Sick-looking Hackberry

Asked June 27, 2018, 7:53 PM EDT

Had massive leaf drop of this very old tree after lawn was professionally treated with post emergent weed killer about 6 weeks ago. It has scars on the right side from being hit by lightning maybe 60 years ago or more; now bark is peeling off in large sections on those limbs and close to the trunk. I want to know is the tree dying or sick and what can be done. If in need of severe pruning, can you suggest where to do so. If needed, can take more pictures. There are a few new leaves on 1 branch, front left. Hope you can help this hackberry--it is one of a few very old ones in this area of Ocean View, DE. Thank you very much. Gale

Sussex County Delaware

1 Response


From your pictures, this tree does look very large, old, and damaged. I am afraid this tree may have reached the end of its life, although I am sure you would like to save it. I'm sure the herbicide didn't help, although a younger healthier tree would be able to grow out of any damage sustained.

Perhaps the one large lead with the bark peeling off can be removed by a tree company. Make sure to check whether a tree company has employees who are certified arborists or member of ISA, because they are trained to prune a tree to try to save it. Another option would be to call the Delaware Forest Service, they may be able to visit and check the tree. They can be reach through Delaware Department of Agriculture at (302) 698-4500.

Thank you for contacting Delaware Cooperative Extension,