The Q&A Archives: Dark Brown Edges on Shumard Red Oak

Question: I have recently planted a small Shumard Oak in a newly established yard (about a week and a half ago). It is about six feet high and within the last week I have noticed many of its leaves are developing a brown edge around each of them. The limbs look healthy but not the leaves. It has been well watered since planting and I also gave it some fertilizer. Do you know if or what the problem may be?

Answer: Transplant shock is the most likely cause. Brown leaf tips and edges are a sign of a "plumbing problem". Lack of water, too much water (which can also kill roots), damage to roots in the planting process, and fertilizer burn from placing fertilizer in the planting hole can all cause such symptoms.

Keep the soil adequately moist (but not continually soggy) by giving the roots a good soaking once every 5 to 7 days until the weather cools in fall. The plant should pull out of it and be fine.

Thanks for the question!

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