Is our tree OK?

Tree 25 September 2010 22
leafy tree dead tree

OK. So it’s 25 days into Spring, and not a bud in sight on our rather large backyard tree. It was thriving last Spring and Summer, but now nothing, not a bud. Could it be dead? Or are these trees late thrivers? I have no idea what type of tree it is.

Our neighbour has a lovely green tree in his backyard, which is thriving – that’s what our tree looked like this time last year.

See pics of our tree, and one of the neighbours tree. Sorry about quality of images – cloudy day doesn’t help.

If dead, anyone know how much an arborist would cost? We really would like to save this tree. It provides beautiful shade in the Summer for the kids.

Anyone know what’s going on? Please?

Thank you.

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22 Responses to Is our tree OK?
Tree Tree 5:10 pm 29 Sep 10

Thanks Eily and Grail, it looks like the tree is on it’s way out; looks decades old. OMG. The house was built around the tree for a reason. I’m still holding on, but losing hope quite quickly. Thanks everyone.

eily eily 7:15 pm 28 Sep 10

As the Claret ash (Fraxinus augustifolia ‘Raywood’) is a grafted tree, meaning they are all clones, they should all sprout about the same time.

Claret ashes are notorious for getting dieback; that’s when the tree starts to die from the outer branches in. If it’s an old tree, then, it will be affected to some degree. Forty odd healthy years is about all you’ll get, if your lucky.

Just look around the streets and you’ll find quite a few with dead branches. And not just ashes. The drought hasn’t helped either.

Also, all the rain that we have had could of led its roots getting too wet, leading to rotting.

Your best bet is to wait until at least summer to see just how much of the tree is affected, if any.

If it is dying or dead, you will, unfortuately, have to get it removed. Just growing a climber up it is very dangerous. As the wood gets old, it gets brittle. The weight of the climber, especially wisteria, will cause the whole thing to fall. And while that might be years down the track it will come down, usually with no warning.

A neighbour’s ivy covered gum just come down in the recent winds, after standing for years. The ivy killed the gum by the way. Fortunately, only the fence and a few plants were damaged.

Grail Grail 2:18 pm 27 Sep 10

The conditions from one yard to the next could be vastly different, due to shade and reflections from roofs, along with one yard getting a different fertiliser regime to the other, one getting more dog poo than the other, etc.

I have a crepe myrtle and claret ash in the backyard which looked dead to the world up until about November last year, at which point they burst into green, quite literally: one day they were skeletons, the next afternoon I came home to see masses of green.

Kuku Kuku 8:55 pm 26 Sep 10

Beau Locks said :

rapunzel said :

you’re barking up the wrong tree. i’m sure it’ll turn over a new leaf in the next few days. sometimes these problems can be rooted in generic mutations, resulting in these kinds of arborations.


Treemendous Rapunzel.

Tree Tree 9:35 am 26 Sep 10

Hi everyone, thanks for the votes of confidence. Here I am under our budless tree saying hi. I know we don’t have much, but we don’t need much with a tree like this (when it’s green). Let’s hope it lives another 80 + years.

Lovely weekend to all.

Beau Locks Beau Locks 9:41 pm 25 Sep 10

rapunzel said :

you’re barking up the wrong tree. i’m sure it’ll turn over a new leaf in the next few days. sometimes these problems can be rooted in generic mutations, resulting in these kinds of arborations.


terubo terubo 8:22 pm 25 Sep 10

Maate, leave it be. Your backyard appears to have not much else in it, this tree is better than nothing.

And it may surprise you yet.

arescarti42 arescarti42 6:53 pm 25 Sep 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

It’s probably just pining for the fjords.

It’s not pining, it’s passed on. That tree is no more. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet it’s maker. It’s a stiff, bereft of life, it rests in peace.

Gobbo Gobbo 3:00 pm 25 Sep 10

Don’t try a climbing plant in a tree that is still alive. You may kill it that way.

Only use a climber for the dead ‘uns. Particularly if they have a good structure and shape.

rapunzel rapunzel 1:57 pm 25 Sep 10

you’re barking up the wrong tree. i’m sure it’ll turn over a new leaf in the next few days. sometimes these problems can be rooted in generic mutations, resulting in these kinds of arborations.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 12:57 pm 25 Sep 10

It’s probably just pining for the fjords.

Thumper Thumper 12:22 pm 25 Sep 10

if it’s a claret ash then don’t worry. My claret ash has only just bloomed in the past few days.

Tree Tree 11:59 am 25 Sep 10

Better pic of our tree and neighbours tree here – same type of tree but vast difference in growth:
I’m not sure how to post direct image, sorry

Tree Tree 11:55 am 25 Sep 10

Funky Claude, you’re right. I just googled Claret Ash and that’s the tree. U clever thing. I had a look under the bark, and found evidence of green, so there’s still hope.
I just remembered, it was attacked by lady bugs over Winter.

Will try the wisteria/climbing plant too. Thanks everybody.

Gobbo Gobbo 10:56 am 25 Sep 10

Looking crispy and being crispy are two different things.

Do as Funky Clause suggested, check just under the bark.

I also like his suggestion of using the tree is a base for a climbing plant. Get a vigorous enough plant and you will soon find a second life for your tree skeleton.

Tree Tree 10:46 am 25 Sep 10

Funky Claude
Thanks, branches all look very crispy. This is bad; I just wanna cry. The tree is very old, it could be the end.

sepi, yes, it’s watered with the massive backyard tank regularly, and it rained like mad during august and september, so that’s not the problem. Thank you.

Funky Claude Funky Claude 10:45 am 25 Sep 10

Further to my last post as between reading and posting a comment you posted saying that the trees are identical. Although I am happy to be corrected, based off the foliage in the pictures I think the tree is a ash, possibly a claret ash.

These trees are prone to various fungal inflictions that will ultimately result in the death of the tree. Dieback is perhaps the most prevalent and is not uncommon in the ACT region. I do not proport to be a expert on the subject however.

It does seem odd that your neighbours tree assuming that they are the same tree, is in such an advanced stage of foliation and yours is not.

sepi sepi 10:25 am 25 Sep 10

It looks dead as a doornail to me. If it is the same as your neighbours, then it is definitely dead.
Most trees should have little green buds by now.

Did you water the poor thing?

Just snap a few small branches, and see if they are soft (and alive) inside, or snap like kindling.

An arborist will be 600 or more.

Funky Claude Funky Claude 10:23 am 25 Sep 10

Get a knife and remove a bit of bark off some branches. If it is green underneath, then it is still alive. If brown and tough to cut, then it is on its way out.

It is near impossible to tell what your tree is, without knowing that it is hard to comment further on what may be occurring. As Thumper said it may just be a late bloomer.

If it is dead, then consider growing wisteria up the tree for shade. Would be quicker replanting from scratch, looks good and you don`t have to pay for a arborist. Just a suggestion.

Tree Tree 10:05 am 25 Sep 10

That’s reassuring, but I’d love to see one bud, just one to give me faith this tree is okay. Neighbour’s tree is identical but fully green. Oh well, will wait and see what happens. Thanks.

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