Maryland Woodland Connect

Provided by the University of Maryland Extension

Is anyone else noticing their Sassafras trees are dying on their property?  Any ideas of the cause?

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This not something I have heard about. I would look closely to see if there are any insects or other identifiable reason. Are the trees slowly loosing their leaves? How  are they dying?

Over the years I've watched many young Sassafras trees die, now the only large tree died, presumably overwinter because it never leafed out.  New seedlings survive, but eventually they die.  No obvious insects on outside of bark (never looked under bark), and the foliage of live trees always look good.  I have one tree, the only one that fruits, with more and more sections of die back with each year.

Does that help?  I think I've heard in the past that they are also susceptible for that disease that causes sudden oak death.

Not sure I really have an answer. Is it possible other vegetation is overtopping them and shading them out? They are very intolerant and need full sunlight. The root systems also produce suckers which is what you may be seeing. Many times these small suckers will die if shaded or other stresses occur. Not sure I have a real great answer but reply if you have more details.

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