Diseased weeping hemlock - follow up
Thank you for your quick response. Attached is the photo of the full tree & the trunk as requested. We are not the original owners, but our house was built in the late 70's so the tree may be 40 years old. This morning we decided that maybe the tree was stressed from lack of water so we put a soaker hose on it for 2 hours. We have never watered this tree in the 30 years we have lived here. You can see that we have some mulch around it but it is less than an inch thick - just decorative. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
What a beautiful tree. Our plant pathologist checked your photos. Given the pattern of the symptoms in your tree, this looks like drought stress. Last year we had an unusually high amount of rainfall in Maryland, which caused root decline in some plants that were in saturated soil for so long. Now, we have very high heat and very dry weather. If there was any root damage, this can impair a tree's ability to take up the water it needs. You are doing the correct thing by providing irrigation. It is best to provide deep watering rather than frequent shallow waterings. For example, water near the base of the tree and allow the water to soak in over a period of 20 minutes or so. Here are watering tips for drought conditions. https://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_docs/programs/hgic/HGIC_Pubs/ornamentals/HG...
The mulch layer is a good depth. Avoid placing the mulch right up against the trunk of the tree (which can lead to problems with rotting).
If you would like to have someone come out to evaluate the tree's health, we recommend that you hire a certified arborist. They have the tools and techniques to check for disease/pest issues and can make further recommendations if any other issue is determined. You can find a certified arborist near you using the following page from the International Society of Arboriculture. http://www.treesaregood.org/