Red bud

Asked June 3, 2019, 8:29 AM EDT

My Red Bud bloomed this year, but has only a few leaves on it. I snapped a small twig and it is green. Just concern it may be dying.

Wayne County Michigan tree dieback

1 Response

Hello,

This past winter was hard on many plants, and we have had reports of dieback, some plants completely died. Redbud, rose, cherry, Japanese maples have all been reported as being hit.

What you can do is keep the tree watered this summer during droughts, and be sure it goes through fall watered too. Even if you put away the hoses in September, you must keep trees and shrubs watered until the ground freezes. If we have consistent and adequate rainfall this fall, then you will water less.

Here is a guide for watering trees during drought-

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/dont_give_up_on_drought_stressed_trees

Other things you can do- remove the grass in a circle at least a couple feet out and mulch around the tree 2-3 inches deep but, do not let mulch touch the trunk. You want a “donut hole” where the trunk stands. Give the tree some time to sprout from dormant buds- by this summer you should see some leaves on the bare branches, then prune off any completely dead branch tips with a sharp clean pruning tool.

You may consult a certified arborist for help in pruning, or have the tree examined for any other issues that may be present- you can find certified arborists at www.treesaregood.org. Thanks for using our service.