This spring my large maple tree had 1 branch of leaves- is it dead?

The rest of the branches are all are. Does this mean it's dead?
  3 answers
  • This is not good... more than likely the tree is nearly dead and should be taken down before it starts to drop heavy branches or uproot in a storm. Often a declining tree has been showing signs that it is dying for a few years: if the tree leafs out later than other trees of the same kind in your area; insect damage and more woodpeckers on the tree, dropping branches. Often, businesses that take down trees will give a free estimation of the situation which would give you more information regarding how to proceed. If this change in the tree has been sudden, perhaps the tree was struck by lightning. Do not ignore the situation because a mature tree that is dead is a serious hazard. If you live in town you are legally responsible for damage caused by a falling tree because lot sizes are small enough for home owners to be aware of the health of the trees on their property. If you take the tree down, get as many estimates as you can because prices can vary widely. Also ask about insurance and how they will protect the lot. Tree removers can cause damage to lawns with their heavy equipment, adding to the projects expenses. We had a company put down sheets of plywood before they sent in the equipment and that protected our lot but if the best estimate will not include this it could be better to go with the cheaper estimate and deal with regrading the lot yourself. Some companies will grind the tree stump and some will not include that in their estimate. A tree stump can be incorporated into your garden design. Think about this before getting quotes and let the company know your plans for the tree stump and where you want the tree cut. I have seen people grow climbing roses up a stump that was left ten feet tall. Bird houses can be mounted on a stump that is taller. Will you want some of the trunk for garden projects... we split tree trunks and used each half as a bench (save smaller sections, cut a curve into them and mount the split bench on top or just place the flat side on top of two smaller trunk legs.) Some people want the wood for their fire place, especially hard wood that burns hot. But discuss this all before they give you the estimate; some companies sell the wood and this gets factored into the quote they give you. Where is the tree located... if it is near electrical lines, the utility company will probably take the tree down for you for free because it will protect their lines from a falling tree. Some towns have departments that monitors trees that are street-side and they can check the tree out for free. Also your Agricultural Extension Department (check county phone numbers) have Master Gardeners that will ofen help with landscaping issues for free. Taking the tree down is expensive but much cheaper than dealing with it if you have it fall on the house or car.
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