Return to the Great Lakes Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

New Dogwood - leaves turning brown

Posted by mollybeans 5 - Detroit (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 26, 11 at 11:24

I live in the Detroit area. I just planted a 7' flowering Dogwood (Cornus Florida 'Cherokee Brave') less than 2 weeks ago (mid July). I purchased it at English Gardens, it was in a plastic pot. I have good light sandy soil, and I added peat when planting. I also used root starter liquid fertilizer (diluted w/water). I followed planting instructions well. I have been watering it religiously - trickling with hose for at least an hour twice a week, plus using sprinkler, and testing soil with my finger. It is is in full sun, and it has been extremely hot - 90-100 degrees everyday last week.

Problem: Within a couple days of planting the leaf tips started turning brown. Then a patch of leaves started turning purple (their autumn color I believe). Little by little more leaves are getting brown tips, then the margins turn brown and crumbly. Some leaves have holes/cracks down the center. Some have turned completely brown and fallen off.

Does anyone have suggestions on what is happening and what I should do? I called the MSU hort.hotline and they said it could be transplant shock or effects from the high heat (many plants are suffering right now). They are also sending me some info on anthracnose. I'm hoping that my brand new tree does not have a fungus.

Any and all suggestions are welcome! Thanks in advance!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: New Dogwood - leaves turning brown

I'd agree with MSU -- sounds like transplant shock coupled with heat stress. Considering the size of the shrub and how hot it has been, I'd have recommended watering daily.

Easiest way to do so ....
Get a couple of empty gallon milk jugs.
Poke a hole w/ a nail on the side of the jug about 1/2 an inch up from the flat bottom.
Fill the jug up with water and screw on the cap.
Set the jug(s) under the dogwood and unscrew the cap just enough for water to slowly drip out.
Repeat daily -- assuming of course that it isn't raining or the sprinklers aren't running.

RE: New Dogwood - leaves turning brown

Give it a rest... literally. Too much fertilizer in the nursery, now too much water. Daily watering is needed only during the first week or two after planting. After that, water slowly and deeply twice a week (no more.) Be sure to keep 2 or 3 inches of mulch on the soil but away from the trunk.

Stop "sprinkling" since it causes leaf scald when the sun hits wet leaves; it doesn't do any good for the roots either. It's been a tough summer all round, so give it just enough water and then let poor little guy rest.

RE: New Dogwood - leaves turning brown

Also, those milk jugs, don't screw the lids on super tight either. Otherwise the water will stop coming out after the water/air transfer stops being able to happen. :) Trust me, I made the same mistake the beginning of this spring under the eaves of the garage. LoL Crazy issue that was.


RE: New Dogwood - leaves turning brown

I was advised that dogwoods are "understory" trees and not meant to be planted in full, direct sun. That being said, we lost a dogwood that we had planted in a part shade location. It's leaves exhibited similar symptoms as you described and we also felt that it had adequate, but not too much water. I saw an article and picture in Garden Gate magazine describing "bacterial leaf scorch" that seemed to fit what was going on with our tree. Every spring it would leaf out fine, but one or two branches would be dead. Then at some point in the summer, the leaf edges would begin to brown and the leaves would never turn colors in the fall, just brown and eventually fall. After giving it five years, we just took it out. Hope you have better luck!

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Great Lakes Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here