Shrubs And Trees
Q.

Why is my tree dying from the bottom up?

Anonymous added on August 21, 2019 | Answered

I don’t know what kind of tree it is but I have three of them around my house and patio and they are all dying from the bottom up. They have no leaves on the bottom half and it’s getting worse. I also have a bad vole problem that I need to figure out what to do about. I see vole holes around my house but not around the trees, but could they be eating my tree roots and that’s what is causing the trees to lose their leaves on the bottom? Please help.

A.
A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
GKH_Susan
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on August 21, 2019

That's hard to answer without a photo or identity of the trees, the growing conditions and where you are located.

It's doubtful that vole root damage would result in the die-back of lower branches. Root damage usually affects the branch tips and the upper most foliage first.

Shading of the lower branches can cause dieback. Also a pest infestation can affect the lower branches; for example some scale insects like the lower, shaded parts of the plant. Their feeding through sucking mouth parts can cause die-back.

Herbicides applied to the soil surface of a lawn can drift up and affect the lowest branches, as can fire.
Do you have any wildlife that may be feeding on the lower foliage?
You may want to contact your local county extension agent for a definitive diagnosis or a tree arborist.
Here are more ideas:
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/info/plant-dropping-leaves.htm
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/tgen/what-does-a-dying-tree-look-like-signs-that-a-tree-is-dying.htm

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