TREE PROBLEMS SOUTHWEST
Have you ever wondered why your trees are looking bad? Have you ever exclaimed “What is wrong with my tree”? Below are some answers as to what could be the problem.
Diagnosing Tree Problems.
Trees or shrubs are smaller than they should be – Possible Causes > Nitrogen and zinc deficiency, nematodes on roots or dry soil. What to do ?> Up your water usage > Fertilize with a high Nitrogen Number a good 16-8-8 analysis will work well.
Green but wilting leaves – Possible Causes > Overwatering, probably from not enough drainage. What to do ?> Check your drip system. Make sure you are not over or underwatering > Check for grubs about 4-6″ into dirt, white body and brown head ugly looking worm about the size of a large thumb. Over fertilizing will also wilt leaves but leaves will have a dark brown almost purple like apperance on the tips. Grubs love root system of trees and shrubs.
Severe Yellowing of leaves – Possible Causes > The tree or shrub may be at the end of it’s life. Iron or nitrogen deficiency. What to do?> Add a fertilizer high in iron and or nitrogen (Do NOT over fertilize). Metanaturals Organic Nitrogen 16-0-0 Gallon
Brown in center of leaf – Possible Causes > Excess slat in soil, Too much direct sunlight, lack of water, possible borer. What to do?> Up the water usage, check for borers. Borers will bore a hole into the tree, usually followed by a clear Sap. Purchase borer control from local nursery.
Tree leaf total Brown – Possible Causes > Late frost, normal aging, or root rot. What to do?> Not much if the cause is frost or aging. However if the leaves are turning brown only at the bottom, this is the normal aging process. A well cared for fruit tree can live up to 30 years. The Great Basin Bristlecone Pine tree can live up to 4844 years.
Twisted or puckered tree leaves – Possible causes > Aphids, thrips, leafminers or mites. Large infestation of insects. What to do? Apply the tree with a good Systemic Insecticide
Grey Powdery Appearance – Possible Causes > Powedery mildew. This is a fungus, usually caused by overwatering and not enough circulation. Very contagious virus but can be easily remedied. What to do? Apply neem oil and thin out tree. Reduce humidity around plants, and spray with a good fungicide. Call your local nursery for further information.
Perfect half moon eaten leaves – Possible Causes > Leaf cutter bee. This insect will cut a perfect half moon sized hole in the leaf. What to do? Spray the tree with “garlic barrier”. Garlic Barrier is a very strong liquid that mixes with water and is sprayed on trees to repel them from further damage.
Leaves are completely gone or chewed – Possible causes > Ants, deer, rabbits, birds or other critters. What to do? If it is a small tree purchase chicken wire and place around your tree. For larger tree you could prune off the bottom limbs and the top portion of your tree. Use tree netting to keep birds away. It may take friends or family members to help you install a netting. Purchase a rodent repellent or a pesticide to keep ants and tree climbing critters off your tree. You should periodically check your trees and plants for any signs of diseases, fungus and or animal damage.
Grey dirt like apperance – Possible causes > Spider Mites. These insects are hard to spot. They are tiny almost invisible to the naked eye bugs. They love confiers, pines, cypress and junipers. Place a white sheet of paper underneath a small limb. Shake until you see some particles on the paper. If these particles start to move around….you’ve got spider mites. Hose down your tree with a strong stream of water. This will remove the majority of spider mites. Purchase spider mite control at your local nursery and apply it on your tree.
For fungus Control Call or visit your local nursery and ask “What’s wrong with my trees”? Give a good description they will usually have the answer. Be sure to bring along large sample (leaves, limbs, etc..) for further analysis. Store the samples in a plastic container to prevent them from spreading elsewhere!
One great tip is to spray your tree with dormant or horticultural oil in early spring to prevent insect eggs or larvae from hatching. Ask for it at your Nursery department. Or get some here – Horticultural Oil.