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Monday, July 17, 2017

Bottle Trees Crispy Leaves and Leaf Drop

Q. I have 4 Bottle trees in my Phoenix-area yard facing south. The largest looked fine 2 days ago with new leaf growth starting.  Today all the leaves  on it have turned completely crispy.  Is it likely to recover or has it just died?  Makes me worried about the other 3 Bottle trees. Trees were planted June 2015.
Bottle tree picture with similar problem from a previous question

A. There was a piece of information I was looking for but I didn't see it. It's pretty critical. If these are older trees, then it is most likely something that recently happened like recent strong winds or a spike in the temperature and they will recover just fine.
As long as there is good drainage these trees can survive and thrive in a lawn!
              If these are newly planted trees then I am a little more concerned. My concern is about watering. Bottle trees are notorious for having roots that are sensitive to too much water remaining in the soil. This can be from watering too often or poor drainage or both. Hopefully, these are older trees that have been in the ground for a few years and they suddenly had leaf scorch and/or leaf drop and they will recover just fine maintaining normal irrigation for this time of year.
              If these are newly planted trees and you are watering them frequently as they are getting established then I'm a little worried. If they are recently planted and you are watering frequently, this can cause roots to die from suffocation, keeping the soil to wet.
              Make sure the trees have good soil and water drainage around the roots. Water them thoroughly once a week this time of year. Give them a good rest without any water between irrigations.
              Big trees use and require more water than smaller trees so make sure that the largest tree has been getting enough water each time you irrigate. The largest tree should be getting more water than the smaller ones. If it doesn't have more emitters, you should consider adding more so that it gets more water.
              My sense is that these are older and established trees and they will come back just fine if you water them deeply but infrequently.

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