growingintoit
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Help! My Dog Ate My Tree!!!!

Hello all,

I will tell you that I am about as novice as they come when it comes to plants. I was given a tree as a gift several months ago, and have been doing pretty well. However, I came home tonight to find my dumb dog had done some sort of Olympic style jumping/climbing to get to my tree. He dug it out of its pot and chewed off the roots and a small hole in it. I am absolutely devastated and upset. Is there ANYTHING I can do to save my tree????

Please help!

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Oh you must have bee furious and disappointed! :(

I think it will depend on the tree and further description of it may help members to help you. Did you gather up the remains and pot it up? It will be difficult for a tree to recover if the remaining roots were dried out.

I'm not that knowledgeable in this area but I think the thing to do is to trim any ragged breaks in the roots and keep the roots moist for the time being either in the original pot and soil or in a perforated plastic bag with moistened shredded newspaper.

I hope someone else with more expertise will post to help you.

growingintoit
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:21 am

applestar wrote:Oh you must have bee furious and disappointed! :(

I think it will depend on the tree and further description of it may help members to help you. Did you gather up the remains and pot it up? It will be difficult for a tree to recover if the remaining roots were dried out.

I'm not that knowledgeable in this area but I think the thing to do is to trim any ragged breaks in the roots and keep the roots moist for the time being either in the original pot and soil or in a perforated plastic bag with moistened shredded newspaper.

I hope someone else with more expertise will post to help you.

Yes I am actually really upset, more than I would have imagined. I did put all the trunk, roots and pieces in a new pot with fresh soil and water. Would the bag be better than this you think? Thanks for the help so far!

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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

growingintoit,
Would the bag be better than this you think?
I thnk that applestar intended that as a temporary measure, re-potting it was the correct thing to do. Now you must keep it secure from your pet and provide it with a good environment. You essentially have a large cutting so deal with it as such. Actually, the bag (clear plastic) idea can be useful even now that it is potted. A humid environment may help it recover. With little rootmass the tree will not use water at the same rate it did before, so watch the frequency of watering. If you bag it (pot and all) water it well first and then it will not need watered as long as the soil is damp and the air (inside the bag) is humid. While bagged, be careful not to place it in strong sunlight as it may get too hot inside.

You have not told us much about your tree. What species is it? How are you managing it, what type of lighting and your watering practices, etc. The more information we have the better chance we stand of helping.
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21636

Norm

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froggy
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Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:54 pm
Location: Toronto, ON, zone 5a

First of all, I'm going to out myself as more of a pet person than a bonsai one - did you make sure the tree wasn't poisonous for your dog?

Secondly, repotting was the right thing to do, but for future reference you might want to clean up the broken roots with some clippers (broken & torn pieces take a lot more energy healing than cut ones). It may seem strange to cut even more off than the dog ate, but it should actually help the plant.

Other than that maybe a rooting hormone would help too - as the poster above said, you basically treat it as a cutting...

Best of luck

p.s. If your dog frequently chews things up, you should look into working on his separation anxiety... or maybe bonsai-jealousy :p

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