Ask a Consulting Arborist Q&A: Tree Health

Q: Every year, my eucalyptus goes from looking normal to dead with bark peeling off. Is it dead?

Thursday, December 31, 2015  

Q: I have a large eucalyptus in my yard in Los Angeles. In September, over a period of about three weeks, it went from looking normal to having every leaf dry out. Even now, it still looks dead. Bark is peeling off too, but it does this every year. A few days ago, I got notified by the fire department that I need to remove the dead tree within three weeks. Is it dead? How do I find out?

A: It sounds like your tree has died. We are seeing a lot of eucalyptus die due to bark beetle infestation, typically brought on by drought. If there are not green leaves on the tree, and the leaves all turned brown at once, then the tree is most likely dead as a result of the bark beetles. There is no remedy except to remove and replace the tree.

Responder: Cy Carlberg, RCA #405, Santa Monica, CA