Follow-up on Tree Lilac leaf deformation question

Asked May 10, 2013, 8:34 AM EDT

I had e-mailed earlier regarding leaf curl issues with my Japanese Tree Lilac and one of your experts suggested that our problem was related to herbicide use; however, WE DON'T USE ANY HERBICIDE in our yard. The tree is adjacent to an organic garden and everything there is doing fine, but even the young leaves on the tree lilac look horrible.
This is the second year we've had the same leaf curl/deformation issues and it is significantly stunting the growth of the tree.
Please, please, please help us!

Montrose County Colorado trees and shrubs disease issues horticulture

2 Responses

Just because you do not use any herbicide does not eliminate the risk from herbicide drift. Many herbicides drift a long way and last a long time in soil.

Typically, with this sort of leaf curl, there are aphids associated as well. Since this is happening on new growth as well as old growth leads me to think that you may have a virus. However, you may have a boron deficiency in the soil as well, but that must be tested by your extension soils lab in your state. Contact your local County Extension Office for instructions on collecting a soil sample.

One other possibility - sometimes leaves are injured by cold temperatures as they "emerge from the bud" in spring. The curling and browned edges are consistent with cold injury as leaves emerge.