Dying/diseased tree?


Old 05-01-05, 09:54 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Dearborn Heights, MI
Posts: 506
Dying/diseased tree?

I know absolutely nothing about trees, first of all. There is an evergreen in my backyard that seems like it is dying or diseased. It's dropping thousands of dead needles on my grass, and the grass is dying around it as a result. The tree is in an easment that has power and phone lines passing through, so it has been trimmed quite a bit over the years (I'm assuming. I've only been at this house about a year and a half.)

I don't know how else I can show what's going on except by pictures, which we can't post, of course . Here are some links to pics, though:

Dead/dying limbs
Dead needles covering the ground (ignore the small white dog).
Two trees flank the this tree. They look like this, and are about 8 feet or so away. They don't appear to be affected.
A picture of the trunk.
The top of the tree. You can see the power lines, and how the tree has been obviously scalped to stay clear of them.

I would be happy to provide more pics if needed. I'm not sure if this tree can be saved, or if I should just have it cut down. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Sponsored Links
Old 05-01-05, 06:15 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
Posts: 9,483
I think that it is a shame to cut down a tree, unless you have to do it.

In your case: 1) the tree is obviously too tall for its location, so it will be cut back from time to time by the power company. 2) apparently sick enough to be dropping needles in spring 3) it appears that there are several sites of sap runs on the trunk, these may indicate some great problem.

I would do this first, then decide. Call a tree service that employs an arborist and have him take a look at the tree to advise on its health. Usually, this service is without charge. If he is not upbeat about the future of the tree, cut it down. Trying to treat large trees can be both expensive and unrewarding.

I had to cut a 40+ year old dogwood due to anthracnose. The affliction had ravaged the tree and it had one season left. I hated to cut it, but its time had passed. It took a while to find a replacement that would not grow into the power lines overhead, but a nice flowering crab came along.

Hope this helps.
Old 05-01-05, 06:34 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Dearborn Heights, MI
Posts: 506
I think that it was a mistake to plant these trees here in the first place. There are more phone lines and power lines that run about midway through the trees (lower than the ones in the picture) that are quite obviously under tension from the tree limbs. I'll have to call the power/phone companies this spring to cut them back.

Thanks for your advice. I will look for an arborist in my area.
Old 05-07-05, 09:33 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Spruce have shallow root systems so your tree must compete with the two trees that flank it and the bushes behind it. The tree has outgrown its site. The blue spruce is 30-60 feet at maturity and 15-20 feet wide. Continuing to top the tree will continue put even greater stress on it. Topping a tree throws off the root ratio and affects its nutrition. Stubs left by pruning are left open for fungi and insects.

The trees beside the spruce look like mimosa. They grow fast & only live 15-20 years. They grow to about 30 feet tall and as much as 35 feet wide. Unlike the spruce, the mimosa is very drought tolerant. It has an extensive root system.

I recommend that the tree be removed and allow the two trees that flank it have more room to grow and spread out their branches. Yes, it is a shame to have to cut down a tree; but once it has outgrown its site and become unsightly and diseased, it's time to cut it down.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes