I have a 12-15 year old catalpa tree that had over half of the tree not...

Asked July 6, 2014, 9:12 AM EDT

I have a 12-15 year old catalpa tree that had over half of the tree not return to life this year. It is in the center of my lawn with part shade from 4 very large white pine trees, very moist, well drained soil, and the dead-looking part of the tree is on the east side. I fertilized it in the fall as usual with aluminum sulfate and gypsum but have done that for serveral years. The only thing different is that I propogated many of the seed pods in the spring before budding started. I have photos attached. Could this have damaged the tree in some way?

Windham County Vermont trees and shrubs

2 Responses

Propagating the tree from seedpods would not have caused the damage you have noted. The dieback is likely due to an environmental stress-some things to consider: physical injury to the tree, lightening strike, lawn herbicide injury, root injury from excavation or compaction related to construction, or any of a number of things.

Might be time to consider hiring an arborist to evaluate whether the tree should be removed. Does it pose a hazard? Is it continuing to show signs of decline? Is it near targets that could be damaged if it failed?

Just some things to consider as you move forward.

Thank you for your response, Mary. Since my original question, I had read a similar question from another person who had the same situation, only his tree had split up the trunk from the ground up. So I investigated mine more closely and found two areas with the same kind of damage on my tree. I live in an area of high rock and high water retention in the ground. Your suggestion to contact an arborist is very much appreciated as I did not consider that until now. I will do that now that I see the additional damage. FYI: there are many branches that, since budding, are now displaying new growth, yet are still mostly dead-looking. It's very strange and quite a confusing situation. Thank you again for responding. Sincerely, Vicki Allen