Ask a Question forum: Stressed Dogwood

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Auburn, AL
bsmith6661
Apr 28, 2018 1:39 PM CST
I live in zone 8 and planted a dogwood sapling back in December. It sprouted many leaves this spring and was doing well. About a week ago, I noticed a few leaves turning brown on the edges and suspected leaf scorch. It only gets about an hour of full sun a day on my balcony, but I immediately moved it inside to try and remedy it. I water it thoroughly when dry, so I don't think that under-watering is an issue. Anyway, so just yesterday, I noticed that all of the leaves are drooping and turning brown. Even the tips of the branches are darkening. What can I do to save my tree?

I've attached images. Thank you for advice!
Thumb of 2018-04-28/visitor/ff76e4


Thumb of 2018-04-28/visitor/70ba9c


Thumb of 2018-04-28/visitor/5ce0c9

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Apr 28, 2018 7:22 PM CST
Welcome!

I suspect your are underwatering, not over watering. Keep the soil moist at all times. Dogwoods are shallow rooted and can't tolerate dry roots.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Auburn, AL
bsmith6661
Apr 29, 2018 2:45 PM CST
I always check that the soil is moist around the roots. I had someone suggest to me that it could be a pH problem or a nitrogen burn problem, due to the soil.

I have a meter coming in tomorrow that will check the pH and moisture levels, but as of now I don't know what to do. All of the leaves seemed to shrivel overnight and are wilted, though I just watered it thoroughly two days ago and the soil is very moist.

I'm really worried for my tree and am willing to try anything to help it recover.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Apr 29, 2018 3:53 PM CST
How long ago did you plant it in the pot? What kind of soil did you use? Did you fertilize after you planted it?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Auburn, AL
bsmith6661
Apr 29, 2018 4:14 PM CST
I planted it around the second week of December. It is in Hyponex by Scotts. This is the first time I've used this brand, so I'm not as familiar with it and how my plants like it.

I've only fertilized it once, back around early March, when the leaves were starting to put out. I used Miracle Gro Liquafeed, the kind you attach to a hose. I didn't add much to it, around 3 or 4 ounces, because I split the bottle between all of my plants.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Apr 29, 2018 8:48 PM CST
Maybe you will find your answer in this:

https://www.amazon.com/Hyponex...

I worry when a product doesn't get even one good review.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Kurt
Woodbridge , Va (Zone 7a)
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krobra
Apr 29, 2018 9:14 PM CST
I planted one in full sun a couple of yrs ago , leaves were burning up and falling faster then it could make them until I gave it some top and west side shade and average waterings nothing special , just a little Tender Loving Care until it perked up , got a little bigger and out grew my little improvised shade.


Thumb of 2018-04-30/krobra/a5cb18 Thumb of 2018-04-30/krobra/03e8c3

A pint can't hold a quart , If it is holding a pint it is doing the best that it can.
[Last edited by krobra - Apr 29, 2018 9:18 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Apr 29, 2018 9:42 PM CST
If this all happened in a day, I suspect fertilizer burn, either from the potting soil, too much fertilizer added later or a combination. Trees don't drop dead over night. I find the reviews for Hyponex disturbing.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Auburn, AL
bsmith6661
Apr 30, 2018 4:53 AM CST
In either case, be it the soil or the fertilizer, what should I do?

I did plan to repot it, so what soil is recommended? I used Miracle Gro moisture control for my other trees and they did well, but I'm now not so sure as to what to use. The current soil was recommended to me by a worker at Home Depot, so. What type/brand would be best to help my tree make a full recovery?
Auburn, AL
bsmith6661
May 1, 2018 4:16 PM CST
Update: I finally got a pH meter today and it is about a 7 or 7.5. The moisture and light readings seemed normal. I had another person suggest to me that the tree got an infection from something, potentially the soil, and should transplant it.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
May 1, 2018 4:43 PM CST
The soil in your pot is alkaline. Dogwoods prefer soil slightly acidic so that may be the problem. Transplanting dogwoods is always tricky but when they are already leafed out, the job gets complicated. Also, stressed plants don't do well with transplants. Maybe instead of changing the soil, you do something to make it more acidic.

An immediate (but riskier) fix is to mix a cup of vinegar into a gallon of water and water your plant with it. Another, slower fix would be to add a layer of peat to the top of the pot and water it in. Don't fertilize as the plant is already stressed (and the reason I'm not suggesting Hydrangea food).

You will have to baby it through this summer and then transplant next winter.

PS: Don't let the peat touch the trunk of the tree.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
[Last edited by DaisyI - May 1, 2018 6:18 PM (+)]
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Auburn, AL
bsmith6661
May 2, 2018 10:22 AM CST
Since the branches and tip of the trunk are dead/dying, what can be done about that? Should I prune the limbs that still have green in them to remove the dead part, or wait until winter?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
May 2, 2018 10:30 AM CST
Nothing can be done about parts of your tree that are dead. But I would leave them be for now. Let the tree decide where to re-sprout from.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org

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