agelenopsis
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:25 pm

tulip tree weeping black liquid

I have a large tulip tree (liriodendron tulipifera) under which I have planted many varieties of hostas. There seems to be some liquid dropping from the tulip tree which has covered the hosta leaves with black spots. At times the secretions are shiny. I've noticed the same problem in my back yard with wine berry leaves which are under another tulip tree.

Does anyone know what causes this problem? Is it an infected limb or just a natural situation with tulip trees. Until I had invested a lot of money and time into the hosta garden I had not noticed this.

Also, does anyone know of a safe way to clean the hosta leaves? They look awful.

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Jess
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1023
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:50 pm
Location: England

Hi :D

It may be caused by aphids in the tree. They do like Liriodendrons. They excrete honey dew which is sticky and shiny and this in turn develops a black fungus called sooty mold.
Easily cleaned off with soapy water and does no real harm to your hostas apart from blocking light to the leaves which can cause them to look a bit sickly.
I'm afraid there is not a lot you can do about it unless you intend to chop the tree down :roll:

agelenopsis
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:25 pm

Thanks for the speedy reply. This seems reasonable. I tried soapy water but it didn't do much good. Perhaps I waited too long (most of the hostas in that particular area are heavily textured and the black is deeply settled in the dimples). At least it's safe.

Next year I may have that limb pruned. The rest of the tree provides much-needed shade to the house so I'd hate to lose it. I'll get the tree surgeon's advice, but I don't think the loss of that limb will cause any significant damage to the rest of the tree.

Thanks again.

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