Q.My Sun Valley Maples Seem To Be Dying Back From The Top Down. What Is Going On?
Only about 25% of the trees are budding. I planted these 2 trees 3 years ago from the 10 gallon pots they came in. The first 2 years they seemed to do very well. Last spring the top branch’s (approx 1′) of the tree closest to the driveway did not bud. I cut it back to the live growth and it seemed to do very well after. This spring the same thing is happening but to both trees and to a much greater extent. Only a few of the lower branchs of the trees is budding. I don’t want to cut back that much. I might as well take them out. I don’t want to lose my trees. Is there something I need to do to remedy this situation?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
I notice that the lawn is very healthy, and green! This could give clues as to what killed your tree.
Fertilizing a lawn is much different than fertilizing a tree, so you will have to compromise. Trees need much less than a lawn will, so the tree will appreciate less feed.
Another thing to consider will be if there are weed killers in the fertilizer. This will make quick work of a young tree. You will want to avoid these.
With all of this being said, you will need to plant a new tree. This tree will have lost its shape if it does recover. Heavy branching leaves maples susceptible to breaking under stress, due to the low strength of the wood and poor angles of growth from new leader branches.
Here is an article that will help you with the care of maple trees: