Diablo Ninebark Tree Has Not Developed Leaves On Top Half

Question From: W. Spangler - Crown Point, Indiana, United States
Q: I planted a diablo ninebark tree last June. This spring when it began to leaf out, it started at the bottom but only developed leaves on branches app. half way up the trunk. A suggestion was made by the garden center where I purchased to dig up and check to see if the ball was rootbound and if roots had encircled it. Everything looked ok, and there were hair roots around the perimeter of the ball. I replanted it and watered in with root stimulator. Still no growth from middle up. Doesn't appear to be dead either. Continue to water everyday with hope of improvement. Any suggestions?

A: Sounds like those leafless branches suffered winterkill. Prune off the dead branches. Water so the root ball stays moist but not sodden. I late fall fertilize with Espoma Tree and Plant Tone according to the directions on the bag. If the tree has enough leaves to manufacture food for itself, it should be fine. Best nancy and thanks for visiting Yardener.com.