Many Tulip Tree Leaves Are Dead Others Look Healthy

Question From: J. Lucas - Waverly, Tennessee, United States
Q: I have a problem with a tulip tree that was planted about a year ago. Several (maybe 25% of the leaves are dead) The remaining look healthy. I have several issues that could be the culprit but I have no idea which one is causing the problem. 1. We have an uninvited armadillo that has dug several cone shaped holes within 4 to 5 feet of the base of the tree. 2. The front lawn where the tree is located was aerated, limed and reseeded the second week of September with tall fescue which seems to be doing great. 3. There are several large orange colored multiple stemmed mushrooms that have grown up very quickly seemingly only in the area of the tree.

A: When newly planted trees show signs of stress the first thing to look as is water. The soil in the root ball should be kept moist but not sodden. Unless you used a slitter and went right up next to the tree trunk the core aeration should not be a issue. The mushrooms only indicate you have wood decomposing in the soil. Possibly roots from a tree that was removed a couple of years ago. Average soil in your area is about 5.5. and tulips like slightly acid soil - 6 to 7. so the lime shouldn't hurt it. It may be in stress the weather last winter. If it continues to loose leaves and looks bad next spring I would have an onsite diagnosis from a certified arborist. To find a qualified profession near you go to Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy