Problem with my Kousa dogwood - Knowledgebase Question

Sunbury, PA
Question by klyordy
May 4, 2008
I purchased a Kousa Dogwood tree last spring. The leaves on the lower branches were normal size. The further up the tree the leaves never fully opened. Also there is no sign of buds again this year. Is there anything I can do to get the leaves to come out on top?


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Answer from NGA
May 4, 2008

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The symptoms you provid sound like there are problems with the roots. I can't tell if it is too little water, too much or if perhaps some fertilizer was put in the planting hole and has burned the roots. Whatever the cause your best option now is to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Your plant may be set back so much it is not able to recover but that call is difficult to make. If the planting hole is in a clay soil it may be that it is acting like an underground flower pot and restricting root growth and establishment. If it doesn't improve by fall I think that I would dig it up, examine the roots, cut or unwind any circling roots and reset the plant after working the soil in the planting hole to make sure and loosen the sides of the hole. Make sure it has good drainage (raise the planting area if necessary) and reset the plant promptly. Firm the soil in around the roots and add water as you refill the hole to remove air pockets. Good luck with your plant. Thanks for the question. Please stop in again soon!

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