Tulip Tree Problem

Asked July 13, 2017, 2:47 PM EDT

Any idea what is wrong with my tulip tree? It's about 30 ft tall. Didn't bloom this year. About 10% of the leaves look like this. This is the first year it has looked this. Tree is over 40 years old.

Isabella County Michigan trees and shrubs

1 Response

This has been a tough summer for trees in most Michigan areas. First there was hot, dry May and then a very wet June. I suspect this extreme change in conditions is contributing to the leaf discoloration. Typically Tulip trees prefer moist soil and have low tolerance for dry conditions which often cause the leaves to turn yellow and fall to the ground. To keep your tree healthy, make sure your tree has consistent moisture throughout the rest of the summer and maybe even apply some nitrogen fertilizer to give it a boost. If water has been the issue, then the tree should rebound next year.

Tulip trees are sometimes prone to aphids and scales which suck plant tissue fluids from the foliage. This can also lead to leaf discoloration and early leaf drop if there is an infestation. To rule out pest problems, check your tree closely to see if there is any sweet, sticky substance called honeydew which is secreted by both aphids and scale. If you do find evidence of honeydew, you may want to contact a local tree service to spray the tree at the appropriate time. A certified arborist could look at the tree and advise on a treatment plan. To locate a local arborist, go to www.treesaregood.com.

Hope that helps!