The Q&A Archives: Stunted Ash Tree

Question: I live in a new development. Four Ash trees (of a variety I've been unable to identify) were planted in my yard along the street when I moved in. They are now 15-20 ft. tall. Two of the trees are doing very well, which are on a bit of a slope, one is at the hill's top and is healthy but lagging in size, and the last is very unhealthy. It has had a number of dead branches (small ones) which I have removed, and its bark is cracking vertically in circular areas somehat larger than a silver dollar. The tree is much smaller than the others and has always been sickly. Is there anything I can do, short of replacing it?

Thank You!!

Answer: Poor tree! I suggest replacing it, simply because it's difficult to save a tree that is ailing as badly as this one. It may have been damaged or diseased at planting time, or shortly thereafter. Find out from the real estate company that built the development if there is any guarantee on the foundation plantings and trees, and let them know you need a replacement. You can also get the opinion of a local arborist to see if they think the tree is salvagable.

The tree at the top of the hill sounds probably gets more windblown and less moisture than the trees lower down, which would account for its stocky growth. Hope this helps!

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