Maple tree in decline, and I think I might know why...

littlelizzy123March 28, 2014

Hello all!

We have just moved into a house, and we have a large maple tree in the front yard. It is looking pretty sad. If you can imagine suckers coming out of a trunk, that is what all the major limbs look like. No secondary or tertiary limbs coming out of the main ones, just sad little sucker looking things.

I will also add that there is a tree ring around the trunk, made of stone stack, which is at least 2.5 ft deep, filled with soil and mulch. I had an arborist look at it, as I thought it had some sort of disease, but he said is was likely just drought, which is common in Colorado. But that tree ring just got me to thinking. I have never seen a tree look quite like this.

Is the tree ring what is killing the tree? If I take it out, will the tree improve? It looks pretty bad, while it still gets healthy normal leaves, it doesn't even have enough boughs to make a proper canopy. If it doesn't get any better, I'm afraid it will have to come down, and I really don't want to do that if I can help it.

I will take some pictures tomorrow and post them. It looks extra sad because it is winter though.

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Maple tree try to fry up some onion and tomato

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:33AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I don't get Poaky's post???

Littlelizzy, I think we need lots more details to really understand what's going on here. Is this a small seedling or a formerly large shade tree that's been topped or what? Also, what's up with the tree ring? Is this some type of in-ground border or is the tree in a raised bed or what? How large is the border? Pictures might go a long way in helping us understand what you are dealing with.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 6:55AM
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So here's the deal. This tree is pretty big, at least 30-40 ft. The tree ring was added by the last person that owned the house. They added it when the tree was pretty much fully grown. It is a 3 ft wide by 2.5 ft deep above grade. The tree was already there, and the bed was added later.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 9:47AM
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Maple roots are shallow. By adding the bed and mulching 2.5' the tree may have been "smothered".

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 9:59AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

I'm afraid it will have to come down, and I really don't want to do that if I can help it.

===>>> dont be afraid ... just get rid of it ...

if the prior owner leaf you a paisley counter top in puce ... [thats not even a hit with google.. lol] ....would you spend hundreds of dollars 'fixing it .... even if retro was your goal ... i am sure.. in your new house.. you renovated things to your own liking... and you should be doing the same thing.. in the garden ... and.. as i said.. there is nothing to be afraid of ....

listen to me.. my first house.. i spent 5 years .. trying to save every nightmare.. for the history of the house ...

in year 5.. the light went on.. and i finally got rid of the last nightmare ... hallelujah ... all my problems were gone..

be done with this .. unless you pic makes your words so wrong ... then i might change my mind ...

i then spent the nest 5 years.. planting all kinds of my mistakes ... and then moved.. and left them for the next owners ... lol ...

trees come.. trees go.. but for the cost.. so what ... time for you to plant your own tree ... and i suggests anywhere but exactly where this one is ... just move over a few feet ... at a minimum ...

we can help you select and plant a new tree .. when the time comes ...

good luck.. lets see the pix..


    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 10:21AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I think Ken summed it up well. Be gone with it, and apply some systemic herbicide to the freshly cut stump to eliminate rootsprouts.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:43PM
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Here are some pictures of my unfortunate tree...

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 8:20PM
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Another pic

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 8:22PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Actually, it's not really what I was picturing from your description, but it still is in decline and needs to go, in my opinion.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 12:52AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

yeah.. me neither...

i was really expecting to see that it had been topped ...

but i do see severe storm damage repair ...

and i am glad to see it out in the street.. rather than hanging over the house does have to go.. some time in the next 5 to 10 years ... but i would like to see it leafed out before i make a final determination .... it might be sooner ...

it doesnt appear to shade your house ... so i dont see any emotional attachment ....

there is a lot of nice firewood hanging there if ... as well as a glorious load of woodchips ... dont pay money to have woodchips taken away.. and then later in the season buy some.. and pay to have them delivered

i would plan on removal within 2 or 3 years .. subject to a leaf out pic as to whether any of the canopy is dead ...

you dont need a certified arborist to kill a tree .. but you do need a dude with insurance .. insist on such ... and get the info in advance.. and call the Co. to insure its current ..


ps: this isnt the paisley puce counter top ... just that ugly avocado green of the 70s.. lol ... at least its not that baby diarrhea mustard yellow ... lol ...

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 7:15AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I wouldn't let anyone park near it.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 7:51PM
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