Leaf Scorch Tree & Shrub ConditionLeaf Scorch

Leaf Scorch is a physiological problem that can occur on any kind of plant. It can be caused by transplanting, soil compaction, nearby excavation, a nutrient deficiency, chemical injury, unfavorable weather conditions (such as drought), poor soil, or limited room for root growth. Scorch often occurs in July and August, especially on newly planted trees, when the roots cannot supply enough water to offset the water lost through the leaves in transpiration. Hot, dry winds will increase the amount and severity of leaf scorch, especially in the early summer after a cool, wet period. Symptoms of leaf scorch include yellowing and/or darkening of tissues between the main leaf veins or along the leaf margins, sometimes with dark angular spots in the discolored areas. Entire leaves may become brown and wither when leaf scorch is severe. Plants affected by leaf scorch may lose many leaves during late summer and exhibit some twig dieback. However, they often recover if the cause of stress on the plant is not chronic. Severely affected plants may be fertilized and watered to help overcome leaf scorch. Proper watering by saturating the soil to a depth of six inches is especially important. Water once every one to two weeks during dry periods. Light, general pruning of trees and shrubs helps reduce the total foliage load that must be supported by the root system. Dead and dying branches should also be removed.