Declining health of trees in yard

Asked May 26, 2019, 2:18 PM EDT

Over past couple years Azaleas-40+yr old has died back 5+yr old=lots of mostly dead branches with few leaves and thin webbing Camellia-swollen growths on leaves Maple- 30+ yr old removed due to virus or fungus Apple 3+yr had oozing at base,I sprayed with dormant oil in March,it died Yew - lots of yellow needles and fine webbing Holly-not robust,sparse leaves Am I dealing with spider mites or a fungus? What can be done to regain health? Using holly tone and miracle grow occasionally

Prince George's County Maryland

1 Response

Plant problems are often host-specific, meaning that a problem that is common in one species of plant may not affect another species of plant at all. It is normal for hollies to shed their older leaves in the spring.

Yews have been having a tough time with the high amount of rainfall we have had in the last year -- many have died from soil saturation/lack of oxygen to the roots.

Camellias get a fungal growth called Exobasidium gall. Although unsightly, this disease usually has very little impact on the health of the plant. Picking off the galled tissue will help to manage the disease.

Azaleas -- several factors (poor soil conditions, root rot, weevil damage, etc.) may contribute to decline. The most common problems of azaleas -- and management options -- are listed in this publication. Holly Tone would only be necessary if a soil test indicates that your soil pH too high. Azaleas like a soil pH in the range of 4.5-5.5. Here is information about how to do a soil test.

You are welcome to send us photos of symptoms you see on your plants. We can identify problems and make recommendations for you.