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Plant Diseases/Chinese Pistache Tree with Dying Leaves


Dr. Vann,

At the end of this text are a links to a few photos of the foliage from my Chinese Pistache tree.  
The problem is at the ends of the branches, especially at the top of the canopy.  As you can see the leaves are turning dark along the edges and eventually dying completely.  The leaves don't appear to be wilted, so I'm thinking maybe sun scorch.  But I find it rather odd since we have had more rain this past summer than we have had in the past three years combined, and Chinese Pistache is supposed to be pretty drought tolerant once established.  I live in SC Kansas (Kingman# and have well drained sandy loam soil.  Please give me your opinion and what you think could be done.  Is the tree in danger of dying or loosing branches?  

Thank you,
Tim Elliott #links below)


I do not recognize an infectious disease nor insect issue from your foliage images.  Browning of the leaflet edges and leaf yellowing are often the result of an unfavorable root/soil related environment.  This can be several things including a water imbalance (too much or not enough)to some nutrient problem.  Suggest having your soil tested.  Contact your local county Agricultural Extension office to arrange for this. The tree doesn't look in any immediate danger, but symptoms progression should be monitored.

Also, give the trunk a visual exam.  Look for areas of loose or damaged bark, especially near the soil line.  This could also affect the foliage.

Lastly, even more remote is the possibility that the tree may have come in contact with a toxic chemical- through the roots as an uptake or direct contact.  You may also consider reviewing any chemicals that may have been applied, either directly or indirectly.  

This is largely a process of eliminating possibilities.  Watch the new foliage and look for these symptoms.  This may just be a temporary thing.



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Dr Stephen Vann


Plant Diseases and Disorders of Lawn Grasses, Trees, Vegetables,and Ornamentals


Plant Diseases Identification and Management

B.S. Botany --- Miss. State Univ. M.S. Plant Pathology --- Miss. State Univ. Ph.D. Plant Pathology --- Texas A & M Univ.

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