Tri-colored Beech Tree
The photo included is from my new-this-spring tri-colored beech tree. I have been babying and watering it all though our summer drought. I spray it with a mixture of water and dawn soap, which helps all my other buggy plants. Now the leaves are curling and turning brown at the edges. Can anybody tell me how to save this, hopefully, gorgeous once again tree? Thanks so much for any suggestion or solutions.
Monroe County New York
From the photo it would appear that the leaves on your tree are being eaten by insects probably caterpillars. Have you noticed any insects or caterpillars attacking your tree or were you spraying as a precaution? If pests seem to be the problem then you could try spraying with something more potent than soap. There are several products that are considered to be “organic” and safe for humans, E. g. Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) products, pyrethrin-containing sprays, Neem-containing sprays and a newer bacterial product called Spinosad. Several companies make these sprays and they should be available in your local garden supply center or on-line.
Another consideration is – how serious is the problem? Is it affecting the whole tree or only some leaves? If the damage is limited then perhaps it can be tolerated.
Finally, we should also mention that there is a new disease attacking beach trees called Beach Leaf Disease. It is characterized by dark green striping of the leaves followed by yellowing, withering and death, often accompanied by insect -caused holes. Have you seen this on your tree?