Mountain Ash Trees Only Have Small Clusters Of Leaves At Ends Of Branches

Question From: C. Gabb - Nakusp, British Columbia, Canada
Q: Hello! We have just taken over a place that has four mountain ash trees in a row approx 8' apart, at least 40' tall and very thin and spindly. We think they are at least 10-years old (thats a guess). We live in the Kootenays in BC, mountain zone 4-5. This is our first spring with them and they budded out at least three weeks behind all the other trees in our yard, but only small clusters of leaves at the end of the branches. We think they are struggling and would like to know if there is anything we can do to help them along. Anything you can share with us would be much appreciated. Thank you.
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A: Make sure you keep the soil moist at all times. Looks like a late frost may have damaged the leaf buds. Most trees, if healthy when this happens, will produce a new set of leaves, so be patient. That said, if they were my trees I would get an onsite inspection from a certified arborist, a trained tree doctor. You can find one at Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy