We are seeing very interesting symptoms in the established trees on our properties right now. Initially this season, we saw very little signs of stress, insect, or disease (fewer incidences than normal). Here in the last few weeks, we have seen signs of stress in established trees. We have also received isolated reports of older Crape Myrtles that are showing signs of stress without any evident symptoms. I addition, we have lost a Bradford Pear tree, unexpectedly, without any sign of Borers or significant evidence of Fire blight.
Keep in mind there may be other “stressors” that are in place when an establish tree declines. Very commonly, a restriction has occurred in the root system or the clay soil has actually reached an anaerobic state. An anaerobic state is when the clay soil remains too moist and does not allow for air movement to the roots.
There are some practices we can put into play:
Feeding the tree with liquid fertilizer injections that include micronutrients
Aerification to the root zone of the tree
Pruning overgrowth and dead wood from a stressed tree
As trees mature they become restricted by swimming pool walls, brick columns, parking lot islands, standing water, and much more.
In order to evaluate the tree, we need to step back and look at the entire set of conditions surrounding the tree.