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Plant Diseases/autumn maple blaze



Hi, we had a landscaper plant a tall autumn maple blaze in our backyard about 2 1/2 years ago. Its the only tree in our backyard so its important to us. Since, we've had several landscapers and tree experts with varying opinions saying its not doing well or its fine. We had our landscaper do a fertilizer tree treatment (not sure what its called) in the Fall. Now that its Spring, I can see that some of the branches dont have any leaves on them (about 10-20%). If this tree is not going to make it, I'd like to know sooner than later before I waste 3-4 years when I could have replanted a new one. I have lots of pictures but it wont let me upload more than 2. Can you tell me what I should do and who I can turn to for a definite answer? We have Davey Tree Services in our area and I had them come but she thought the tree was ok but then gave me an estimate of $2000 to fix a ton of other plants, shrubs and bushes that we thought were fine so its hard to trust them! Need help! Want to save my maple!

To tell if a tree is still alive start at the end of an outer limb (as far up the tree as you can reach) and scrape a small bit of bark off the branch. If the color under the bark is green the branch is alive at this point on the branch. If the color is not green--brown-the branch is dead at this point on the branch. If brown- continue down the branch scraping at intervals until you find green. When you find green stop scraping. If there is green under the bark the branch is alive. If you did find some green sections I would wait until later in May and if there are branches that have not leaves  prune the dead branches off. Maples sometimes are late leafing out so I would wait until late may to make any determination. And if there is some leaves I would not give up on the tree yet. Give it another season and IF it does not leaf out next spring then go ahead and replace it.

I may step in it here but I would not use Davey Tree Service except to maybe take a tree down. They are the most part in the business of removing trees and not diagnosing problems. With what you said they seemed to be like a used car salesman trying to sell you something not solve a problem. I would use a certified Arborist. Here is a link to names in Indiana one is a Davey man but I would try others first.

I would also call the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Forestry division. They have a Forest health person and they maybe able to assist you with an on site visit. Most states do not charge for this and they are impartial. Here is their contact info.  

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Jim Hyland


30 years experiance in the ID and management of forest diseases and ID of landscape tree diseases.

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