Ask a Consulting Arborist Q&A: Leaf, Seed, and Flower Concerns

Q: For two seasons, the foliage on my tulip poplar and dogwood have been sparse. Can they be saved?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Shannon Sperati

Q: I have two different trees that I am concerned about—a tulip poplar and a dogwood. The tulip is about 20 years old and the dogwood is only 5 years old. For two seasons now, the foliage on both trees has been very sparse, with many branches not having any leaves. Can they be saved?

A: The likely suspects are as follows:
 1. Weeds near the smaller tree appear to be one of the scouring rushes, which suggests excess moisture and could cause such symptoms.
 2. Plants are relatively large and may have been improperly harvested in the nursery.
 3. Plants could have been damaged during transport.
 4. Plants could have been improperly planted by the contractor.
 5. Insects or diseases either sold with the plant or from the site can cause such damage.
Any of these could cause such symptoms. If I had to guess, it would be a combination of three or four of the above. I suspect you will need help from a third party, especially if you plan to recover on a guarantee. This is the kind of thing that gives everyone in the green industry a black eye.

Responder: Davis Sydnor, Ph.D., RCA #349, Columbus, OH