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Dying sumac?

Hi; wonder if someone could help? We have a large sumac tree which overhangs a majority in our garden but the trunk(s) are behind our neighbours shed so I can't see the base if it. Last year I thought it was leaning. About August the leaves started to wilt. My husband removed a ton of brambles from it thinking that was the cause but this year it looks likes its leant over even more and only signs are life are on a few lower branches. However the main trunk has growth sprouting on it but not on the branches. How can there be growth on the trunk and some branches but not all? It looks like its a 3 part trunk if that makes sense? This tree is a lovely tree and provides so much privacy so will be sad if it's a goner. Any ideas on what to do?

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  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,364

    Are they your trees Izzy? 

    It doesn't sound good, once things start leaning and dying back it's just a matter of timeimage

    If they're yours you could cut them back to  good wood and see what happens. What happens may be suckering which is good or bad depending on how you view it. 

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 18,382

    It sounds as though it may have reached the end of it's life. But it may grow another tree from a sucker.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • IzzybusyIzzybusy Posts: 15
    Thanks for replying. The trunk is behind my neighbours shed so can't get to it but the way it has grown is that the branches are predominately in my garden. Most of the branches have the brown fur on them and new shoots are forming on lower branches which were pruned last year and other lower branches but no leaves on any of the others.
  • IzzybusyIzzybusy Posts: 15
    I've just gone out and scraped a bit of bark from one of the branches and it's green under the bark which is a good sign? I understand these if grown big are susceptible to toppling but our shed is now supporting most of its weight so it can't topple anymore. Do you think it may have an off year and recover next year? Like I say new shoots on pruned branches so some life in it; just not a lot!
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