The Q&A Archives: cottonwood leaves curling & turning black

Question: I have a cottonless cottonwood tree that leafs out nicely, but then some of the leaves turn black and they all curl. Any ideas? It gets plenty of water and sunshine. It's planted near a septic tank. Could this be a problem?

Answer: Cottonwood trees take enormous amounts of water, more than they typically get in a landscape situation. They are riparian plants, meaning they grow in nature near bodies of water. However, if you think it is receiving adequate water, you might want to take a sample of the leaves to the Yavapai County Cooperative Extension office for diagnosis. They are in Prescott, 520-445-6590. Also, if the tree is close to the septic, the roots might become a problem as they will seek moisture.

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