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What's wrong with my Honey Locust? (pics)

Posted by viche 7a MD (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 25, 13 at 10:02

Hi all (pictures below)

Issue: For past few years, tree's leaves turn yellow, with spots, and then fall off stating around the 1st week of July. Toward the end of August, the tree is just about bare. Pictures were taken 2nd week of July. It's probably lost another 30% of its leaves by now (7/25). Also, I've noticed less and less of the pods each year and a reduction of the "flowering" stage (when all the pollen drops) as well. Several lower branches have died off over the past 5 years, but the top of the tree always seems very healthy in spring and early summer. In picture on left in red circle, you can see a large wound that appeared over winter, It has opened wider, but at first is appeared that a woodpecker had been digging for insects (obviously a bad sign).

Tree facts: I assume Honey Locust is a Thornless Variety (Since I see no thorns). It is about 30 to 35 feet tall and maybe 20 years old. I am in MD zone 7, the tree is planted at the end of my deck, at the bottom of a hill where rain water passes by. We have had a ton of rain lately, so drought isn't the main suspect. The tree had been infected yearly with mimosa webworms. I tried a variety of enviro-friendly approaches that made no dent, so I resorted to having a certified arbhorist take the nuclear approach and apply a toxic soil drench which pretty much wiped the worms out. Forget the name, but it's the bad one. Also, I did apply triclopyr to my lawn via a hose end sprayer a couple of times. this is the stuff that kills woody weeds like chickweed and which the forestry services uses to kill off tree stumps. I didn't know this at the time. Some most likely got onto the trees exposed roots which must have caused some damage, but this was at least 5 years ago.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What's wrong with my Honey Locust? (pics)

I will take a wild guess - borers? Do you see sap, sawdust or borer holes? Generally only damage trees already under stress (which yours have been).

http://www.mortonarb.org/tree-plant-advice/article/753/borers.html

I am only guessing, I see nothing definitive. I believe black locust has more of an issue with borers that honey.


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RE: What's wrong with my Honey Locust? (pics)

You might want to look at cankers and root rot for honeylocusts. I don't have much experience with honey locust but cankers can cause the open dead spots on trunks and branches, and I see sprouts coming straight off the main trunk, that's usually a bad sign on a tree that hasn't been pruned lately. Also check around the base to see if the bark down there looks normal.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cankers on honey locust


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