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Homeowner seeks advice on tree damaged by neighbor's landscaping: 'How do I revive the tree?'

"It might be a good time to cut your losses."

"It might be a good time to cut your losses."

Photo Credit: Reddit

A Redditor asked r/gardening for advice on how to save their struggling maple tree.

"My Norway maple tree is getting too much water from neighbor's rainwater outlet," they wrote above a photo of the frail-looking tree. "Can't ask them to change that! How do I revive the tree?"

"It might be a good time to cut your losses."
Photo Credit: Reddit

One user suggested: "Try brushing off some of the dirt at the base. If soil covers the trunk bark it can cause the tree to slowly fail."

Another recommended cutting the tree down altogether or calling in a professional: "Norway maple is invasive in N. America. It might be a good time to cut your losses and consider replacing this for a tree native to your area.

"You may wish to consult with a local ISA arborist in your area … or a consulting arborist for an on-site evaluation. A competent arborist should be happy to walk you through how to care for the trees on your property and answer any questions. If you're in the U.S. or Canada, your Extension [office] may have a list of local recommended arborists."

The original poster took their detailed advice, saying: "I'm going to start with calling Extension office."

While a non-native plant — like this user's maple tree — is more likely to struggle, plants native to the area will thrive. Under their optimal conditions, native plants, lawns, and gardens require less maintenance, so you'll save time and money. You'll also help the environment by supporting pollinators and other essential wildlife. 

It doesn't have to be hard, either. Planting a handful of wildflower seeds or changing to a clover lawn or other natural lawn can make a huge difference. 

While it's unfortunate they had to say goodbye to their maple tree, the OP is looking to replace it with a native New Jersey tree, which will benefit their pocketbook and the planet.

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