Question From: M. Lynch - Boulder, Colorado, United States
Q: My young mountain ash, which last year had only about 5 or 6 blooms, this year was covered in potential blooms. However, they never fully opened, and only tiny leaf shoots emerged after that. Those now are being eaten by something, and I think the buds are dead. It's the 3rd or 4th year since we planted it, and it was doing fine, now about 15 ft tall, growing evenly all around. I am afraid we are going to lose this tree.
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Could be lack of water - the grass around it is parched. Winter kill from last year or the year before or disease may also be an issue. Strange ring around the trunk looks like it may have been girdled ( strangled) by a wire at some point, cutting off its moisture supply. Looks like it had lots of issues. You could try watering it a couple times a week. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy