What is wrong with my tree

Tree Problems

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 the soil, white, body, and brown head ugly looking worms about the size of a large thumb. Over-fertilizing will also wilt leaves but leaves will have a dark brown almost purple-like appearance on the tips.  Grubs love the root system of trees and shrubs.

What is wrong with my tree
Large Grub found in the soil


What's Wrong with my tree

Severe Yellowing of leaves – Possible Causes > The tree or shrub may be at the end of its 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 center of the leaf – Possible Causes > Excess salt in the soil, Too much direct sunlight, lack of water, possible borer. What to do?> Up the water usage, and check for borers. Borers will bore a hole into the tree, usually followed by a clear Sap. Purchase borer control from your 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, leaf miners, mites, or a large infestation of insects. What to do? Apply the tree with a good Systemic Insecticide and use neem as an organic solution

Grey Powdery Leaf Appearance – Possible Causes > Powdery 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 the tree. Reduce humidity around plants, and spray with a good fungicide.  Call your local nursery for further information.  Neem oil will also help eliminate powdery mildew.

Perfect half-moon eaten leaves – Possible Causes > Leafcutter bee. This insect will cut a perfect half-moon-sized hole in the leaf. What to do? Spray the tree with a “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 it around your tree. For a 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, fungi, and or animal damage.

Grey dirt-like appearance – Possible causes > Spider Mites.  These insects are hard to spot.  They are tiny almost invisible to the naked eye bugs.  They love conifers, 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 to your tree.

What is wrong with my 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.  Take large samples of (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 Local Nursery department.  Or get some here – Horticultural Oil.

Find out more about insects and diseases on plants.

What is wrong with my tree
If your tree has lost most of its leaves you should check for grubs in your soil.
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