I have a Greenspire Linden in the front yard, planted approx. 10 years ago....

Asked May 29, 2014, 11:17 AM EDT

I have a Greenspire Linden in the front yard, planted approx. 10 years ago. For some reason, the top end has little or no leaves and the bottom end is doing beautifully. I have checked a couple of things: Looked for whitish powder and aphids on the leaves and found none. I have trimmed a couple of branches and pulled back the outer layer and the inner looks moist and clean. I am at a loss here. It was a perfect specimen last year with the exception of the Japanese Beetle problem later in the year, creating "skeleton" leaves after time. Picture included. Thank-you for your help!

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica) is one of the most seriously damaging insect pests of both grass and landscape plants over a broad area of the eastern U.S. Lindens are commonly damaged trees by Japanese beetle adults. Insecticides are available but there is a concern that these chemicals may be killing off beneficial bees that pollinates our crops. http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/japanese-beetles/
Drought is another stress to consider. Many trees were affected by drought for parts of previous years. The combination of heavy rain and drought stress damaged the fine roots of many trees.
Examine the base of the trunk for stem girdling roots. http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1139.html
These sites may help you diagnose the cause of the dieback. http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/plant/deciduous/linden/branchesdead.html http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/plant/deciduous/linden
You should consider hiring an ISA/MSA certified arborist to examine and prune the dead wood from the tree. He has the education and experience to advice you on the insect, disease and abiotic disorder that may be causing the dieback. http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/how-to-hire-a-professional-arborist/