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Anna, Biologist, Gardening Expert
Category: Landscaping
Satisfied Customers: 11513
Experience:  I am a biologist with experience in water gardening, and growing trees, ornamental plants, and vegetables.
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I have an ash tree that is about 19 years old and this year

Customer Question

hi I have an ash tree that is about 19 years old and this year the tree leaves are not coming in all the way
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landscaping
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in trees. Some additional information will be useful.
Did you have an especially cold winter this past year?
Is this a green ash, or some other variety?
In what state do you live?
Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi I live in Albuquerque nm and yes we had weird temperature this last winter I think its a green ash the tree has areas with leaves on them but its spotty but and the leaves are lighter in color then normal

Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. I apologize for the delay. I am away from my home computer, and couldn't get service on my phone. As soon as I get back to my computer, in a few hours, I'll do some research on ash problems in your area. I appreciate your patience.
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for waiting. Normally, I would have turned your question over to another expert, but I was the only one available in this category today. After reading up on ash problems in New Mexico, I think it's most likely your tree is suffering from environmental stress. Your strange winter weather is one factor. That alone can cause leaves to be slow to develop in the spring. However, your area has also been under drought conditions for some time. I understand that is lessening now, but the damage has already been done to trees. Symptoms of drought stress/damage in the ash tree include yellowing leaves (the lighter color) and slow development. The green ash is not native to your area, and its native range is in areas with much more moisture than what New Mexico gets even in a wet year.

A tree that is stressed by environmental conditions often becomes a target for fungal infections and insect pests. There is a disease called ash yellows, which has been found in the southwest. It attacks trees under stress. Ash trees often end up having multiple problems, and then something referred to as ash decline develops.Leaves are small and undeveloped, pale in color, twigs begin to die, and with ash yellows, defects referred to as witches' brooms occur on branches and the trunk. Here is what they may look like:



Given all the circumstances, it may be difficult to save the tree. It is essential to provide it with plenty of water. I would also fertilize it with a good all purpose tree fertilizer, available at nurseries and garden centers. If you see signs of insect pests, such as holes bored in the trunk or branches, it would be best to consult an arborist for treatment.

If you end up losing the tree, you may want to consider replacing it with a drought-tolerant tree native to the Southwest. Here is a list of some:

Arizona Ash
Arizona Cypress
Bur Oak
Chinese Pistache
Colorado Blue Spruce
Desert Willow
Douglas Fir or Oregon Pine
Fremont Cottonwood
Gambel Oak
Net leaf Hackberry
New Mexico Olive
Piñon Pine
Ponderosa Pine
Quaking Aspen
Redoiser Dogwood
Rio Grande Cottonwood

If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY. I hope that whatever you decide to do, it will work out well. Thank you again for your patience.


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