This is a Dogwood. It is 2-3 year old. Planted in the front garden, under...

Asked September 24, 2013, 9:39 PM EDT

This is a Dogwood. It is 2-3 year old. Planted in the front garden, under full sun. Was growing fastan beautifullyuntil the end of this summer when the leaves started looking droopy and the top branches present dark spots on th edges, like freckels.

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Dogwood leaves will turn a purplish color from stress. Stress can be from several sources such as drought, borers, or disease--powdery mildew is a big problem with dogwoods and drooping leaves can be a symptom of that as well as drought or borers.

However, at this time of year, most dogwoods have already gotten their fall color, which is also purplish. You may be seeing normal fall color (dogwoods are about the earliest tree to get fall color).

At any rate, this is the end of the growing season and your tree has had plenty to time to carry on photosynthesis, and store the carbs it has produced. Be sure to keep your tree watered through the fall, if we don't get about 1" of rain a week. You'll need a rain gauge (any flat-bottomed can will work) so that you know exactly how much rain your property is getting--you can't go by the weather man. You don't want your tree to go into winter with dry soil around its roots.

Please do not try to get your tree to grow fast by using fertilizer. That leads to weak growth that is susceptible to disease and insects. Don't pile mulch on the trunk, that attracts borers. For the first couple of years as the roots are getting established, just insuring that it has enough moisture for its roots is the most important thing you can do. Plants like soil about as moist as a wrung-out sponge. .