Re: [gardeners] Sugar maple tree needs help

Allen and Judy Merten (
Tue, 07 Jul 1998 16:44:58 -0500

Hi Alice,
    I'm not sure at what age if any a Sugar Maple might go into decline.
Unless you have been suffering from a severe drought, ie the ground water
would have retreated to a depth that the roots couldn't reach it. A40 yr old
maple should have an enormous root system that should be able to reach very
deeply. I think or guess that it may  be some disease that has been
transmitted to your mothers tree. Perhaps by the aborist. Here is how that
can happen. You call the aborist about your tree. He cuts limbs off it
because it has a fungus or bacterial infection. He tells Joe at the end of
the job to be sure and clean(sterilize) the tools cause they have to go to
your mothers house to do her tree. Joe is PO'ed at the boss for something
throws the tools back in the truck and goes home. The next day they trim
your mothers tree, ta da they have now infected your mothers tree. A fellow
by the name of Dewey Compton used to have a garden show on KTRH radio in
Houston. He mentioned the exact senario as I just did. Said if you trim your
own tree that you should sterilize your cutting tool after each cut. Said if
you have a pro do it to insist that they clean there tools in your sight
before you allow them to make the first cut.
    May be your best bet is to take a sample of the distressed part of your
tree to your county agent or someone other than the arborist you used last,
see if they can detect fungus, virus , or bacterial infection. Good luck.
    Bastrop Co.,Tx
    Zone 8

Seyfried,Alice wrote:

> Hi everyone!
> While the soap operas are truly exciting (I can't wait to hear about
> Belle's new tatoo), I have a question about my mother's sugar maple.
> She had it liberally thinned out (not topped - t'would be a horror) last
> year by a professional arborist and now half of it seems to be dying.
> This tree is at least 40 years old (probably older) and fully matured in
> northern Ohio (zone 5 along the lake).  She had it thinned because she
> needed to get more light through it to the yard below. It has always
> been incredibly healthy (never a fungus or disease).  The leaves on the
> back half are all much smaller than the ones on the front half and there
> are very few new side branches on that side, too.  She's scared to death
> that they took out too much and is trying to figure out what to do.
> She's tried calling the arborist back to have them come out and look at
> it, but they are playing telephone tag right now and can't seem to get
> in touch with each other.  So I thought I would see if all you brilliant
> people have any ideas.  About a month ago, she put Jobe's fertilizer
> tree spikes all around it following the package directions for placement
> of the spikes.  Is there anything else she can do to help this tree
> recover?  Will deep watering help?
> If anyone has any ideas on how to save this tree, I would be truly
> thankful. It was the first tree I climbed as a child, it was the first
> tree my 4 year old climbed last year, and I am as much in love with it
> as I am with the house I grew up in.
> Alice