it is much cheaper to take down a live tree than a dead one.
Even if it is on his property, and even if dumping the chemicals in the ground is legal, he is still and idiot.
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private properties.
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Bill C. writes:

MA?
Call the authorities immediately. They will respond with truckloads of hazmat removal crews in moon suits with hazmat barrels. They will dig out all the dirt, containerize it, and put it in a toxic waste dump. Your neighbor will get a six-figure bill. You will get a bitter enemy.
Or just forget about it. I'll bet the tree won't even notice. It takes a lot of this stuff to have an effect, more than I expect was applied.
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On Mon, 09 Jul 2007 23:28:12 -0500, Richard J Kinch

I hate that too. The post office has valid reasons for insisting on predetermined, all-capital abbreviations, but that's no reason they should be used elsewhere.
It's Mass., Conn., Penn. or Pa., Cal. etc. just like it always was.
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Elm trees mostly died off in the US due to Dutch elm disease,and I've heard that there's some conservancy group that wants samples from any surviving elms,so they can clone them and have disease-resistant trees to plant,to keep the elms from being totally wiped out in the US. My childhood home used to have a big Elm tree in front,but it died due to Dutch elm disease.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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Thanks for the responses.....I am flooding the area with water to help dilute or wash away the chemical. Next step is to talk to the neighbor.

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You really should talk to the local EPA or other experts. You could be doing more damage by washing it in.
Bob
wrote:

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Left message on Mass EPA hot line with my name, number, and short description of issue before posting......No return call.......I guess that this is not an important issue for them. Local nursery suggested flooding with water.
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Bill C. wrote:

Killing a city tree is illegal here. And using that toxic substance on it, Yuk? Do you have dog/cat or small kids?
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