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Soooo, I killed about 100 boxwoods this season...

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by gunsworth, May 6, 2009.

  1. gunsworth

    gunsworth Senior Member
    Messages: 498

    Well the Professional Ice Melt did, even though I was assured it was safe for shrubs. Now I am expected to cover this. What the hell should I do, I just emailed the company asking about their gaurantee, but im thinkin I will need to do an insurance claim... Any input?
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Lets see some pictures of the damage.
  3. gunsworth

    gunsworth Senior Member
    Messages: 498

    Ill get them tomorrow. Originally it looked like the edge facing the walks was just burned, but now they are getting worse and worse, some are even bare....
  4. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

    How heavy were you salting? If you were trying to melt the snow instead of clearing it and then a light salting you might have killed them. We use Clearlane and haven't had anything die and we salt pretty heavy.
  5. gunsworth

    gunsworth Senior Member
    Messages: 498

    Unless there was just a dusting, I always shoveled or blew first. the problem is we had a heavy winter and the hedge of boxwoods were planted about 8 inches from each walkway. This also was the first year they were not burlapped from my understanding. I used the same amount each storm as the guy before me did. I think I just got a bs pallet of the stuff
  6. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,468

    Boxwoods will always die near salt, period! If the walks are to be salted plant something else or start using sand.
  7. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    Thats a tough one. The product applied matched specs I asume ?, As stated boxwood are very suseptable to damage/ burn, & in the past they (propety owner) has burlapped but didn't. I guess it depends on the value of client, there stance. I would have a very hard time cutting that check, if you followed there request (contract) & it caused damage. It isn't negligence, on your part. They should at least be paying part since it was the wrong plant, placed to close to the walk to start with, then you followed the contract. In my eyes they should be replacing the shrubs that didn't belong there in the first place at there cost. Again it depends on the value of the client to you & what they are withholding (if anything).
  8. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    were you applying at the recommended rate? $3500 plus labor is probably worth an insurance claim if you have to replace them, how valuable is the customer? like was stated previously you were doing what was stated provided you had a contract. we never cover salt damage unless its stated that we will.
  9. gunsworth

    gunsworth Senior Member
    Messages: 498

    Talked to my agent and am basically sol with insurance. Also talked to the rep for the product I used and he swears that the product alone could not have killed them, hes even gonna send someone to check it out... So I am going to take a soil sample from near the plants and away from them, and sen them in for testing to see what the deal is. I am really leaning towards wind damage now, that place is like a wind tunnel (ofeten had to go back to redo the walks because of drifting. I may still work something out witth the client depending on the results, if so I sure as hell am not putting boxwoods back in there... even though i did find a wholesaler that would get them to me for 16 a peice for 15-18 inchers
  10. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,600

    Come'on. How can anyone prove the salt killed the plants ???? Every years stuff dies. Sometimes bugs, cold winter and the plants are no where near salt. It happens.

    The only way I could see them holding you liable is if there were piles of salt in the dirt. It truly that was the case anything you would plant would die too. The dirt is now junk.

    For grass near salted areas I use Gypsum at the first melt that I see grass in March. Awsome stuff - really neaturalizes the salt effects. Otherwise my contracts spell out plant and grass damage - it's just not possible to isolate and protect everything.
  11. Herm Witte

    Herm Witte Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    You may want to involve your local MSU Extension agent. They are a great resource and may help you get to the bottom of this situation.

    Herm Witte
  12. gunsworth

    gunsworth Senior Member
    Messages: 498

    thats who is doing the samples for me, from who I talked to they really know there stuff.... bong
  13. magnatrac

    magnatrac PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,055

    We lost about 50 boxwoods in troy mi 2 years ago. They tried to tell us it was the salt but the only ones that died were in the sun light. All of the ones that stayed in the shade were fine. What we able to figured out was that during an extended january thaw the plants in the warm sun started taking up moisture and then they froze when the temps plummeted right after. You could see bark spliting on the plants. One more problem was their gardner last trimmed them in late september. This didn't give any of the new growth time to harden up before winter causing all of the new growth to die. In the end we were not held reponsable but it did strain our relationship with the customer. The H.O.A. decided to have them replaced , and then even the following season they still wouldn't wrap them. They decided to go with out the ice melt( we used landscapers choice) on their walks and drives. They still lost a few plants even with out the ice melt. I hope you can get your situation solved in a way that works for you and the customer !

    Good luck , shaun
  14. gunsworth

    gunsworth Senior Member
    Messages: 498

    Well snagged some pics tonight, and suprisingly some of them have come around....



  15. magnatrac

    magnatrac PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,055

    It looks like they still have some leaves so hurry up and get some of that green paint they use on christmas trees !!! All kidding aside thats just about what ours looked like when they died. If they are not too far gone you can trim out the dead and in time they may fill back in. Again good luck I hope you can work it out with the customer.

  16. bike5200

    bike5200 Senior Member
    from Ky
    Messages: 437

    I would talk to a ag dept at a collage and see if someone can look at them and give there opinion.
  17. dmontgomery

    dmontgomery PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,238

    what shrubs are a good replacement......