MadSci Network: Agricultural Sciences

Re: copper nail to kill a tree

Date: Tue Aug 25 14:02:58 1998
Posted By: Dr. Elson Silva, , Soil Scientist, Ph. D., Embrapa
Area of science: Agricultural Sciences
ID: 904063988.Ag

Yes, if the nail is big enough to harm the base of the tree. It can open an 
entry for infection and disease. You also need to consider how big is the 
nail and the tree. Driving a copper nail has physical, chemical, and 
biological actions playing together. If the tree dies, it will not be easy 
to know precisely what the main cause was acting. Copper as a metallic form 
is not harmfull to tree nutrition. It needs to oxidize, to solubilize and 
then be absorbed. Absorption of copper at the bark level may not occur, while 
high levels of copper ion in the soil rooting system may lead to toxicity. Many 
species of trees also will respond differently to this stress related to 
nails in their bases. In biology we do not play yes/no answer! 

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