Don Daugherty
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Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:08 pm
Location: Lawton Ok

Sick Tree

I have sick tree, I think it is a chinese Elm, small limbs are falling off. The appear to have been cut -- I think it is from some type of worm or something? The end of limbs are smooth as if cut, I found one still on the tree where the cut goes all the way around but has not fallen off yet. Any ideas of what it is is and or how to treat? I will add pictures if I can figure out how. Don

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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:04 am
Location: Oregon

I've read that Elms are susceptible to summer branch drop, in which fairly large branches just drop off with no apparent cause, even in still, calm weather. I have observed this phenomenon in English walnut trees in southern CA. One time, a large 6" diameter branch dropped off and landed on the roof a my friend's car that was parked in the driveway. It broke off cleanly, right at the trunk of the tree. I was amazed the first time I saw this "branch drop" happen.

I don't know if that's what's happening to your tree, or not. Anthracnose and some other diseases can actually girdle branches and cause them to drop off. Since you describe a "cut" that "goes all the way around," you may want to research that.
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

I'm sorry you're experiencing such distressing symptoms in your tree. :(

Please read the tips from the webmaster at

which also include step-by-step instructions on posting photos.

Maybe more gardeners/arborists will have ideas once the photos show up.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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