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Trouble with Rowan Tree

Posted by Trevor Storey , Sep 06,2006,20:42       Forum

I have a large Rowan tree in an open position but adjacent to my garden fence. The lower part of the trunk has been sheltered on its west side by my 6ft garden fence for the last 25 years. I have been in the house for thirty years and the Rowan was already there when I moved in so I reckon it must be at least 40 years old and 20 - 25ft tall with an attractive spread. It has always been very healthy with loads of foliage and fruit every year. However, for the last three to four years I have noticed that the foliage has started to turn brown prematurely, at about early to mid August. I first noticed it on the foliage on a very large branch springing from the crown of the trunk. The rest of the tree looked fine. That branch appears now to be dead. The following year the same thing happened to another branch springing from the crown, that's also now dead. This year the same thing has happened and I expect to lose another main branch.
The first branch which died was on the south side of the tree, with the other two affected branches following a track across the tree to the north side. It appears now that the large trunk - about 15 inches diameter- has all it's south side dead with numerous hard fungus looking growths sprouting from the bark. The north side still seems fine with the branches from that side still with healthy leaves and fruit. It's as though the trunk has been cleaved down the middle, diseased/dead on one side and healthy on the other. The tree is obviously being attacked by some disease or insect which is gradually working it's way across the healthy wood.

Can anybody offer any advice, as to the cause of the problem and offer any remedy?

I may have left it too late to stop it reaching the rest of the tree and having to have it felled. Due to it's size, spraying may not be a practical solution.

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