Struggling dogwood tree

Asked June 16, 2015, 6:22 PM EDT

We have a large native dogwood that flowered and looked beautiful a month ago, but now has diseased-looking leaves that are shriveling and dropping. Is this a fungus? Or sun stress? Any help in how I might treat and save the tree would be greatly appreciated.

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Your tree looks like it has two diseases. The leaves at the top of the first photo clearly exhibit the muted discoloration of powdery mildew. This has become a huge problem on dogwoods in the past few years. It doesn't kill, but it weakens the tree (and looks bad). Here is a link to our website for help with that: Powdery Mildew in Trees and Shrubs

The leaves lower in the same photo appear to have anthracnose, a fungal disease. Please read our information about that closely. Examine the underside of the leaf for a positive identification. You can spray a fungicide in the fall, but the timing is crucial, so follow the directions and other guidelines carefully: Dogwood Anthracnose

With that information, there is also a link to our publication on anthracnose which is good to read.