I live in Plymouth, west of 494. I have an ash tree that would have been...

Asked July 6, 2015, 9:17 PM EDT

I live in Plymouth, west of 494. I have an ash tree that would have been planted in 1989. This year, it was slow to leaf out. But has a limited number of leaves. It has a lot of flowers or growths on the end of leaf stems. But they aren't producing leaves. They are turning brown and falling off. I'd appreciate your thoughts. Thanks. Tim Anderson 763-807-6463

Hennepin County Minnesota

4 Responses

Hi Tim,
When a formerly healthy tree produces a heavy load of flowers and seeds, and fewer leaves this is often a sign that the tree is in decline. But first we need to ask you some questions about the tree.

Are the leaves normal sized and shape or do they have splotches and/or dark spots?
(This could be anthracnose - very common this year because of the wet, cool conditions: https://expert-hort.sws.iastate.edu/faq/view/id/646)

Are the leaves smaller than usual and more yellow in color than normal? This could be Ash Yellows:

What do the "flowers" look like? If they are still on the tree in July, and are clumped this may be Ash Flower Galls : http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/plant/deciduous/ash/flowersgall.html

Do you see any small, "D" shaped holes in the trunk? This could be a sign of the Emerald Ash Borer, a serious threat to our native Ash trees:

If your answers to these questions are "no", you should contact a certified arborist who will come and carefully inspect the whole tree. S/he will be able to make recommendations about what to do next.

I hope this is helpful. Please contact AaE again if you have further questions.

Thank you for the quick response. It looks like the gall issue. I have some photos Attached. It didn't look like there is a treatment for this. Is it a one time thing or is it a permanent or harmful condition?

Yes, these photos certainly show galls!

There is no effective treatment for this issue, and it doesn't cause long term damage to a tree - unless there is a heavy infestation for several consecutive years.

Sanitation is one way to minimize a reoccurrence - Rake up all fallen leaves, especially in the fall. Here is a link that will help you with other control methods:

Thank you. This was very helpful. I do rake, etc., and will continue to do so. I guess we will see what next year brings.