We have a small lilac tree in our back yard that is approx. 3 yrs. old. Last...

Asked August 31, 2015, 4:23 PM EDT

We have a small lilac tree in our back yard that is approx. 3 yrs. old. Last year she blossomed for the first time beautifully! This year she had one blossom and her leaves started falling off in late spring. Many leaves are "chewed' and some are browned and the top leaves seem dry and brittle even though we are so good at watering her. Any thoughts on what we can do to save our tree?

Ramsey County Minnesota

1 Response

Japanese Lilacs are considered pretty hardy and immune to many diseases and pests, but they can be affected by a few of these. The sudden decline of this tree may be a result of:
girdling roots,
the bark may have been girdled last winter by rabbits or voles,
Herbicide injury (a broad-leaf herbicide may have drifted onto the tree during windy weather,
Lilac borer,
Bacterial blight,
Verticillium wilt causes wilting and premature leaf drop. The disease may kill one, several or all the branches.

I'm sending some information for you to look over, but a few good quality photos of the tree and the affected area would be helpful. I'll look for your next message.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st611
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05614.html
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/verticillium-wilt/