The Q&A Archives: Wilted Leaves On Ash Tree

Question: I recently planted (one year ago) a tree called Fraxinus oxycarpa "Golden Desert" tree. After a short hot spell, I noticed a lot of brown, dried leaves. Could it be that I watered it too much? Since it's desert ash, do they react badly to a normal amount of water as compared to other trees?

Answer: It's likely that your new tree was stressed by the hot spell. It takes most plants a full year to become established after transplanting. Once established they should be able to endure short periods of stressful weather conditions without harm. Water your tree once a week until it's established. (most landscape plants require only about one inch of water per week to keep them healthy during the growing season. After that time you can water if the weather is exceptionally hot, but Ash trees should get by on their own, without supplemental watering, once they're established. The crispy dry leaves should fall from the tree. If they remain, or if an entire branch is affected and the leaves hang on after they die, you may be dealing with a disease (Anthracnose or Verticillium) rather than heat stress.

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