Rising sun redbud problem

Asked July 2, 2020, 12:45 PM EDT

Hi We planted a rising sun redbud about a month ago. It was looking fine for 2 weeks until there was a severe thunderstorm a little over a week ago. The leaves start drooping and we notice there are these red marks on some of the leaves. Is that wind damage or other disease problem? Lastly, is this planted too high?? It’s sometime hard to see where the root flare is. There seems to be root sticking out a bit higher than the rest of others. So we are not sure if we are planting it incorrectly and causing the leaves droop. The tree does receive full sun (all day of sun) and watered with drip line (every 3 days with 3.5 gallon each time.

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Yes, it does look like it's planted a bit high. You can pull back the mulch and raise the soil level an inch or so, preserving the flare. Be sure mulch is never touching or piled on the trunk. Being planted this high should not cause the symptoms. Looks like an establishment issue.

The brown leaf spotting may be simply that the plant is struggling to establish. This is a tree that likes full to part shade. Be sure it does not get dry in between waterings by probing with a tool or your finger. Soil can dry down to an inch however.

If it was planted in clay soil and the planting hole is about the same size as the container root ball, it is possible that the hole is holding too much water (bathtub effect) and drowning some roots. Planting holes should be not deeper, but much wider than the root ball. Be sure roots are teased out away from the trunk.

Here's more about planting trees; you may be able to see other possible causes here: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/planting-tree-or-shrub