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Top of tree died, what do I do?

nvr-enuf

nvr-enuf

ArboristSite Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2009
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91
Location
west bend, wi
Hello everyone, I have a maple tree that I planted and the top has died, the rest of the tree looks like it is going to make it. My question is, what do I do to help promote a new center? Do I cut off the dead? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks
Scott
 

S Mc

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Scott,

You can cut the dead leader out to the next live leader. The tree will then develop its own crown. Don't worry about trying to help it out. Maples are decurrent (broad crowned) species and this will be ok in a young tree such as this.

I am curious as to why this leader died. Could you post pictures of the dead area, the trunk and the base of the tree?

Also, when you post pictures it is helpful to first open them in Paint, select Image, then Stretch/skew. Reduce using 25% of horizontal and vertical. Then save. Then post. This will reduce the photo enough to fit in the website formate and yet be large enough for us to see detail.

Sylvia
 
nvr-enuf

nvr-enuf

ArboristSite Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2009
Messages
91
Location
west bend, wi
Thanks - I think I have some information why the top died.

I purchased several trees from a discount nursery - I think I paid $50 for the maple which I believe is a good price for the size.

I had did not plant the tree for about 1 or 2 years, I simply piled up dirt around the ball. What I did not realize is that the nursery had more than 1 rope tied around the base of the tree. For over a year, the tree grew and started choking on the rope that was far below the surface of the dirt. If I would have known about the ropes, I woud have cut them the day I bought the treed. On some of my trees, the indent due to the rope is about a half inch radially.

The leaves are somewhat wilted, I am hoping it comes back to life / becomes heathly.

How far down do I know where to make the Cut? All the way to the next live off shoot from the crown?

Thanks for your suggestion on the tree as well as the picture.
 
NIP Group

S Mc

Addicted to ArboristSite
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Apr 24, 2008
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Montana
Nj, here is a link that might help give you some visual aids in where and how to make the cut. It's not perfect (as nothing is) because all situations vary. But it may help and you can ask further questions after looking at it. No. 3 Drop Crotch Cut, describes your situation the best. But you may be using a hand saw as opposed to a chainsaw to be safer.

http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/howtos/ht_prune/cuts.htm

You will cut all the way to the first live lateral. However, do not cut into live tissue. If in doubt, you can leave the dead leader a bit longer. It will become easier to see where the dead tissue and live tissue meet with time (if it isn't already obvious).

If you have removed all the offending ropes and ties and made the proper adjustment in the planting depth, the tree may be ok. Only time will tell.

Good luck and ask more questions if needed.

Sylvia
 
MSOakGrower

MSOakGrower

New Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2020
Messages
2
Age
44
Location
Stafford, VA
Scott,

You can cut the dead leader out to the next live leader. The tree will then develop its own crown. Don't worry about trying to help it out. Maples are decurrent (broad crowned) species and this will be ok in a young tree such as this.

I am curious as to why this leader died. Could you post pictures of the dead area, the trunk and the base of the tree?

Also, when you post pictures it is helpful to first open them in Paint, select Image, then Stretch/skew. Reduce using 25% of horizontal and vertical. Then save. Then post. This will reduce the photo enough to fit in the website formate and yet be large enough for us to see detail.

Sylvia
I had a live oak do the same thing. About the top 8 inches dies and was also wondering what to do
 

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Okie

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Mar 7, 2015
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Age
76
Location
Oklahoma (USA)
In my neck of the woods if a Oak tree's top starts dying on it's own for no apparent reason, it's a goner. Seems the ones that do this are always leaning over some of my shops, house, bars or storage yards and I cannot just simply cut it and let it fall. Best to take them out before the whole tree becomes a widow maker.
 
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