The Q&A Archives: Dogwood Tree

Question: Our Chinese Dogwoods are about 2-3 years old. This is the first year they have blossomed. The trees are still blossoming, however, the leaves on some of the branches look dry and wilted. This happened last year before we knew what the tree was. We were ready to pull them out. Is this a natural occurrence? If not, what can we do to help them.

Answer: The symptoms you describe sound like the disease called Anthracnose. Dogwoods are susceptible ? some years are worse than others. The diseased area usually begins at the leaf tip and then spreads to involve entire branches. The leaves start with a blotch which spreads to the midvein, giving a wedge-shaped appearance. The dead leaves often hang on the tree until fall. To control, prune out and destroy infected twigs when possible; rake and remove fallen leaves from spring until fall; You can apply a fungicide each spring to help protect the leaves; beginning sprays at budbreak and continue at 10-14 day intervals until weather remains dry. If you?re experiencing a wet spring, you may need to reapply the fungicide. Be sure to follow label directions.

Best wishes with your dogwood!

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