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Plant Diseases/Tri-Color Beech

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Tri-Color Beech
Tri-Color Beech  

Tri-Color Beech 2
Tri-Color Beech 2  
We are seeing a problem with our tricolor beech.  We live in northeastern Indiana.  The leaves on the tips of many branches have turned brown and lost their color.  The ends of the branches have curled over.  The ends of the branches look like branches on our pear trees when they have fire blight, but they have not turned black.  Thank you for your help.

Answer
There a couple of things that could cause this. Insects called aphids can suck the juice for the new growth and the tips will curl. I could not see any sign of aphids. But you can hold a white sheet of paper under the limb that has the curl and shake it and if there are aphids present they will fall on the paper and you can see them crawling. IF you do see them (I do not expect you will) but in that case you can treat the tree with a product call Bayer Advanced Tree and Scrub Insect Control. This is applied around the tree to the soil and when the insects feed they are killed. It will last all season long for protection. Here is a link to this product you should be able to get it at a garden type store. http://www.bayeradvanced.com/insects-pests/products/12-month-tree-shrub-insect-c

Beech can get two leaf diseases Leaf Scorch and anthracnose. Both will effect the leaves but usually all over not just the new growth and there is not usually any curl associated. So I would not think it is a disease. Leaf scorch is carried by a leaf hopper insect and the Bayer product will solve this IF it is leaf hoppers.

The other cause of curl is a reaction to full sunlight. Sometimes if it is hotter than normal and dry the new growth will curl. It will not harm the overall health of the tree.

I hope this may give you some areas to look at and solve the problem. I would go ahead and use the Bayer product just in case you have missed an insect problem. With out examining the tree this is about the best I can do.  

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Jim Hyland

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30 years experiance in the ID and management of forest diseases and ID of landscape tree diseases.

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