my smoke tree has all its leaves dried up ,is it dying from issues with soil?
I live in Nm where we have clay soil and I did add soil conditioner to a larger planting hole . It was doing well for two months but now looks as if it is going to fail .What can I do ?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
American smoke trees require well-drained soil. Heavy soils like clay may need to be amended to improve drainage. The tree has a high tolerance for drought, so guard against watering too much. Normal rainfall should be enough for the tree except in prolonged periods of drought. Water deeply but infrequently at ground level during drought periods. Mulch helps keep the roots cool in hot summer weather and also helps retain moisture, but should never be piled against the tree's trunk, since this promotes fungal diseases and rot.
If the smoke tree's leaves wilt and begin to turn yellow around the edges, verticillium wilt may be to blame. This soil borne fungal disease can also cause dark streaks in the sapwood. Verticillium wilt blocks the moisture-conducting tissues and may eventually kill the tree. Prune away infected areas and clear fallen leaves and other plant debris from around the tree. Dispose of the material away from the garden. Keep trees healthy to slow the progress of the disease and consider removing severely infected trees.