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Rowan Tree Die Back


My Rowan tree is starting to look very sick with the tree looking like it is dieing back from the top of a branch back to the trunk.  I am considering cutting off infected branches by they are quiet high up on the tree and will be heavy soi need to be done carefully and properly.  Any thought, advise, observations as to what it is will be much appreciated.


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,412

    Hi Arthur

    That doesn't sound very healthy.  Have you a photo so we can see what it looks like?

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • It may be root die back. Rowan have shallow roots and on heavy soil they suffer from dry summers and wet winters. Given this winters very heavy rains it sounds like the roots may have rotted and tat has caused extremities of branches to dieback.

  • FleurisaFleurisa Posts: 779

    the wind could have loosened the roots along with the excess wet

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,412

    That's happening to a lot of things Fleurisa. I hope most of it will settle but fear for some

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Sorry no as the "die back" started in the summer when we noticed that certain branches had loss their leaves and berries and were simply bare wood.  Taking a picture now would be pointless as from the ground it would not show any difference between the good and the bad.  With the huge winds of late, one big branch snapped off and fell to the ground and on inspection the wood on this branch is brittle and lifeless.  Logic tells me to cut out the bad bits to the lowest point that I can get too and hope for the best. 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,412

    How much of the tree do you think is dead?

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,281

    I had a lovely mature Rowan (sorbus) until a few years ago when I noticed it seemed to be dying. Similar to yours, 1st a few branches died back, the following year it didn't look too good and may of the leaves died and fell early in the season, the following year it was dead.
    I traced the culprit to honey fungus - when the tree died I found the circular fungus growing low on the bark and the soil for many meters around the tree is full of what I can only describe as black shoelaces, which I have since learnt is part of the fungus.
    I hope your tree is not suffering the same fate.
    I've not noticed any other perennials or shrubs that are susceptible to HF affected - yet.
    Good luck and I hope your tree recovers.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • THanks for all your post and goodwill.  In answer to nutcutlet I would guess at say 10% at the moment but is is the central most upright branch so basically right in the middle of the tree which is very worrying.  If it is a fungus am I looking at an enevitable slow death or is there any treatment anyone can suggest to try.  It is a lovely tree and I really don't want to lose it it it is at all possible, it blocks an eyesore and as we know apparently keeps the evils spirits aways! 

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