White Flowering Dogwood Dying

Asked June 12, 2019, 6:15 PM EDT

We planted our White Flowering Dogwood about a 3 weeks ago and for the first couple weeks it was normal. We were watering for 20 min every other day on a small stream unless it rained. It has been recently raining more so we have stopped watering but the leaves near the base of the tree started yellowing, then the entire tree started yellowing and now the base leaves have turned brown and brittle to the point where they crunch. The top of the tree is getting worse ( mostly yellow now but not brittle yet). It hasn’t rained for 2 days so I dug down 8 inches near the root ball and the soil (clay based I believe) was still moist and possibly even wet. I am not 100% sure it’s overwatered since the rest of the plants around look ok. There was also mushrooms that popped up for a few hours and then wilted.

Kenton County Kentucky

1 Response

Your note doesn't say where you live, but if you are in Northern Kentucky, there has been so much rain in June that the plant could have been overwatered to the point of root rot. The tree should sit higher than the surrounding area to help with drainage. You may wish to replant it so that it is a few inches higher than the beds around it.
If you want to dig down into the root area again, smell the roots/soil. It should smell earthy; there should be no sour or rotten odors.
Fungi can indicate decay; were the fungi in the mulch, or coming out of the tree itself? we can discuss it in more detail if you want to call the office at 859-356-3155 or email me at michele dot stanton at uky dot edu.
I hope this helps.