Leaf Scorch

    Leaf Scorch

    leaf scorch

    Leaf scorch on horse chestnut (Marion Murray, Utah State University Extension)

    leaf scorch

    Leaf scorch on oak (Andrew Koeser, International Society of Aboriculture, Bugwood.org)

    Description

    Leaf scorch is a general plant response to various environmental conditions including drought, underwatering, intense sunlight and heat, wind, soil compaction, and nutrient deficiencies. Scorch is common on many trees but is most severe on ash, maple, pine, horse chestnut, elm, and poplar.  Leaf scorch includes necrotic leaf margins or interveinal regions. Severe scorch can kill leaves.

    Management

    The primary cause of leaf scorch is a lack of water in the root zone coupled with wind and sunlight. Keep plants appropriately watered. Protect plants from excessive wind or direct/reflected sunlight during drought conditions. Plant trees in areas where they will not have restricted root zones or compacted soils. For more information on watering trees and plants, see the Utah State University fact sheet Efficient Irrigation of Trees and Shrubs.