My tree leaves are drying out and falling. I've watered, tree food, pest stuff, but it looks like it's dying. There is a bulge around the base of the trunk. What's happening? It's about 15 ft tall. Please help.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
The bulge that your tree has at the base of the trunk is the graft point. The Japanese Maple is grafted unto the root stock of another more hardy type of tree.
This is normal and is not a disease or canker.
Dig down a few inches in the soil around the tree, if it is dry, your tree needs more water.
A deep watering is needed every couple of weeks in dry weather.
If a Japanese Maple Tree's roots dry out, the tree will die.
Make sure the mulch is pulled back away from the trunk of the tree.
Are the leaves yellowing or showing signs of disease? This is a way to help pinpoint the issues.
Yellowing leaves could indicate watering issues, fungus or pests.
Wilting of the tree can also be due to improper planting location. Full sun can cause this issue.
You can do the scratch test on the tree to determine if the tree has died.
Here are some links with more information.