Dawn Redwood tree not looking well.

Asked April 12, 2018, 4:32 PM EDT

Suddenly our beautiful 33 year old Dawn Redwood tree started by lots of branches breaking off in the fall and shedding its bark. The trunk is not its usual color and the branches are not as dense as we are used to. I thought maybe spring would bring on new life but it's not looking good. Any suggestions? I would be heartbroken to lose this tree.

Howard County Maryland trees

1 Response

Generally, dawn redwoods are carefree. The shedding or scraping of the bark might be from animal damage -- squirrels, for example, will strip bark and some birds (woodpeckers) will too if there are boring insects. The branch loss suggests there might be a root problem, but we can't say for sure. We would recommend waiting to see if the tree re-foliates this spring. If it does not grow out as normal, that may be an issue with the roots and it's unlikely to recover. You may want to have a certified arborist come out to look at it. They can do an on-site assessment to determine the health of the tree and whether there is any internal decay. They are best equipped with tools to test tree health and can make recommendations for you. You can find a certified arborist using this website: http://www.treesaregood.org/