Maple Tree DYING??

Asked July 1, 2016, 9:33 PM EDT

Our beautiful maple tree seems to be off this year..slow to leaf out, more dead branches and is growing in a strange pattern. I do not know much about gardening or trees, but this tree doesn't look healthy to me. We have only been here for 3 seasons, but it is a well established tree. There does appear to be a large canker on the side. I tried to get a picture of it. Thank you for any help you can give to help me save this tree.

Dakota County Minnesota

1 Response

Indeed you don't have to know much about trees to see that this tree is in trouble. I see two very serious problems: the huge wound, probably caused by a poorly made pruning cut (or a failed co-leader), and the crotch between the trunk and the large branch on the right. In both cases, there is probably a lot of rot inside the tree. Either one of these flaws is going to cause this tree to fail at some point. And neither of these flaws is fixable.

If there are any structures under this tree, or if people walk or play under it, I'd say remove it right away - it is a hazard tree and very dangerous. If that's not the case, enjoy it (from a distance) for what remains of its life. If your description of the dead branches and poor leaf-out is correct, that won't be very long.

Here are a couple of references:
http://www.myminnesotawoods.umn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/MNLawTrees-HazardTreesPrivate.pdf
http://na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/howtos/ht_haz/ht_haz.PDF