Shriveled Leaves on Trees

andymc499(7)May 11, 2014

Hi everyone,

I'm concerned about some trees in my yard which have shriveled/curled leaves. Here is a shot of my Umbrella Magnolia. I apologize for some blurring in my images. there were taken with my phone. I have recently sprayed some Spectracide lawn weed killer carefully around them, and some Spectracide Weed & Grass killer around them as well. Both times I was very careful to not get overspray.

Also, my sister lives next door to me and I've observed the same thing on her trees as well. Pin Oak, magnolia, maple, .. so I don't think the issue is exclusive to a species or type, nor am I convinced it was the weed killers.

Any ideas as to what's happening? We did as most of you probably know, have a historically bad winter, a late freeze about 3 weeks ago, but I'd say by now the trees should have bounced back (?). We also had a sudden hot spell, close to 90 degrees, but still I wouldn't attribute it to that.

Thanks in advance!!


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Sweetgum with same issue

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 3:34PM
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Sweetbay Magnolia.. Again, this issue doesn't seem to be happening to only magnolia..

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 3:35PM
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hortster(6a, southcentral KS)

Looks like the weed killers have been absorbed via the roots instead of the foliage. Did you blanket spray the whole yard or spot spray the weeds? When you have several species affected in the same manner it is likely something abiotic / environmental vs. disease or insect.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 3:41PM
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Yep, that's classic herbicide damage. If the plants are large enough and well-established and the dosage minimal, they will outgrow it relatively easily.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 4:49PM
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Ugh, that's what I was afraid of. I sprayed a section of the front yard, which shows the same affects, with a lawn spray, then the back with a weed & grass spray. Thing is, I've never had this happen with Roundup, or glysophate-based herbicides. I'll probably not be using Spectracide Weed Stop in the future, just as precaution. Are there any ways I can speed up the recovery process?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 10:20PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Nope. Need to wait and see what happens next.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 12:02AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if you want to spray ... try to keep in mind.. that you are not spraying french perfume ... no real need to atomize liquids to spray them ...

reduce pressure in the tank ... less pumps ...

and adjust the tip to insure very course drops ... the bigger the droplet ... the greater the odds .. that gravity ... will make them fall to the earth.. instead of drifting on the wind ...

fill your tank with water.. and practice on the driveway... or some such surface where you can see the impact of the drops .. and keep adjusting until you can see the drops hitting such ...

i am surprised how high the drift got ... are you sure this cold not be cold damage??? .. with very tender soft lush growth.. it doesnt take a hard frost to do some superficial damage ...

if you ever see the pros ... the ones that drag the hoses.... its a very course application ...


    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 7:20AM
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Thanks for that insight ken,

I do in fact set the nozzle to spray heavier droplets for that exact reason. I feel I'm actually very experienced with spraying herbicide, as I've used Roundup for years with all types of sprayers around my flower beds and trees.

As you elude to, at the time of application especially these affected trees weren't even leafed out as much as they are now. The Sweetgum for example, has at least 3 feet of trunk before any leaves are there. So I'm still wondering if this is in fact due to the herbicide. For the umbrella magnolia, I only sprayed the weed & grass killer around it (Spectracide), and again, was VERY careful to not get overspray on the leaves. The same thing with my sweetbay magnolia. very minimal amount of weed & grass killer around the base, being diligent about overspray.

Again, thanks for your help everyone!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 9:00AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Looks like classic herbicide damage to me as well. As for the difference between glycophospate and the stuff you used now, they are not the same chemical, so you can not expect them to behave the same way in the soil. Plus your particular soil matters as well. Don't know off the top what is in the Spectracide, but it's probable 2,4,D combined with others. These can be mobile in the soil, and certainly more so in some soils. I have warned my neighbors repeatedly about this, and then they can't understand why their trees have discolored and/or malformed leaves. Glycophosphate on the other hand binds to soil strongly, and rarely moves in the soil at all. Therefore it never makes it to plant roots, or at least not in any significant amount. Once in the soil, bacteria destroy glycophosphate very effectively.

You need to do your homework on the active ingredients of the Spectracide, their faith in the soil, half life, and mobility.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 10:12AM
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Thanks arktrees, I researched the "Spectracide-type" herbacides last night and you're spot on. They can travel through the soil somewhat. Looks like I'm sticking with tried-and-true Roundup-type herbacides from now on.

Thanks again

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 12:19PM
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