Asked July 8, 2017, 10:16 AM EDT

Hi, I purchased a very young redbud , about 4 ft. tall. at your spring sale at the arboretum. I believe it was an eastern redbud? I have been watering it every day it doesn't rain, by hand, I don't think too much. It now has orange rusty patches all over the leaves and the leaves are light green. I am going to put compost /manure around it. It is in full sun all day. The mulch is not touching the tree. Is this normal shock from transplanting? Thanks, Kathy

Hennepin County Minnesota

2 Responses

Your tree is not happy. I would guess the problem is in the planting and soil. You do not mention what type of soil you have. It will make a big difference if you have sand or clay. Did you prepare the planting hole in any way? You mention wanting to add compost on top now but did you mix any with your native soil at planting time? I think you need to check the roots of your new tree. It hasn't been in the ground long so it should be easy to dig down and see what is happening. The roots should be firm. If they are mushy, it is sitting in water logged soil. If they are dry and brittle, the water is going straight down and away. It could be planted too deep. Here is a link to our article on planting trees:

Thanks for the advice! I dug it up, the roots felt fine, not mushy or too dry. I added compost to the hole; bottom, sides, top, along with fresh topsoil. I have quit watering it every day except for two days after I dug it up. From now on I am watering once a week. Sure hope I can save it! Such a nice tree.