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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Majestic Ash Can Be Winter Damaged

Q. We have a ‘Majestic’ ash tree that was planted a few years ago.  It was doing extremely well until a year ago. All the new growth is just tiny bits of mostly dried green on the ends of the branches. A few leaves have appeared, but mostly it's just the little spikey tips. The older leaves are just fine. It just won't sprout new growth.  Any help?

A. I don't know this variety of ash but sometimes we collectively call this group of ash Shamel or Evergreen ash. It is evergreen, keeping its leaves all winter long, but that's only in warmer climates.
            When the temperatures drop into the 20s it drops its leaves and becomes deciduous. When the temperatures approach 20° F it is possible they can have winter dieback or cold damage, particularly if it was fertilized late in the summer.. This may be what you are seeing in your tree.
            As the tree gets older it should be more tolerant of freezing temperatures. The only other possibility is chemical damage from weed killers applied to close to the tree or during a time of heat and wind. If this has been winter damage and the tree has not been damaged too badly, it will come back very strong this growing season. Right now it's early in the season so give it a chance.

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