service berry tree problem

Asked June 4, 2016, 1:32 PM EDT

We live in Roseville. We planted two fairly big service berry trees a couple years ago. They were damaged by deer, one more severely than the other. Now they have dead looking branches with no leaves except a few leaves growing right near the bottom of the trees. Should we give up on these, cut them down to where the living leaves are, or just let them rest and hope the top branches will eventually grow leaves again? Thank you.

Ramsey County Minnesota

2 Responses

The leaves growing from the roots are the tree trying to survive. The first photo shows damage done to the bark. Once the bark is removed most of the way around a stem, the tree cannot uptake nutrients and dies. I would suggest you dig them out and start over with protection from deer this time. http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/protecting-from-winter-damage/

Thank you Barbara. This is what we feared. Sad but true. We appreciated your help. As you could see, we did put up the fencing but too late this time.