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Sparse leaves on Drake Elm

I have a Drake Elm approximately 7 yrs old. It has been beautiful every year until now. It has very sparse foliage. There are many air plants, maybe from the Bromeliade family, on a lot of the limbs. Could this be what is causing the sparseness? Is there a product to rid the tree of the "air plants"? Is there something I should treat the tree with? Please advice as I am not wanting to have to call out an Arborist due to money but my tree has been such a joy to me these years.
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Air plants and other types of bromeliads derive no nutrition from the trees to which they attach, so you need not worry that they are the cause of the sparse foliage on your tree. If the foliage is uniformly sparse throughout the tree, it's likely that the problem is on the main trunk or in the root system. It may also be a natural variation due to weather conditions or heavy seed production last year.

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