Plant Diseases/Maple tree growing issues
We planted a maple tree in our backyard a couple years back. It seemed fine the first year. Last year it wasn't growing on top so we cut off the top and it grew a new shoot from the area where it was cut and grew great the rest of the growing season. This year it is once again not growing on top. The top branches are dry and dead. The bottom branches have lots of buds and leaves. Is this normal or is this tree dying a slow death? is there anything we can do to save it? I have attached a photo of what the tree currently looks like. Thank you.
No it is not normal. looks like a root problem-the roots may not be growing enough to support the foliage hence the dieback. I would try removing the vegetation from around the tree say out two feet in a circle around the tree and replacing it with a mulch. Pine straw is good. This will reduce the competition of the weed and grass plant roots with the tree roots and hold moisture around the tree roots. Then I would fertilize the tree with 10-10-10 fertilizer at the rate of 1 lb per inch of trunk diameter scattered around the tree and watered in good. Apply the fertilizer just before a rain event and you will not need to water. Then this summer if it does not rain for several days I would water the tree. I would not cut any more off right now but let it go until sometimes this late summer and then prune off the dead branches.