Trees with wilting or curled leaves...anyone?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by contoursvt, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    This is a really weird thing. On my street both the north and south side of the street have the same trees but the south side - trees all look to be in sad shape. The leaves are all curled up like in the photo where the north side they are flat. The trees are also taller and stronger looking on the north side with more leaves too.....

    Could it just be less sunlight because the tree is closer to the houses on the south side and therefore the house is blocking some sun during the earlier part of the day before its high in the horizon? I water the tree twice a week and fertilize it every 2 months with some liquid fertilizer (although its a more generic brand). Has not seemed to make much of a difference....

    What else can I look for or what can I try to get the tree to be more healthy?

  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    I haven't a clue, but you could always take that into your local pro nursery. ...Maybe even bring pictures of the whole tree.
  3. contoursvt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    I took it to one home depot (the leaf) and the guy said that it might be grubs attacking the roots... but I dont see how grubs would be isolated to only one side of the street. Maybe I should do what you suggested and go to a proper nursery.

  4. runningman macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2003
    It could deal with sun exposure with one side of the street being hotter than the other, wind. Also grubs can attack one side of the street and not the other however they tend to be nearer to the surface where a root ball is feet below the surface. I would check with a nursery but the leaf appears green.
  5. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    You don't state what part of the world you live in, but if you're in the northern hemisphere, you might want to check your calendar! :D

    Just kidding!

    Were the leaves like this all summer or only in the last few weeks? How old are the trees? How big are they? Is the soil impacted? Are there automatic sprinklers there? Do cars drive over the roots?

    It's hard to troubleshoot without more details but these could all be issues affecting the health of the trees. It's possible that the soil on one side of the street isn't as good as soil on the other side. As unlikely as it seems, I've seen it happen before but usually once trees start growing, it's not a huge problem.

    It's possible that the north/south issue is causing the curling. The trees with southern exposure are going to get more intense sun during the day and that could cause a higher rate of transpiration (loss of water). The trees with northern exposure won't have to deal with the same level of stress.

    Generally speaking, trees with mostly northern exposure tend to be lankier because they receive less sunlight while trees with southern exposure are more compact.

    If you've had a hotter than normal summer, the trees might well be stressed although the leaf you've shown doesn't look to be stressed out at all.

    If your town has an urban horticulturist or street tree specialist on the payroll, you might give them a call. Another option is to locate your local Master Gardener program and see if any of the volunteers would be willing to come and take a look.

    A picture of the street and trees in question would be more helpful.
  6. srf4real macrumors 68040


    Jul 25, 2006
    paradise beach FL
    Is one side of the street higher than the other? That looks like nothing more than either too much or not enough water (the symptoms are the same)... wilt with yellowing tips. I suspect that your side of the street is not on the same grade as the other side of the street. Has your area been getting a lot of rain, or not enough? Do these weaker trees protect the healthier trees across the street from predominant winds? Sugar cane beetle grubs can burrow two or three feet down, but I believe that is only a Florida issue. Sunlight will also frequently be an issue when two like plants don't do equally well, and soil type can vary within inches, not to mention all the way on the other side of the street. Generic fertilizer is exactly the same as the higher priced name brands, it's the numbers that matter. 20-20-20 is the same no matter who made it.

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