Vine Maple problem?

Asked June 27, 2020, 7:36 PM EDT

I have a vine maple that is looking a little sad. The leaves are sparse and are the color they normally would be in the fall--orange and red. A large vine maple next to it died over the winter, but another one close by is green and healthy. We had two large pine trees removed in March next to the one that is not looking happy. Any thoughts? Thanks.

Multnomah County Oregon

3 Responses

Thank you for the close-view images.

Please send several more when you reply to this email:
1) The tree and its surroundings
2.) Only the affected tree, including where it enters the ground (If needed, do 2 separate images.)

Also please answer the following questions and add any more comments you think may be pertinent:
- What did the other tree die of, and who made the diagnosis?
- How has this tree been watered? (Hand-held hose; Sprinkler; and/or Drip system?)
- Do you fertilize this tree? If yes, with what and when?
- Have you tried any remedies as yet? If yes, what are they and what was the outcome?

I look forward to receiving your images and responses.

The tree that died next to this one died over the winter and I have no idea why. It seemed healthy last fall. We have an automatic watering system in the area where this tree lives, so it does get consistent water. Maybe not enough? We have not given this area any supplemental water yet this year. But like I said, the other vine maples in this same area are healthy and green. I have not fertilized any of the vine maples. No, I've not tried anything on the tree yet, not knowing whether to do anything or take a watch and see approach.

Thank you for the update.

Please explain the details of the automatic irrigation for the tree:
- What kind -- sprinkler; hand-held hose; or drip system?
- How often does it run?
- How long does it run?

Beyond that, I see that the ground has a nice mulch or organic matter including conifer needles.

But it's not obvious where the soil surface is. The basal flare of the trunk (where the roots originate) should be at soil level. If it's deeper, bark, which should remain aboveground and dry, gets wet and slowly breaks down. Eventually the stems are girdled, the tree declines, and eventually dies.

So, here's a bit of homework:
Please pull away the surface mulch - and, possibly, some of the soil - to reveal the basal flare. Then send another image or two of what you find.