Worried about a 'Miss Kim' lilac & a Kousa dogwood tree

Asked May 27, 2015, 6:03 PM EDT

Hello, These two trees have been in our yard for about 10 years. Last year they both appeared healthy with no problems. Both this spring really did not leaf out, yet both have flowered. Not sure if they are dying or have a virus.... Any advice...thank you. Sincerely, Karen Banks

Westmoreland County Pennsylvania

1 Response

This past winter was especially hard on PA plants and shrubs. Many are leafing out and blooming later than most years. It appears that both the dogwood and lilac have budded and bloomed but leaf development is trailing.

I would suggest that you do a soil sample (test kit can be obtained from your Penn State extension office for a small fee) and submit the sample for analysis. You should receive the results in about 2 weeks. In the interim I would continue to monitor both for additional leaf development which might be related to the hard winter and late spring.

The soil test will confirm if there are any nutrient deficiencies that can be corrected with fertilizer.

I also noticed that there was a white mesh bag hanging from one of the branches in the dogwood picture. I don't know what it was used for or if it had any impact on your tree development.

Feel free to inquire again in a couple of weeks if the situation does not improve. Both the Kousa dogwood and the Miss Kim lilac are wonderful additions to any landscape and are worth the effort to save them if there is a continuing problem.