The Q&A Archives: Oneill red horse chestnut

Question: We recently purchased and planted a monrovia red horse chestnut in our yard. The tree is planted in full sun and to the specifications on the tag; however, the leaves are turning brown and curling. What is the problem what can we do?

Answer: What you describe sounds like leaf scorch. Leaf scorch is a physiological disorder caused by unfavourable weather or soil conditions or a combination of both. Tips and margins of the foliage become brown and papery, and the leaves become curled, giving the tree an unsightly appearance. Leaf scorch has been reported to be severe following both hot and dry as well as wet weather. It is particularly common on horse chestnut growing close to pavement where the soil is often compacted. Heat reflected from pavement and buildings, and root restrictions (eg. by foundation walls), compounds the problem. Control: Watering may be helpful in dry seasons. If the soil is compacted, it should be aerated to improve water percolation. Providing favorable growing conditions for the horse chestnut will minimize leaf scorch development.

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