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Something different

Posted by gaalan z7b Atlanta (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 23, 12 at 12:43

I have 11 dogwoods in my yard that average 15+ years old. I noticed this week that one of them is flowering exactly like a Mexican dogwood, i.e. curled bracts. Funny thing is this tree has never done this before. Has anyone witnessed this in local trees before? I wish I could post a pic, but my camera broke a while ago.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Something different

and you can rule out some weird cold snap .. ???

frosts can cause flower damage .. rather superficially .. and sometimes only one tree in 11 ..

too bad about the no pix thing ..

otherwise.. it can not turn into a different plant ... in one year ....


RE: Something different

  • Posted by jqpublic 7b/8a Wake County NC (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 24, 12 at 11:32

Are the flowers discolored in any way?

RE: Something different

  • Posted by gaalan z7b Atlanta (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 24, 12 at 22:32

Ken, of course, I cannot 100% rule out cold damage, but there has been no temp below 40 since the 10th. The lowest since that time was 45 on the 11th. Same as for many, this has been one of the warmest winters in a long time.

JQ, the flowers are not discolored. They have that typical slightly dark splotch on the tips of the bracts, only melded into one large spot where they join together.

RE: Something different

  • Posted by gaalan z7b Atlanta (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 26, 12 at 20:18

I saw another dogwood displaying upward curled bracts today. This points to something environmental. Perhaps it wasn't a freak cold snap but the freakishly warm winter. Whatever the reason I will now be checking as many trees as I can for signs of the abnormality.

RE: Something different

Two things that definitely cause twisted or distorted growth are viruses and herbicides. Viruses are spread by insect vectors such as aphids. Herbicides can drift from treating/spraying farm fields, lawns, etc.

RE: Something different

  • Posted by gaalan z7b(on map) 8(imby) (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 27, 12 at 16:38

I cannot answer for the tree I saw elsewhere, in regards to herbicides, but my tree has not been exposed to anything. None of my neighbors care enough about their yards to do spraying of any kind. They barely keep them cut. Its just woods across the street, so nothing from that direction. Perhaps something viral, although none of the bracts on my tree appear abnormal except in their orientation. I have two other dogwoods mostly covered in ivy that are in much worse shape than the abnormal tree. Seems like an insect or pathogen seeking "prey" would choose the weaker trees. I really appreciate the input. This is just very curious.

RE: Something different

Aphids and Thrips can potentially do this. Might simply be a matter of mild dry winter favoring the insects and or allow them to carry a virus causing some issues for some trees. There are many variations to this theme that are known to be possible. Also household chemicals can sometimes cause issues. Once saw a tomatoes field where the leaves of the plants we very thickened and abnormal shaped. Turned out to have likely been caused by a couple of warm days volatilizing ammonia from a poultry house half a mile away. The wind happened to be right to carry the ammonia in the direction of the tomato field from time to time. Point being, sometimes surprisingly small things can cause these types of malformations.


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