The Q&A Archives: Late Leaves on Ash Tree

Question: We have a large ash tree that has been getting its leaves in stages this spring, first one branch had leaves and the rest of the tree looked as though we were going to lose it. Then all of a sudden another branch budded and got leaves and another and another. Could this be from the lack of rain that we have had in the past few years? We have had drought like conditions last summer and about 3 years ago also. And this year we are way behind on the rain fall too.

Answer: Leafing out in the manner you have described is certainly a sign of severe stress and drought is a major cause or contributing cause of stress; the effect of drought is also both cumulative and in many cases delayed. Ash trees however are generally pretty tough and established otherwise healthy trees are quite drought resistant. You might wish to consult with a professional arborist or your County Extension (560-4150) to see if the tree is experiencing any additional problems besides water stress. I'm sorry about your tree!

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