Why is my newly planted tree dying?


Why is my newly planted tree declining or dying?


Unfortunately, there is not one standard answer to this question!  When trying to determine the primary cause of the problem, several factors need to be given consideration. Remember that dieback does not always occur in the first year. Some factors contribute to poor vigor over a period of years or cause tree death two to five years (sometimes longer) after planting.Newly planted sycamore tree under stress

Some of the most common factors that can lead to problems with young trees include:

  • Improper watering
  • Improper planting depth
  • Poorly prepared planting hole
  • Poor quality of nursery stock
  • Weather extremes
  • Insect or disease issue
  • Girdling wires from tree supports
  • Mulch volcanoes
  • Poor soil pH
  • Improper species selection
  • Injury from improperly applied pesticides
  • Mechanical damage from animals or equipment

In many cases, several factors may be contributing to tree mortality.  Pinpointing the primary factors will be helpful in taking corrective measures in future plantings.

More detailed information on the common factors that lead to the decline of newly planted trees can be found in this article - Decline of Newly Planted Trees

Answered by
  • Specialist
  • Consumer Horticulture Extension
Last updated on
March 19, 2024