The Q&A Archives: Leaf Blight And Drop On Chitalpa

Question: I have a three Chitalpa "Pink Dawn" planted in various locations on my property. All receive adequate water, possibly more than adequate. These trees all flourish until about mid-June and then begin to develop yellow spots on the leaves, which then dry up and drop off. This is the third summer for the trees and it has happened each year. I am stumped, tried less water, then more water, then acid food, then kicking the tree in frustration. Can you give me any guidance at all since this seems to be a common problem?

Answer: I'll admit that I've kicked a few trees out of frustration, too. It didn't help the problem, but it sure made me feel better! Chitalpa are generally free of insect and disease pests but yellow spots on the leaves suggest a disease. Without seeing the problem, it's hard to make an accurate diagnosis. Your best bet is to take a sample of the problem to your local Cooperative Extension office for expert advice. Take healthy leaves, spotted leaves and leaves that are beginning to dry up. The staff will help sort out the problem and provide control recommendations. Contact UC Davis Cooperative Extension at 559-675-7879. Best wishes with your Chitalpa trees!

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