How can I save my beloved flower tree from dying?

by Olivia
(Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Last year full bloom

Last year full bloom


I hope you can help me to save my tree. I have enjoyed its beautiful flowers and shade in my garden for about 20 years until this year. Normally, it is now time for it to blossom, but this year, strangely almost all of its leaves keep falling and only a small cluster of flower showing. I don't know the name of the tree, and whether or not it is suffering some sort of disease, so I worry very much that the tree may die.

I am attaching a picture of the tree taken last year at it full bloom. There is almost no leave on it anymore these days.

Looking forward to your advice at the soonest.

Best regards,

Comments for How can I save my beloved flower tree from dying?

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May 12, 2020
Bad news
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

I don't know what kind of tree this is, but it's very pretty. The bad news is that it's losing so many leaves, and hasn't started its regular blooming cycle, which is worrying.

Things to check; look at the base of the trunk where it meets the ground. See if it's damaged, maybe by a weed whacker, or something else. If the bark is damaged, there may be little chance for it to survive, even with drastic action.

There is a problem with different trees, in fact many other plants too, where the roots are infected by contact with a different tree that has certain fungus. This goes by many names, but the most deadly form it takes is known as Sudden Oak Death. And it is sudden, like overnight in some cases.

It's caused by Phytophthora ramorum, a pathogen of mainly oak trees, but it attacks other species too.

The main symptoms are die back, and bleeding cankers in the bark on the trunk. Unfortunately, there is no cure, and it's imperative that the tree is removed and disposed of properly.

This article on Wikipedia tells more about the signs and symptoms of Phytophthora ramorum. See if your tree is showing the symptoms. It also goes into great detail about the organism itself, if you're a science nerd.

May 12, 2020
Another suggestion
by: Jacki

I also recommend getting the services of a professional arborist to look at your tree - they will be the best person to identify the problem first hand, and also to suggest how to best deal with it, even to help dispose of the tree if that is their recommendation.

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