Sick sugar maple

Asked June 16, 2018, 12:59 PM EDT

I have an approximate 12 year old sugar maple that appears to be in decline. It sits on the SW side of my house. This is the second year in a row where it has pushed out a number of seed pods and the leaves are very small. Now some of the leaves are shriveling up and turning brown. And the tops of the tree are bare. It has numerous holes from the birds getting sap out of the bark over the past couple of winters. We have also had a large amount of rain this year.

Baltimore County Maryland abiotic issues trees decline of maple

1 Response

Your tree looks like it is in serious decline and is dying.
We can't tell why from your photos, but there could be multiple issues, but we would guess it is environmental, not due to disease or insect pests.
It could have been planted too deeply, or mulched too deeply, which can kill trees slowly over time. Maples are also prone to girdling roots which encircle the trunk and eventually cut off circulation of nutrients.
Take a look at our page that helps homeowners decide when to remove a tree here:
http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/plants/how-do-you-decide-when-remove-tree

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