mountain ash damage

Asked May 20, 2019, 1:28 PM EDT

I live in Iosco county, MI. last year my mountain ash was attacked by a pair of yellow bellied sap suckers. I tried to protect the tree as much as possible by wrapping truck, hanging aluminum foil, squirting birds with hose. this spring bottom half of tree is alive with new leaves but the top is dead. The tree is about 9 yrs old. can I trim the dead portion off. I know aesthetically it wont be pretty. or should I wait to see if the top portion comes back later? It was planted in memory of my mom.

Arenac County Michigan mountain ash yellow bellied sapsucker

3 Responses

Hello. The presence of birds on your tree does not mean the birds caused the damage but the other way around-the birds were feeding on whatever insects were attracted to your unhealthy tree. Would it be possible for you to send a photo of your tree? That may help me diagnose. Thank you

Attached are the photos that you requested, in regards to my dying Mt. Ash tree. Thank you

Hi. I have been doing some research on the sap sucker—was the tree healthy before the attack by the bird? And are the green leafy areas below where the damage is? If they are you can try pruning back the dead areas and see what happens. The tree does look like it was planted too deeply and may also have stress from that. Try removing some soil from around the trunk and keep mulch 3 to 4 inches away from the bark. Lawn mower and string trimmer damage also needs to be avoided.