The Q&A Archives: Ash tree curled leaves

Question: We have a mature Ash tree. It suffered some winter storm damage 2 winters ago. We have had drought conditions for several years. Some of the leaves on the new growth branches are curled up. The ends are very dark and inside the leaves are sticky. We have had some very high temps latley (high 90's). The older branches are fine. What's going on ? Help, we don't want to loose our best shade tree!

Answer: It sounds to me as though your tree is stressed and to add insult to injury, insect pests have moved in. I suspect aphids or whiteflies because they suck the fluids from the tissues and leave a sticky excrement called honeydew. The curled, darkened, sticky leaves are a dead giveaway. Since your tree is large, you may not be able to effectively spray to control these pests; you may have to wait for natural predators to arrive (namely lady bugs) to help balance out the population.

Best wishes with your tree!

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