Tree problem near a newly cut down walnut tree

Asked May 18, 2019, 9:19 PM EDT

I have two trees that are not leafing out this year. We recently cut down a medium sized Black Walnut tree. This year the Apricot tree and sugar maple are barely leafing out. One is about 20 feet away and the Maple tree is about 30 feet away. They are also planted over a drain field. They are about 5 years old. They have always looked great.This year only a few leaves have come out. There are tiny buds, but only spotty leaves on top of Maple, only a few blossoms and leaves on the Apricot tree.

Goodhue County Minnesota

1 Response

I'm not sure what is going on. Perhaps an arborist could give you something definitive. But here are a few ideas.

First, I doubt the walnut is the issue if the trees survived with the walnut for several years. However, removing the walnut may have taken away some winter protection. Sugar maples, for instance, are an understory tree:
https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/tree/sugar-maple

Second, only certain varieties of apricots are fully hardy here. You did not say what variety you have.
https://extension.umn.edu/fruit/growing-stone-fruits-home-garden#apricots-and-peaches-682264

Third, planting trees above drainage fields for septic systems is not a good idea.
https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/426/426-617/426-617_pdf.pdf

Finally, my best guess is you are seeing some winter dieback, probably because of the hard winter we just had.
https://extension.umn.edu/planting-and-growing-guides/protecting-trees-and-shrubs-winter#dieback-1263861

For finding a certified arborist, look here:
https://www.treesaregood.org/findanarborist