My crape myrtle completely leafed out this spring, then on all but two branches the leaves turned orange (like fall) and fell off. It is now June and 3/4 of my tree is bare branches. We had a wet, cool spring (I live in California's San Joaquin Valley). Can you tell me what happened and is the tree salvageable or should I destroy it? I might add that now there are many branches and leaves coming up from the bottom of the trunk. I have always cut them off before, but should I leave them and make a shrub?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
It sounds like you tree may have a fungus or possibly an insect problem. Treat it with both a fungicide and a pesticide. Neem oil is nice as it is both a fungicide and a pesticide.
The sprouts at the bottom are suckers. When a tree is stressed (as yours is), it will start sending up more of these in an attempt to grow at any cost. These can be removed without harming the tree.