Dying Hornbeam tree?

Roy99July 24, 2011

I bought a hornbeam tree in 2001 and planted it on our front lawn. It developed into a beautifully-shaped tree about 15 feet high, and we have enjoyed it greatly over the years.

This spring, however, we discovered that only the lower one-third of the branches grew leaves; the upper two-thirds of the branches bear only blackened buds. The entire trunk (but not the branches) up to a height of about 8 feet appears to be covered with white lichen-like patches.

Is there anything I can do for our poor tree? Will it ever regain its former appearance?

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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Ug. That is really unfortunate.

Was it a worse winter than usual or anything like that?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 10:17PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

The answer is no. You'd be better off to remove it and replace with another tree.

What most likely happened is, and is very common now-a-days, the root system failed due to girdling. It's difficult to find good trees anymore because they've been in pots for too long and folks don't realize the epidemic and then 10 years or 20 years later if you're lucky that is, the tree fails. More commonly they don't survive, that long.

Very unfortunate but time to move on.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 7:28AM
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