White Flowering Dogwood - Sad Tree

Asked September 6, 2020, 11:19 AM EDT

White Flowering Dogwood - It’s a new tree this year, when it was planted (6 months ago) we used a typical mixture of soil, compost, and the dirt the tree arrived in. We watered it everyday from an elevated position (typically at night) for three weeks and the tree was doing very well. We then started noticing some of the larger leaves did not look healthy as some were discolored or ill shaped. After a few more weeks, we moved to watering the base from the ground level, avoiding the leaves and watering in the morning rather than night. This appeared to help dramatically, though the problem persisted. We then added a time release fertilizer to the soil thinking that might be the issue. Several weeks after that we used a copper based fungicide which was contacted to the leaves and the soil. There are still remnants of the blue color from the fungicide on some of the leaves. The photos below represent the current state of tree. Any thoughts why it is not happy or what could help?

District of Columbia County District of Columbia

1 Response

It's always better to water plants at the base. When leaves are wet for long periods, they are more prone to get fungal diseases. Here's more about tree planting basics: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/planting-tree-or-shrub

Incidentally a new tree or shrub or perennial should be watered during dry spells for at least the first 2 years. This means from spring through fall, because fall droughts can be deadly.

The problem with your tree, primarily, is a fungal disease known as powdery mildew which has become a tremendous problem with dogwoods in the past few years. The best bet is to plant a resistant variety. Here's what you need to know: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/flowering-dogwood-trees-selection-care-and-management-disease-...