Time passes and I revisit the katsura trees. Thank you to David and Nadia for their comments about the similar sounding symptoms they’ve had. I’m none the wiser, sadly! According to Strouts & Winter frost damage from late or spring frosts can account for problems particularly on thin, vulnerable stems. That would fit, I suppose, except only one of my sapling katsuras was affected, the other, almost identical one, seems unaffected.
The only other katsura trees I know about locally are at Houghall Arboretum and Durham Botanic Gardens. I haven’t visited the botanic garden recently but the Houghall trees look fine.
But a closer examination of my own sickly katsura held a surprise. Scratching the bark in several places with my fingernail showed a bright green sapwood underneath. Next spring should be interesting.
I’ve uploaded some fairly large images (click on the thumbnails below) of the living and (apparently not so) dead trees.
4 thoughts on “The sickly katsuras, two months later”
check for verticillium wilt or think about your fertilizer and irrigation practice.
Katsura’s I believe prefer a deep humus rich and fertile soil, that has plenty of moisture, they dislike dryness at the roots, browning, crisping and eventually loosing their leaves quite readily at any sign of prolonged drought, an evenly moist soil is required for sustained growth. The one picture shows a good deal of ground planting surrounding the subject and it is under planted close to existing plants, this may lead to dryness at the roots perhaps, mulching whilst beneficial after heavy rain can also prevent rainfall penetrating down into the soil, so keep the soil evenly moist when establishing a Katsura if we enter a period of prolonged dry weather.
So how are those Katsura trees doing? I happened to stumble across your post and It is an old one I see. I am perplexed at my wonderful Katsura, which had been stressed since I planted it two summers ago. I put 4 spikes around it this summer and now at the end of September the leaves are full of white fungus. Too late to spay this time of year?
We live in the Pacific NW in Washington State and have had a beautiful katsura tree overlooking our patio for about 10 years. It is about 15 feet tall and there are ferns and primroses and some azaleas planted in the same bed. All are doing well except the Katsura which had many leaves but they were quite small, little more than half an inch across and the bark became covered with several knds of lichen. I called our county extension and they said that if the lichen is standing out from the bark then th tree is dead or dying. This sort of lichen was all over the tree. We took a pressure washer and tried to remove a lot of it but, of course, it also removed most of the remaining leaves. I have a product for roses that is a three-way systemic product. It is taken up by the roots and includes a fertilizer, a pesticide and a fungicide. I am wondering if this might still work for the tree or if there is anything I can do other than cut it down. I have no idea what has happened to it..
Please let me know if there is anything I can do.