Q: I recently planted a large Chinese elm. When I was mulching afterwards, I spotted a rope sticking out of the ground near the trunk. It looks like the rope was originally wrapped around the trunk and has strangled it. What should I do now?
A: You should call the nursery where you purchased the tree and tell them to come pick it up and drop off a replacement. Your tree will never recover from the damage to the lower trunk. The rope should have been removed years ago. Unfortunately, it was hidden by soil when the tree was dug. Besides strangling the tree, the trunk will be weak at ground level. Your elm will snap off there sometime in the near future