sick dogwood - Knowledgebase Question

pittsburgh, Pe
Avatar for shellyokeefe
Question by shellyokeefe
June 30, 2010
Hi - my 4 year old dogwood began the season beautifully and then suddenly the blooms wilted and dropped. The tree lost the leave on most of the left side. The right side seems ok. There is new growth pushing from the trunk and branches on the right...but not the left side. what can I do to save the tree? THANKS

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010
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 growth, and newly-planted trees are most susceptible. 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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