hodaddon
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:39 pm
Location: Anaheim, CA

Australian Tea Tree leaves turning brown

I've had an Austrailian Tea Tree growing in my front yard for a few years now that I received from the city as part of a tree adding program. One of the reason I picked it was because it was on the drought tolerant list. Iy had been fine up until a few weeks ago when most of the leaves turned brown. There are a number of branches tha are still as green as ever but I'm not sure what to make or do about the brown ones. Should I trim them or wait for new growth? Is this a sudden lack of ferilization, disease or something below the surface choking off roots? Please help if you can.

Hortman
Senior Member
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:00 pm
Location: Chicago area

Australian Tea Tree leaves turning brown

Hello hodaddon. Ken here in the Chicago area. Welcome to the forum.
I’m sorry to hear about your tea tree. Just because your tree is drought tolerant
doesn’t mean that it likes to be in a drought situation. Do you water the tree
occasionally, or do you let Mother Nature do it for you? Have you had a prolonged
hot and dry spell? Is the tree in a spot with good drainage? Root rot would cause
those symptoms. Any sign of moles or gophers? Mole tunnels would expose tree roots
to the air and the ends would die. Gophers would chew on the roots.
It could also be a soil borne fungus like Phytophthora. Cut back the bark on one of
the brown branches to see if there is a dark stain going with the grain of the wood.
I would wait until cooler weather to prune off the dead branches.
I hope this helps. Let me know how it goes.
Ken here with The Home Depot in the Chicago area

hodaddon
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:39 pm
Location: Anaheim, CA

Acually it's been a mild summer here in Southern California (Anaheim) up until I made my first post, since then I've been watering regularly but in past years of its life it hasn't had a problem with the occasional lapses in watering. All vegetation, except for a patch of grass in front of the tree, which has southern exposure and the most sun, has been doing well. No gophers or other varmints noticed. I cut back on one of the branches and no stain...there was even a then layer of green right below the surface. The funny thing is that barely any of the leaves have fallen off and their color is a reddish brown, almost like some fall leaves get, although this is not a deciduous tree. Will look great around Halloween and I might trim it after that. Still a 1/4 of the branches have green leaves.

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