Attached is a photo of the Kousa Dogwood tree in our yard that was planted about 5 years ago. You will see that the leaves all have brown tips and are curled around the edges. It gave us the appearance of needing water so we made sure it had plenty this summer, but it didn't seem to make a difference. The tree has had very sparse flowering every spring. Other plantings in the area seem to be doing fine. Can you tell me what could be possibly wrong with our tree as we would hate to have it get worse and possibly lose it? Thank you. John
Actually, you need not worry - the health and vigor of the leaves look very good, as does the overall tree. Your dogwood's growth pattern with the drooping leaves with curled edges is normal. Some Kousa's droop and curl more than others, it depends on the cultivar.
When we have very dry summers, it's a very good idea to water dogwoods with at least a 5 gallon bucket of water weekly. Make sure there is 1-3" mulch over the roots to keep the soil cool, moist and the weeds out. Remember - do not put the mulch next to the trunk of the tree.
Young Kousa and Flowering Dogwoods take a while to get established. Each spring the tree should have more flowers than the previous year. Fertilize with an organic, slow release fertilizer such as Flowertone by Epsoma in the early spring which will help the tree to produce flowers. Compost and/or leaf litter compost will also help to give nutrients to the tree.
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About Linda Lillie
Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier
landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry
service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of
Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national
award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.