Maple Tree Decline - Knowledgebase Question

Mineola, NY
Question by michael_shev
March 18, 1999
I have a large Maple tree in my backyard. It seems every season there are less leaves on the tree. A local nursery told me that it might be something called "Maple Tree Decline". What are the symtons of this? How can it be treated? I also see many squirrels in the tree who build nests. Could they be the cause? I would hate to have to cut the tree down, as some branches are dying already. What can I do to save the tree?

Answer from NGA
March 18, 1999


Maple Tree Decline is an actual condition and is just what it says -- a long slow decline and eventual death of the tree. There are however a number of foliar and die back problems with similar symptoms and unfortunately it is impossible to make a long distance diagnosis. In any case, you are undoubtedly aware that dead branches can create a potentially dangerous situation. You might wish to consult with a professional arborist on site or with your County Extension (454-0900) for a definite identification of the problem and suggested remedies, if any.

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