why half of leaves are curled/drooping???

Discussion in 'Cornus (dogwoods)' started by jaansu, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. jaansu

    jaansu Member

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    Location:
    Yardley, PA USA
    I live in eastern PA near Trenton and have a kousa dogwood that I assume is ~20 yr old. For the last two years, many of the leaves are half 'closed' and pointing toward the ground. This year we also had far fewer flowers than other neighborhood kousas had. The part that gets afternoon light look good: flat wide leaves and facing up. The tree gets light by noon and then is shaded largely by a maple by around 3. Considering the quantity of rain we have recently received and that a gutter empties near it, it can't be dry.

    I apply no chemicals in my yard and have fed it only with compost. There is a wide bed of vinca growing all around it.

    Any ideas why so much of the tree looks poor? Does it need more light? Is the vinca hurting? Anything I can do?
     
  2. canadiyank

    canadiyank Active Member

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    Central WA, USA, Zone 6B
    Do they look brown and kind of dead, or are they still coloured correctly? If it's the brown thing going on, an arborist who took a look at mine said it's some sort of disease common to dogwoods and since it's a cosmetic thing and doesn't really hurt the tree and treating it doesn't do much he said don't bother treating it. Has it been pruned recently? He taught me how to prune it and that helped quite a bit. I notice some years it's worse than others.
     
  3. jaansu

    jaansu Member

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    No, no brown portions, just a lighter green than the good leaves and drooping when compared to the west portion of the tree. I would tend to think it is light related but the light access hasn't significantly changed over the years so why now start looking poor.
     
  4. canadiyank

    canadiyank Active Member

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    Hmmm! Yeah, that's unusual. Can you get an arborist to come look at it and also give it a good prune? S/he may be able to help. Mine was in heaven when he saw my mature specimen and I learned a lot, definitely worth the $.
     
  5. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    philly, pa, usa 6b
    could be light related; could also be damage to the roots on that side...it's more likely that part of the tree has some issue like rot.

    i have a dogwood (don't know which kind) that is about 20 years old and it is rotting. still grows leaves and flowers, yet, there have been times where a branch just fell it was rotted at the center. last year i noticed the rot happening at the base of the trunk, so it's going to have to go soon at some point.

    hope i'm wrong and there's something else going on that is fixable!
     
  6. jaansu

    jaansu Member

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    Thanks for the idea. I'll take a look. Is there a reason for rot occuring in dogwood?
     
  7. jaansu

    jaansu Member

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    I'm surprised I had not noticed before but there is a difference in the trunks of the curled vs the flat leaves. The curled leaf trunks have patches on them that resemble lichens. The good trunks are smooth and not mottled. Would this be a fungal attack? Any recommendations on how to treat it?
     
  8. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    maximum lifespan is 125 years...i think that applies to all types of dogwoods.

    are you sure it's a kousa???

    they're usually not affected by diseases - the other types are...

    if what you have is not a kousa, then you could have some kind of infection going. or it could be resultant damage from improper pruning or it could be that the one side is getting more sun than previously...has some larger tree nearby been taken down or severely pruned over the past year? what about grass (on the side that is not looking right) being treated with lime??? dogwoods do not like limed soil as it reduces acidity and they do best in acidic conditions.

    cornus florida is susceptible to dogwood anthracnose as well as powdery mildew and they can get canker, too.
     
  9. jaansu

    jaansu Member

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    I don't know what sort of dogwood it is but it looks like many of the other dogwoods in the neighborhood and I know it is not an American dogwood so I assumed Kousa. It seems to be popular. The tree is surrounded beyond the drip lie by 5' of bed, largely occupied by vinca. I keep it off the tree by a 1foot compost covered area.

    I haven't put any chemicals down in years so I doubt the pH is a problem. No trees have come down but the existing trees are shading it more than before so it gets less direct sun.

    I realize Kousa (if that is what it is) are usually disease resistant but there is something wrong. Any recommended treatment for those diseases you mention? Any good source to allow me to determine exactly what it is?
     
  10. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    there are actually a couple different types that are native to here, so it could be any one of them!

    the shade is actually the best ideal for dogwood, since they are an understory tree...i was concerned that more sun, due to a tree/limbs coming down was affecting part of it...

    barring that, i would think it is infected with something. or maybe not...the leaves folding up seems to be a not-uncommon occurance and doesn't seem to really seem to shorten lifespan...on the other hand, that info could be incorrect...from your description, i'm not so sure it's anthracnose...could still be though. or could just be a mildew issue - is the lichen-like stuff on the northern side, by chance?

    could be a twig borer - that would directly affect amount and quality of the blooms...

    here are some links.

    http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/pp/notes/Ornamental/odin23/od23.htm general info

    http://www.dogwood-tree.com/dogwood-anthracnose.htm anthracnose info

    http://www.floridata.com/ref/C/cornus_f.cfm for cornus florida info

    http://hcs.osu.edu/hcs/TMI/Plantlist/co_kousa.html c. kousa info

    http://plantclinic.cornell.edu/treeshrub/dogwood.htm disease list

    shoot! i can't find the links i had earlier...and i don't have time to search for them now. the above should help though.
     

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