tree death

witsendnjFebruary 8, 2009

Has anybody but me noticed that all the coniferous trees are dying? They are dropping their needles like crazy. The deciduous trees look terrible too, they are shedding bark and losing limbs. The past few weeks the shrubs like rhodies, boxwood etc. have started turning yellow.

I have been searching since last summer, when the deciduous trees starting looking scorched, for an explanation as to what looks like a rapidly accelerating mass extinction (when the trees go, so do a lot of birds and animals).

Possible explanations are background ozone, climate-change induced drying and warming, acid rain, or even ultraviolate radiation.

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Larry K(7a)

It may not be as extreme as all that. Coniferous trees do shed their older needles as a matter of course (some shed the oldest third each year), so if it's just the inner needles it might not be a problem. What types of trees are shedding bark? Again, for some trees this is normal.

We did have a very harsh January with the extremely cold winds so I expect there will be more windburn damage than usual.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 10:16PM
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I've been seeing tree's die now for about 3 years or so. At first I thought it was just natural selection but then I noticed younger tree's dying. I lost 2 tree's on my property that were young, a plum tree and a Norway maple. There have been about 6 tree's that have died that I can see from my front step and well over a dozen in my neighborhood. Countless tree's are thinning and have dead limbs. I think we have a big problem on our hands.

I wouldn't be surprised if it had something to do with pollution. I think the tree's used to be able to cover for each other but because we keep cutting them down, in large tract's of land, it makes for less tree's to do the same work. (Cleaning the air)

It also could be because we don't get as much snow as before. Winter is our wettest season and snow is a big reason why. Here in S.Jersey we haven't had the snow for a couple of years now. I can't remember as a kid not having snow, now it's the norm.

Can we fix it? Who know's. I'm going to plant about 6 or more tree's this year, most will be local varieties.

Here's something to read:

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 6:56AM
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I haven't noticed. But I did have my mature, producing, wild cherry tree just up and die this year. It had huge gashes and sap was everywhere. And I don't think any animals were responsible. I was thinking maybe bugs but I don't see how they could have done it.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 2:45PM
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I had a 2 yr old poplar die last summer-definitely due to drought. I noticed that even the older poplars in the area were struggling, though other species didn't seem to be as affected.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 11:42AM
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I have been observing trees and participating in re-forestation efforts for more than 10 years in Maryland. I have not noticed any particlar die-off and I keep a close eye on trees. Trees always die - that is part of the deal. Young trees frequently die for various reasons. The trees I have been involved in planting over the years (more than 5000)generally have about a 40 % survival rate after 7 or 8 years. The summer before last we had a particularly severe drought. Natives are always a good bet.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 5:18PM
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kimka(Zone 6B)

The last couple of years, drought hit many local areas, even while nearby neighborhoods got rain. My neighborhood seemed to be in a rain shadow almost all of the last four summers. Plus we had the big bad drought a couple of summers ago for two years.

As a result, many trees died or are shedding branches, especially in high winds. Winds have taken a high toll on trees whose root systems were comprimised by the drought.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 1:22PM
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paula_pa(z6 PA)

Hi, I live in south central PA and know very little about gardening but I was looking for information on why the evergreen trees around my house are dying.

Two by the front door (one on each side of the stoop) have lost all of their bottom needles (one about a quarter of the way up and the other about a full third). A different variety that is on the end in the front (one on each end, far apart) aren't looking very well. Yet another variety, all the way in the back yard have died. I think those are the neighbors trees and they provided privacy between our houses. They are part of larger block of trees but so far only the middle three have died.

The plants in the front are at least 25 years old. Was it just their time? I didn't think trees expired that way.

I've been thinking about pulling out the two in front but I don't want to plant new trees and have the same problem. Any idea what I'm dealing with? I'm assuming those evergreens in the front won't ever come back to life on the bottom. Am I correct?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 8:53AM
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