Problem with newly planted dogwood - Knowledgebase Question

augusta, Ge
Question by suzannejohns
April 22, 2010
About three weeks ago I purchased and planted three dogwood trees. Before planting I wrote and asked about planting them in clay or adding special soil. The expert said plant them in the clay. The three trees are all planted very close but not too close and they are in the same conditions. Two of them are doing fine, but the third one isn't doing so well. The leaves already grown and new leaves are curling and turning black.


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Answer from NGA
April 22, 2010

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It's not unusual for landscape trees and shrubs to go through a little transplant stress. They can look a bit puny for several weeks while the roots adjust to their new homes. The one tree that's struggling should recover once it re-establishes its root system. Curling leaves with black tips usually indicates over watering or poorly draining soils. While clay soils can hold water for long periods of time, planting a dogwood in clay won't harm it or cause disease problems. Even if you amended the immediate area prior to planting, the roots of your trees will eventually have to venture out into the native soil and will have to contend with the clay at some time in their lives. That's why amending the soil at planting time isn't recommended. Try reducing the water you give that the one tree that's struggling. It's possible the soil beneath that tree is more compacted than the soil beneath the other two. Hope this covers all the bases and answers all your questions.

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