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freakypalmguy

Gopher Attack Brachychiton rupestris

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freakypalmguy

Wind just blew over one of my Brachychiton exposing the gopher attack. Is it save-able? Can a tree recover from this severe damage? What to do?

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BigFrond

Bummer.  Saved?  :bemused:  there's no saving.  You can do some small cuttings but it's so sad man.

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Silas_Sancona
3 hours ago, freakypalmguy said:

Wind just blew over one of my Brachychiton exposing the gopher attack. Is it save-able? Can a tree recover from this severe damage? What to do?

9DC1244B-B430-4C6A-82F9-9C484C294764.thumb.jpeg.f2292697ba7ed2926b7ace035354f799.jpeg

E32BB20D-D481-455B-BDF7-EC7056BAF11E.thumb.jpeg.69515ae9b4f3a087738f4139e1cbbc6b.jpeg

Agree w/ Big Frond, attempting to root cuttings is the only way you might save this tree..  Looking at it, suspect more than just Gophers did it in.. ( though they def.  could have played a part initially ) Heart Wood seems like it could have suffered some sort of rot .. maybe damage from Termites? ..other insects at some point. I myself would likely split the lower part of the trunk, just to see what else might have been gong on inside. 

Believe it or not but we have the same sp. of Gopher here in AZ ( been battling one that has been present on and off in the yard for the last 3 years )  but you rarely see Trees / larger Cacti / etc cut to the ground because of them.. When they come down, it's usually something else that caused complete failure ( various fungi in the soil, Years of extensive damage from Root Boring Beetles, extensive Termite damage.. ). 

Same Gopher in the yard here tunnels below a Blue Glow Agave i stuck next to a monster Mesquite out there... Still growing like a weed, and isn't loose when i've given it a nudge ( the Agave, not the tree. ) Neighbor directly across the Alley behind me has half a dozen fruit trees / various sized palms / other stuff in his yard, no damage to anything there ( except the Mesquites they use as canopy.. Chilean = grow extremely fast / constantly damaged by high wind events ).

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freakypalmguy

Thank you @BigFrond and @Silas_Sancona, I was afraid I would get these answers :( I definitely see the gopher activity around and under, but I went back down and found this around the base. I assume this is termite evidence? Or just chopped up weeds? It does appear that something ate up on the inside of the bark.

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Silas_Sancona
5 minutes ago, freakypalmguy said:

Thank you @BigFrond and @Silas_Sancona, I was afraid I would get these answers :( I definitely see the gopher activity around and under, but I went back down and found this around the base. I assume this is termite evidence? Or just chopped up weeds? It does appear that something ate up on the inside of the bark.

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E6FF5895-4D1C-4D7B-A7EE-F6FD544CF2C1.thumb.jpeg.c411be36ba1cdc2db0e9845db5449b4f.jpeg

This looks more like " duff  " from where decomposing weeds / remains of seeds eaten by mice / ground Squirrels ( and/ or Gophers ) might collect around the base of the tree, rather than pointing to termite activity..  Carpenter Ants can also leave behind such " mounds " wherever they were active. Termite ( Carpenter Ant damage will be pretty obvious when examining the remains of the tree ( trunk ) itself.  Rot, caused in part by rodent damage ..or whatever else..  should be pretty obvious too when you closely examine the remains of the tree or any roots that might remain ( wood would typically be soft, break apart pretty easily )   Gophers ..and/ or mice definitely could have chewed on the bark as the tree was dying ( making any other fungal related issue that might have gotten in there worse.. ) ..more to grind down their teeth over actually eating the wood.

Regardless, stinks you lost the tree.. If you attempt rooting cuttings, use the grittiest, well draining soil mix you can put together, and keep the cuttings warm ( on a heating pad perhaps ) if you have one..

Not looking forward to dealing w/ gophers again once back out there..

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tinman10101

bummer matt.  so sorry to see this. i was hoping it had some roots since ive transplanted one just yanking it out of the ground when small by the trunk.  it definitely looks like some kind of rot.  have you ever tried planting with gopher baskets.  ive done that in the beginning when i just started my garden and it has saved many of my palms.  just a suggestion.  

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tin

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freakypalmguy
45 minutes ago, tinman10101 said:

bummer matt.  so sorry to see this. i was hoping it had some roots since ive transplanted one just yanking it out of the ground when small by the trunk.  it definitely looks like some kind of rot.  have you ever tried planting with gopher baskets.  ive done that in the beginning when i just started my garden and it has saved many of my palms.  just a suggestion.  

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tin

Thanks Tin, I planted all my later Bismarkia  with homemade gopher baskets after I lost a bunch to gopher attacks but never put them around any of my other plants. I think I will from this day forth, I’m tired of stressing over the little buggers, it’s a losing battle here in my area and there’s no way I can stop them from coming in. I think you guys are right it does appear to of had some sort of other rot or infestation along with the gopher attack, time to get the chainsaw out and send her to the compost pile

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BigFrond

Cage for B. rupestris may be good but eventually the cage will be busted.  Here is a nice one at Palomar College.  They took out the sister tree, bad move.

 

 

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