Ask a Question forum: Crabapple leaf ends turning brown

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Denver, CO
Jun 7, 2017 7:12 PM CST

I've noticed over the past couple of weeks that the leaves on our crabapple tree are turning brown at the end. Not all of them -- maybe 20-30% of all the leaves. Similar pictures online say "drought stress" but we have had plenty of rain, and the grass, which surrounds the tree on 3 sides, is quite green. Any other ideas of what it might be? Thanks in advance!

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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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Jun 7, 2017 7:28 PM CST
A couple of possibilities - did you fertilize the tree recently? It might be just a little bit of fertilizer burn. Lots of rain right after you apply fert might have given it a strong dose all at once.

The other - more likely - didn't you have a late snowfall last week? Cold weather after the tree has leafed out can cause leaves to look a little bit burned, too.

Keep an eye on it, and if it doesn't get any worse, I'd say you probably have nothing to worry about. Most of the leave look just fine.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Denver, CO
Jun 7, 2017 8:12 PM CST
Thanks for the response. We had the lawn fertilized on Saturday, but no tree fertilizer. But we did have a late season snow, around May 18-19, and I hadn't paid much attention to the tree since then until the last week or so. So that could well be it.

We did remove a large root when putting in a concrete slab late last summer, and I've been wondering if that might have had an effect. There was a deck there before, with rocks underneath, and we might have reduced the water it could take in. But then again, it still has grass on the other 3 sides (270 degrees), and presumably many more roots.

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