Dying Tree – Root Damage

Q: Can you tell me what is happening to my tree? Can I save it?

A: Great pictures – they give me a lot of information.

First, looking at the whole tree, I see the limbs are thinly foliaged and there are sprouts coming from the main trunk. This tells me the tree is highly stressed. The stress could be from construction damage to the roots since your home looks to be relatively new. It might also be damage done during installation of the continuous curb. You can dig into the soil inside the curb to see if major roots were severed.

Second, I see that the tree is planted in a mound – I can’t tell if the mound is soil or mulch but the second photo shows that the base of the trunk is covered. This usually results in disease or insects invading at that point or lower.

The third picture shows me a close-up of the oozing part of the bark. Oozing is usually a symptom of a bacterial infection called slime flux. It ferments sap under the bark…and there is no cure for it.

From looking at the health of the tree right now, and the extent of the oozing, my bet is that it won’t survive the summer.

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