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Help - sick tree

Hi, I am an absolute novice in gardening and to be frank I couldn't tell a tree from a bush. I wonder if anyone can help me identify the issue with my tree. It's not leaving properly and I fear it's suffering either from a disease or malnutrition or an infestation of some kind. It's leaves are not properly formed on most branches. I have added some pictures. The nearby plants are starting to show similar signs so it makes me think that it's spreading and I need to cut down the tree to save the garden. Any advice on what this might be and how I can fix it would be much appreciated. Also if someone can tell me what type of tree this is it would be most welcome. 


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,688
    I wonder whether this is an Ash-Leaf Maple, Acer Negundo. Is it me? Some of the leaves look like there is variegation on them? Possible reversion on this tree. The lack of leafing could be a number of reasons, but since you say other nearby trees are facing a similar issue, it could be very windy and exposed there or possibly due to last year's dry weather, the tree has less reserves this year. Need more opinions on this one. There seems to be some cuts made recently. Did you do this?

    I also think the box growing around the base is a little too close to the trunk and not ideal, although pretty looking, it's not good for the tree in the long-run.
  • Many thanks Borderline. In answer to your question, yes I actually started pruning the tree, with the intention of felling.
    It has been a stormy winter so, the tree did have its fair share of wind. If it were lack of reserves, is the cure some tree feed? 
  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,308
    edited April 2019
    Sorry I cannot add to the answer for fixing your tree. But just confirming @Borderline identification, it does have variegated leaves with pink and creamy variegation, your not seeing things.
    I don't know the tree but putting Borderlines name identification into a search confirms it.
    The leaf shape and colours there is also a particular cultivar called Flamingo.
    (Not saying it is that particular one but there is such a thing)
    And it does look like it is reverting, hope someone will be able to help you further, but it is usually suggested that the green branches should be removed.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,688
    I don't think you need to do too much to it right now, it's quite a mature tree from the looks of it. If it is an Acer Negundo, they can respond well to being cut back, but it's best you are consistent with pruning otherwise it will create uneven growth over the years. 

    Glad you can see some sort of variegation too Rubytoo. It will mean this tree's green leaf needs lopping off and you will need to be vigilant and be on top of it, otherwise, the whole tree will revert back to green again. I suspect the box grown around the base must be highlighting something special. Not any old tree...

    Unfortunately I can't see part of the tree branches due to the background, but it would seem that the leaves are very fine and small due to some form of cutting back along the larger branches. The tree also looks like it is trying to grow towards the sun. If it is growing under another tall tree, then it would explain the growth.

    They need good sunlight and preferably without competition with another large tree's roots. I don't think feeding this tree will have any impact. If your soil is either very damp and compacted, they will not really thrive and continue to grow slowly. Dry weather like last year can also add to the stress, but I think, wait and see. Give it a prune right into the summer months and see how it performs. They may bounce back, so be patient.
  • Thank you both for the advice. I've removed the green branches now. Fingers crossed. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,757
    I’d give it a couple of buckets of water every day until we get some heavy rain. It probably suffered in last year’s drought and the soil beneath the surface is still quite dry.  🤞 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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