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Trees/Autumn blaze maple dropping leaves


Tree trunk
Tree trunk  
Hello and thank you in advance for allowing the question.  Over the past few seasons, my maple seems to be dying a slow death.    

Last year, the tree began to develop its leaves - but in the early summer - several limbs' leaves would turn autumn-like colors and drop off.  The limb was dead (no flexibility in the limb at all).  Slowly, limb by limb, this keeps happening.  I've noticed that the bark is starting to peel on the trunk and fall off.  Underneath are what look like little 'trails' and the occasional holes (about 1/8th inch).  I've treated it with Seven dust thinking it was insects - but it's happening again this year to the remaining limbs.  Attached is a picture of the trunk.  

What is happening and eating my tree?   

Thank you for any insight!

This is bore damage--an insect that will bore under the bark and sometimes into the wood. IF the boring is completely around the tree trunk the tree will die. Otherwise you will get some limbs dying. Treat the area with an insecticide called Merit or Onyx. Check with your local garden type store for these insecticides. The insecticide will be absorbed by the bark and wood and kill the insect under the bark.

Borers infest trees that are under stress and weakened. I would recommend that you fertilize the tree with 10-10-10  fertilizer at the rate of 1 lb. of fertilizer per inch of trunk diameter scattered around the tree and watered in good, Apply the fertilizer just before a rain storm and you will not heed to water it in. This will increase the health of the root system and the overall health of the tree.

Also during dry weather periods I would water the tree with 1 inch of water--place a pan under the tree and turn the sprinkler on and when the pan has 1 inch of water in it stop.   Do this every third day unless it rains.  


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Jim Hyland


I am an expert in Forestry, Forest Entomology, Forest Pest Control, and Forest Health. Extensive knowledge in Identification of insects and diseases of trees. Expert on Bark beetles and other insects that attack forests. Also a Registrated Forester with extensive knowledge in the management and care of forests.


34 years as State Pest Management Chief in a Southern state. Extensive knowledge in Forestry.

BS with major in Forest Management and Entomology
Registered Forester
Certified Pesticide Appicator

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