Maple tree

Asked December 5, 2019, 10:33 AM EST

I'm not sure what the problem is? Maybe more than one? have had the tree 5 or 6 years. Leaves are sparse and change early. Tree has white spots all around. There is play of the trunk where it goes in at the sunken ground. Neighbor finally removed many poplar trees next to fence, roots spread into my yard. Probably why lilacs never took. I have a few more pics, but only allowed to do 3. Thank you Joe Mitchell

Dakota County Minnesota

1 Response

Thank you for writing.
The white spots appear to be a lichen (fungus). These are common and do not indicate disease. https://northernwoodlands.org/articles/article/what_causes_those_white_splotches_on_tree_bark_are_they_bad_for_the_tree
The unusual appearance of the base of the tree and its failure to thrive may be related. It appears to me that the tree was planted too deep. This accounts for the tree looking like a pole stuck in the ground rather than having a flare at the base. This makes the bottom part of the trunk right near the ground susceptible to disease and under the ground roots are more likely to girdle the tree, in effect constricting it. All of these are associated with poor development. Given how long the tree has been in the ground, it is unlikely that it can be replanted. It may be possible to excavate the top foot of the root system and cut girdling roots.
I suggest that you have an arborist take a look. https://extension.umn.edu/planting-and-growing-guides/how-hire-tree-care-professional