Answer: A few possibilities come to mind. Tulip trees are susceptible to salt damage, so if the tree is located near a road where salt was used during the winter, that could be the problem. In this case, working gypsum into the surface layer of the soil will help. Fertilizing the tree can also help suppress salt damage. Late frosts can also kill leaves, and in this case new growth will eventually sprout. If any weed killer has been applied to grass nearby, the chemicals could have moved through the soil and damaged the roots, which would eventually show up in damaged leaves. In this case, your mother could try watering heavily to try to leach the chemical from the root zone of the tree. If none of these explanations seem to fit, take a few leaves to your nearest tree nursery or Extension Service office (246 Griffing Avenue in Riverhead, (516) 727-7850) to see if they can diagnose the problem.
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