Redwood tree with a dying top. Also thinning branches all over the tree.
We live 30 min south of Portland Oregon. Our redwood tree had a dying top then got a new one a few years ago. Now the top is dying again but a larger portion including some top branches. The whole tree has shown a significant thinning too. The tree is about 60’ tall now. Possibly 30+ years old. What can we do to help it. Should I clean tree debris from under it? Some moles were under it last year. Last summer I did an occasional extra water. Should we limb-up branches that touch the ground? We love this tree, please help.
Clackamas County Oregon
Finally it is possible there is a canker fungus in the top, but if this was it, you should also see other branches in the crown showing death also.
In summary...first look to see if the stems have been debarked by squirrels. If not, it is likely a drought stress issue. In that case, it is likely the tree will eventually form a second leader that will take over the height growth. If we have severe drought in summer, it is good to deep water the tree in August and again in September if we don't get rain.
I hope this helps. It is not unusual to see this around the valley. I don't think it will spread. "
I looked with binoculars and I don't see debarking. I did water the last two Aug/Sept seasons. It has done this before but this time it seems more severe with more branches involved and the whole tree seems to be getting thinner. Any suggestions if it is the "Canker Fungus"? Also, should I clear away tree debris from around the bottom of the tree and expose the dirt? There are large branches now touching the ground that used to be suspended in the air. Should I limb up the ones touching the ground?