sick or dying dogwood tree??

Asked May 21, 2020, 5:58 AM EDT


would you be able to tell me by these pictures if there is anything we can do to save our dogwood tree?
this started last year losing leaves and this year a part is blooming and a sprout is alive down on the side of the tree...the rest looks sickly, dying??
thank you,
pat yeager

Montour County Pennsylvania

1 Response

It is difficult to make a diagnosis simply based on photos, but I believe your dogwood has anthracnose. The early symptoms begin in mid to late May as leaf spots with tan or purple borders. In wet weather these spots can rapidly enlarge and kill the entire leaf. These blighted, drooping leaves can remain hanging on the branches in wet weather before defoliation occurs. The disease spreads from infected leaves into the twigs and branches and can cause dieback of the limbs.

  • Avoid over application of fertilizer which can result in succulent new growth with greater susceptibility to disease.

  • Prune out all dead or dying twigs and limbs during dry weather. All water sprouts or suckers on trunks and branches should also be removed.

  • In the fall, rake and remove fallen leaves. Remove any dead leaves still attached to the branches.
  • Registered fungicides can be utilized on trees in landscapes in the spring at bud break, followed by additional sprays every 10-14 days until leaves are fully expanded. Trees should also be sprayed once in the fall after the leaves have changed color, but before leaf drop.