Problem with Kousa dogwoods

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by kirk1701, May 6, 2012.

  1. kirk1701

    kirk1701 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Hey everyone, didn't see anywhere else to put this so hope you guys can help.

    I have 3 Kousa dogwoods across the front of the house, the 2 at each end are lovely, dark green and blooming now. The one in the middle, also blooming but not as noticeable because the leaves are a lighter tone of green almost looks sick as if its missing something?

    All 3 got triple 19 put around them in February so it don't need fertilizer and we've had plenty of rain also; any idea's?

  2. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    You are way over there above Knoxville. Has the temperature's been stable enough back in February to give them triple 19?
    I don't give trees, plants, or shrubbery anything but 12/6/6 + minors. My concerns was the fluctuation of temperatures from warm in February to cool in March. These night time temps plummeted down to 40, then the winds started to come with no rains. You said that water wasn't an issue but I can't help but think that dogwoods are so temperamental from fungus, blight, and borer damage that either a seasonal issue or mechanical issue is happening. I have one....Cleveland Select Pear tree that bloomed out wonderfully, then the cool snap hit us again......the blooms fell off and now the tree has 50% leafout and looks sick. The leaves are insect damage detected other than possible nutrient deficiency. I am not going to add fert. until we get some well deserved natural rains. Water hose rain is okay but nothing beats mother nature. Check around the trunk for borer exit holes...frass, or other signs of root damage. Water damage may be a problem with too much fertilizer at the time of leafout.
  3. kirk1701

    kirk1701 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Just took a look, no borer exit holes and we have stayed pretty wet here since I put the fertilizer out. 2 inches actually a week after I put it out and only dry spell we've had was around the first three weeks in march but since then we've got scattered T-Storms for the last week However I noticed this the beginning of March because it was the last of the three tree's to leaf out.

    As for the fertilizer; Yes it was a warm winter here, everything was early but I normally fertilize everything the beginning of February with pelleted triple 10 or triple 19 so the rain has plenty of time to soak it in before it starts to bud.

    My holly came out beautiful but then we got that frost mid March which killed all the new growth :cry:
  4. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    I am worried about this season as we are in a drought now. There has been a lot of dead trees , shrubs, and perennials as a result of such a warm winter, not much rainfall, and then the triple set of frosts that we sustained. March was cool, then unseasonably warm.
    What worries me is all of the surface roots not benefiting from such increment weather this season. We are in for a lot of mosquito's, aphids, whiteflies, scales, armyworm, cutworm, hormworm, beetles, etc. They all will be in full force a month earlier than before.
    Getting back, I feel that weakened root feeders died from temperature fluctuations. Fungus attacks are prevalent on roses........even the knockout varieties are sick looking this year. I didn't start feeding any of my contracts until last week. I waited till the temperature's were well into the new growth stage before I wanted to encourage fungus rot, blight infections.

    I meant to tell you to go and check out on the conversions you were looking for on your orchard sprays. I didn't have this site before as I don't do orchard spraying.
  5. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    Is this the first year that this tree has shown signs of decline?
    I am wondering if Anthracnose is your culprit. Do you see any signs of purplish blotches or leaf colors starting with the twig and leaf colors.?
    Anthracnose will attack the weaker of the trees and then spread to the others. Early Spring is the time to administer Streptomycin Sulfate, for Anthracnose control before and during bloom break. I must have not had my 2nd cup of coffee as this is the problem with my Pear tree............DUH!! I will have to get the Manab or Zinab after it to slow down the problem. You can consider these fungicides if you can still purchase them locally. It is the water on the foliage that strengthens the Anthracnose and polluted water droplets.

    PM me later on for more stuff.!!
    I will give you my email address too!
  6. kirk1701

    kirk1701 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I'll send the PM soon as I reply thanks Think Green.

    I tried to get wild dogwoods to grow 3 years in a role and then bought Cherokee princess I believe were the names 2 years after that. All 5 years, Anthracnose hit them or that was what the local extension office said. Thats when I was advised to get the Kousa's as they were amune to Anthracnose so I did, this is the fourth year now I've had them and no issue's till now.

    No purplish blotches just leaf colors which are lighter then the other two and one branch which didn't come out this spring and starting to notice as of today the top is dropping leafs.

    Attached some pics
    First pic is the one in question
    second pic is fine but for comparison
    third and forth are of the one in question




  7. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Messages: 793

    it looks like you have irrigation,when plants are sitting in water they can not take water in.They can die and give you the same symptoms as drought.
    This can cause yellowing with the lack of oxygen.Probe down beside the tree and see how much water is in the ground.
    Good Luck :)
  8. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    Unless you take a twig sample to the State........the truth will never be said.
    I feel that from the blackish lesions on the stems of the 3rd photo is indicative of anthracnose.
    As anyone that has a certification in horticulture and a degree in arboriculture may see and agree. Water rot may be the culprit but from the weather conditions at hand and the odd weather cycles, it is a wonder that more trees are infected. One doesn't look too closely at the lesions or leaf malformations at the time of budbreak and leafout stage.
    I have noticed all species of native trees in my area with one type of disease, fungus or another. Most people don't take the time, nor do they know what is going on. By the time the damage is can be too late and the damage cannot be reversed until next season after the treatments are performed now.
  9. kirk1701

    kirk1701 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    So if I understand you correctly this won't kill it?
    I can start treatment now and it will come back fine next season?

    See, thing is I was told these tree's were resistant to anthracnose and this is what I was sent by the extension office back in 08 or 09 when the Cherokee princess dogwoods died. Does this make a difference?

    Also in the link, LOL and I just sprayed Clearys last week for the brown patch.
  10. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Messages: 793

    I am not sure what Think Green is trying to get at with his reference to Certified Horticulturist and Certified Arborist.:rolleyes:

    But treatment without a proper diagnosis is malpractice.
    The Kousa are disease resistant and the leaf spotting is not visible.
    The yellowing of leaves indicates a moisture,/ nutrient problem or both.
    Without a sample or an onsite visit all anyone can do from photos is guess
    That is not proper diagnosis.
    It does not take chemical or other treatments to check the ground to see if
    the trees are getting too much moisture.
    This symptom can also show up with girdling roots.
    Get a Certified Arborist to inspect the tree on site and give a positive diagnosis

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