Monday, March 18, 2013

My pagoda dogwood has canker

I bought my Cornus alternifolia Golden Shadows™ 'W. Stackman' in 2008 from the Arboretum sale. This was my first tree purchase and I was (am) in love with it. In the last 4 years, it has grown into a beautiful multi-stemmed tree with its characteristic gorgeous variegated leaves and extreme horizontal branching. In 2011, it bloomed flowers for the first time.

Year 1: 2008

It has been plagued, however, by a variety of nuisances ... The first year or two the lower branches were some rabbits dinner, followed by green bugs that likes to munch on its leaves. Despite the shade in the corner of my yard where it is planted, it sometimes appears to get too much afternoon sun and the early warmth and drought of 2012 did not help it at all. (In fact the warm weather had it leaf out early only to suffer from a frost - notice the last picture the leaves look terrible).

Year 2: 2009
To top it all off ... When our landscape designer came to visit our yard in June 2012 he noticed that it had canker - several of the branches had a yellowish tinge to them -- and told me to prune it out, disinfecting the pruners between cuts. Later in the Fall I had to prune out more canker infected branches. Problem solved?
Year 3: 2010
Nope, just today as I went to hang a birdseed pine cone on a branch, I noticed another branch with a yellow tinge. They say to cut 4-6 inches beyond the infected looking part of the branch but this is impossible: it is the entire length. If it infects the trunks, it looks like my tree will succumb to the canker.
Year 4: 2011
I love my little dogwood and don't want it to die. I'm not sure what I can do beside alleviate its stress ... Do trees take Xanax?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

try spraying with Neem Oil, or soak root area with the same dilution as spray. this has been a miracle with an apricot, a plum, all the roses, etc. Our weeping atlas cedar is the only one in the neighborhood without fungus. a famous nursery nearby, Christianson's in Mount Vernon, WA, uses this on its roses too (avoid the blossoms). This is not poisonous to humans or animals. in India they drink Neem,even. Good luck....