The Q&A Archives: Drooping Brown Edged Leaves on Pagoda Dogwood

Question: Last spring, I planted a pagoda dogwood shrub on the north side of the house. Its leaves are brown on the tips and edges, and are smaller in size than another pagoda dogwood on the same side of the house. Also, the leaves appear wilted - they are just hanging on the branches. I have tried watering it, but that doesn't seem to help. What can be wrong, and what should I do?

Answer: Check the twigs for tiny holes or galls caused by gall midges - these cause twigs and leaves to wilt. Since the midges are protected within the stem, the only way to combat them is to prune out the affected stems. Crown canker can also lead to weak growt, and newly-planted trees are most succeptible. Check the lower part of the trunk for swellings that indicate this disease. Unfortunately, the solution to this disease is to dig out all the affected wood, shellack over the gouge, and remove a 1" strip of bark all around the gouged-out area. Paint the strip where you removed the bark with white latex paint. My diagnosis isn't guaranteed, though, since I haven't actually seen the tree - I suggest you have a nursery professional or arborist take a look at it to be absolutely sure of the problem. Hope this helps!

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