Roofer crushed our Japenese maple tree

Harleysville, PA
Here is a photo of our tree now.
It had canker 4 years ago and our arbortis treated it and it came back so pretty last year. Now the roofer (which was a old friend/neighbor put a new roof on our house and smashed it throwing the shingles down on a tarp that was covering all our bushes and tree..) We are trying to be nice about this but very upset.. He gave us $500 for the damage but our arborist said it was worth $2000. Want to keep piece so hope we can leve it for the summer and see what it does. come fall if we hate the looks of it we can maybe transplant it to the backyard or throw it out..and plant a new smaller one there in the from..Does anyone think this might come back??

This message was edited Apr 26, 2008 8:13 AM

This message was edited Apr 26, 2008 8:14 AM

Springfield, IL(Zone 6a)

HUMMM my first statement was OH CR_P... But then I looked at your other picture ./..I may be wrong but that one branch was totally doa and the other 1/2 doa...I don't think it was worth as much as you think it looks to me it was not in good shape internally and was destined for more problems IMHO... I would just clean cut the broken branches and let it grow out and it should take off in a couple of years if it WAS not a gonner in the first place which seems likely to methen it will pittle along for a while and die maybe come up fronm the Root stock as a plain jane JM. Live healthy cut branches do not look like that ..

Oh and this is not a maple thing but a good reason NEVER to use a friend for such stuff ...if something goes wrong you are left with no recourse or no friend... Although i think , in so far as the trees condition as I see it, that 500$$ was more than fair...but I may be wrong ..just looks not healthy to me ...others may think otherwise ..D

Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

Do you have a before photo of the tree Jess? I can see that it was a really old one.

I think that you would do better to start with a new tree. $500 should get you started pretty well I think. Of course you can wait until you see what happens but it's pretty broken. What on earth was the guy thinking? Roofers should know better. I have to get my house painted soon and I'm really not looking forward to having tradesmen around my trees I can tell you right now.

Springfield, IL(Zone 6a)

Not tyo get off the subject or thread ....Although this guy was a friend ...among the tradesfolks roofers are considered by other trade folks at the bottom of the food chain...many at least around here hire large crews of ex cons and basically street folks folks that might help you in a bar fight not folks you'd want around your house are often more likely to get your house promptly robbed than properly roofed.Most also do not carry workers comp and WHEN...not if someone gets hurt they just go out of biz. always best to have them produce their insurance policies before work!! There are exceptions but at least here thems the facts..Painters on the other hand are a big step up ...they are use to dealing directly with folks and you , Doss, should not have the same problem especially since they won't be unloading shingles scraped from the roof onto your trees ;>000 There are diseputable and sloppy painters but compared to roofers you are dealing with chior boys ;>) David

Harleysville, PA

Well alittle history on the tree as it got canker in 2005 so we had lost a branch or two to that but last year it really took off again and our arborist said it looked great and got so full looking and a nice shaped tree again when it had all its leaves. It was pretty this year also till last Saturday.. Anyway some of the branches you see were cut in 2005 the others were cut by our arborist last Monday after the damage. The arborist quote $2000 for a new tree that size if we wanted him to write up a claim but we did not want to push the issue with our neighbor/roofer and just took the $500. Here is a photo taken in February 2004 but we have no other photo of it closer to 2008. I saw a nice size one for $500 at our nursery but not sure we should try to transplant this in the back yard to see how it does or wait till fall give it a few months to get over the shock then move it. Or just let it go and see what happens over the summer. It will probably take years to have a nice tree again if it does not get some other issue now..Who knows if it will ever take a nice shape after all its damage now..I hate to give up on it but it might be easier to trash it.. Its in the front yard so not really nice to look at but loved my tree....Poor thing!!!I might just get a new one but they take so long to grow to that size again... Here is the 2004 photo...

Thumbnail by jess2132000
Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

jess, I'm so sorry that you lost your tree but especially since it's in front of your house, I would go with a new tree. What's left of the old one looks tortured and sad. Also it's obviously a location for a plant that is a star. Just went back and looked at the photos again to be sure. I'm still convinced that a new tree is what is needed.

Harleysville, PA

Well we are thinking out putting this in the back yard to see if we can spin it around and see what happens to it.. not sure it will make the transplant but what do we have to lose.. I hate to toss it without try to see if it can come back somewhere else just not in the front yard. What are the odds of it surviving a relocation anyone know??

Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

I've never dug up a tree that old and moved it. But since it is a save operation, if you don't mind digging I guess that the tree will either make it or not.

Newport News, VA(Zone 7b)

All things considered, friends are a valuable asset, even clumsy ones with occasional poor judgement. I think I'd go ahead and try moving it, though it will be a heck of a lot of work. I'd plant a really nice younger tree in the space, and that much money should get you a fairly mature tree if you can move it yourself. I suggest forgiving your friend, despite your grief over your old tree friend and try and move on.


Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

I've moved a couple crimson queens that size - it can be done. I wrapped the root ball in burlap at best you can and slide it into a wheel barrel. It will be very heavy. I'd move it to the back and spin it like you mentioned. Hopefully it will take off again for you.

Harleysville, PA

Thanks for the info I will give it a try and see what happens..

Iowa City, IA(Zone 5a)

If you are going to move it, you should do that after it leafs out before summer really hits. If you wait until fall you will may not be giving it enough time to get established before winter.

Danville, IN

Last summer, in the middle of the drought in July, I had to move a JM that size that had been severely killed back by that horrible Easter freeze that spring. It was already stressed of course, but it had to be moved due to "circumstances beyond my control". I watered it the night before and attempted to get a good ball of topsoil. To my horror, the root ball completely fell apart and left the roots hanging, 90% bare! I quickly planted it in dappled shade in a rich compost/topsoil mix and soaked it. Imagine my amazement when it didn't even wilt... really! It continued to grow and this spring is really great looking. Must be the powers of compost! Good luck with yours. Just get it moved ASAP.

Holland, OH(Zone 5b)

HoosierGreen - you must have six green thumbs or some real talent there. JM's just dont normally like being trucked around much. Temps are supposed to dip to 29 tonight here. Got the little JM's covered, but the big ones are on their own.

Danville, IN

This morning, looks like all of my JMs made it through the night, but I think it got down to only 33 locally. Now, supposed to warm up, so hopefully this will be the last of the cold weather. Whew!

Holland, OH(Zone 5b)

I never saw the thermometer dip below 34 here, but the weatherman says 32 around 4am. There was no indication of any frost this morning. Things look Goooood here! Whew is right!

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