New aspen trees - dying leaves?

Asked July 4, 2018, 11:02 AM EDT

Hi, we just planted these aspens, they are about 6-7 feet tall now. The leaves are turning brown. The soil is getting moisture, as you can see. We did have a horrible hail storm a couple weeks ago that damaged a lot of our foliage in the yard, these trees included. We also fertilized our entire yard with a seaweed based organic foliar fertilizer containing macro and micro nutrients, and the leaves were sprayed. Would any of the above mentioned damage our aspens or are they simply not getting enough water? Are they in shock from planting? Please help.

Salt Lake County Utah

1 Response

The pattern on the leaves (burned around the edges and green in the middle) is indicative of water stress. But, the stress can be cause by not enough irrigation, too much irrigation (the roots are so wet they can't function), or salt stress (caused by too much fertilizer). It also doesn't help that it has been so warm, so they are probably shocked a bit as well. My recommendation would be to: (1) do not apply any fertilizer until at least next year, and then only apply to the soil, not the leaves, (2) irrigate no more than twice per week. If the trees were container-grown, then you need to make sure that the original root ball is watered each time until the roots have a chance to grow out into the surrounding soil. l don't think the hail was a problem for the aspens, and they aren't dead so you are just going to have to be patient. They may put out some new leaves once the weather starts to cool down. If they do, you need to make sure and not fertilize them so they are not vigorously growing right up to the winter season. You may not see any new growth until next spring. Depending on where you are located, aspens can be hard to grow. They really don't do their best in warm valley locations with heavy soils. Good luck!