Ask a Question forum→Why would a mature King Maple 30-35 feet high suddenly die?

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Pleasantville, Ne
sokker
May 30, 2018 3:48 PM CST
I bought a house in 2011 from a couple who lived there 7 years. They planted a King Maple in the front yard while living there so at most the tree is 10-12 years old. It was about 8 feet when planted and is now towering over the 3 stories of my house. Last summer the tree didn't seem to fill out as much as normal and lost leaves well before fall. I knew the tree was sick as it also started having bark peeling from the trunk. There are power lines that run through the center of the trunk interestingly enough and I suspect these lines could have something to do with the death of the tree. Has anyone had a large tree suddenly die like this?



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sooby
May 30, 2018 4:16 PM CST
Maples are a little inclined to do that. Had anything changed in its environment, like construction, change in soil level for example - even if it occurred in a previous year?
Name: Daisy I
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DaisyI
May 30, 2018 6:40 PM CST
Power lines didn't kill the tree but there are lots of other things that could, most having to do with root problems. Root rot takes years to kill a tree.
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greene
May 30, 2018 6:51 PM CST
I witnesses trees dying for one particular reason. In the city where I lived most streets were lined with trees, beautiful trees. Then the city decided to add curbing to the streets. Gradually all the trees sickened and died. (The city called it 'urban stress' and did not take responsibility.)

There are many reasons that trees may die. Changing the level of the surface soil can have a negative effect. Insects. Disease. Use of herbicides in the lawn area over the roots of the trees. LIghtning strikes. Insufficient water or too much water. Too many causes to list.

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Name: Danita
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Danita
May 30, 2018 7:17 PM CST
One possibility is Wetwood/Slime Flux. Canopy die-back and peeling bark are symptoms. Did the trunk ever weep and have an odd smell?

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sallyg
May 31, 2018 6:48 AM CST
certainly you have called the power company to alert them, sounds dangerous.
And you sure don't want to plant anything that big there, again. Or any Maple- aren't they prone to Verticillium wilt
http://www.ct.gov/caes/lib/cae...
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[Last edited by sallyg - May 31, 2018 7:07 AM (+)]
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Pleasantville, Ne
sokker
Jun 1, 2018 2:03 PM CST
sooby said:Maples are a little inclined to do that. Had anything changed in its environment, like construction, change in soil level for example - even if it occurred in a previous year?


Nothing changed, small yard no other trees.
Pleasantville, Ne
sokker
Jun 1, 2018 2:05 PM CST
DaisyI said:Power lines didn't kill the tree but there are lots of other things that could, most having to do with root problems. Root rot takes years to kill a tree.


I'm not so sure about that Daisy, look up wifi radiation and trees. It's a thing. I also researched lightning which states pretty clear that there can be damage where the strike occurred but it is unlikely to kill the tree. It was alive and ailing all last summer but this spring nothing.

Pleasantville, Ne
sokker
Jun 1, 2018 2:08 PM CST
greene said:I witnesses trees dying for one particular reason. In the city where I lived most streets were lined with trees, beautiful trees. Then the city decided to add curbing to the streets. Gradually all the trees sickened and died. (The city called it 'urban stress' and did not take responsibility.)

There are many reasons that trees may die. Changing the level of the surface soil can have a negative effect. Insects. Disease. Use of herbicides in the lawn area over the roots of the trees. LIghtning strikes. Insufficient water or too much water. Too many causes to list.



Thanks for replying greene but for the most part, large trees do not suddenly die. My back yard edges a wooded area full of trees. I see my neighbors all around, no very large trees suddenly dying. I suspect that the lines have something to do with it only because I've driven all over and no other houses have the lines running right through the middle of a large tree and because I read scientist journals stating that wi-fi is killing trees.
Pleasantville, Ne
sokker
Jun 1, 2018 2:09 PM CST
Danita said:One possibility is Wetwood/Slime Flux. Canopy die-back and peeling bark are symptoms. Did the trunk ever weep and have an odd smell?

https://ag.umass.edu/landscape...


Hi Danita, I will have to read more about this. There was never an odd smell or weeping though...
Pleasantville, Ne
sokker
Jun 1, 2018 2:10 PM CST
sallyg said:certainly you have called the power company to alert them, sounds dangerous.
And you sure don't want to plant anything that big there, again. Or any Maple- aren't they prone to Verticillium wilt
http://www.ct.gov/caes/lib/cae...


I don't want to replant there, I'm more concerned with what caused it to die. There has to be a reason. The leaves were covered with brown almost coppery spots last summer.

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jun 1, 2018 2:21 PM CST
If your tree is planted near a cell phone tower, yes, maybe. Wifi and bluetooth don't travel through wires and you said power lines. You never said anything about getting hit by lightning. If your tree had been hit by lightning, you would know.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jun 1, 2018 2:23 PM CST
sokker said:

I don't want to replant there, I'm more concerned with what caused it to die. There has to be a reason. The leaves were covered with brown almost coppery spots last summer.



Now you are talking about disease. Someone suggested a blight or fungus earlier.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Jun 1, 2018 2:36 PM CST
Sokker, can you please give us one of the scientific references for wifi killing trees? I did a quick literature search just now on Google Scholar and didn't find anything. Also are we talking about power lines or wifi?

Power lines run through trees very commonly around here, it's ugly but the trees don't die en masse because of it. If there is a connection I would wonder if it has more to do with something getting into the pruning cuts.

Acer platanoides is susceptible to verticillium wilt as was suggested. Perhaps you can describe the symptoms since you said it was ailing all last summer. It's hard to diagnose the brown coppery spots without seeing a picture. It doesn't sound like tar spot which is quite common on Norway maple here and is not fatal:

https://ag.umass.edu/landscape...

A possible cause of multiple trees dying adjacent to a forested area is Armillaria root rot.

[Last edited by sooby - Jun 1, 2018 2:48 PM (+)]
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