Dear Citizen Gardeners: My mother-in-law gave me this Chinese elm tree and I planted it about five years ago.
It’s never done that well. It grows fast but the leaves get blackened and the branches break off.
The latest break took off about a third of the tree, and it looks as if it’s rotten inside. There are little reddish marks along most branches, which I imagine are some type of pest.
I don’t want to fight these pests with chemicals. Maybe I don’t water it enough? But I don’t want a tree that needs a bunch of water. Maybe my climate is too humid or cool for an elm to grow easily? I’m a few miles from the ocean and we get the marine layer. If it’s the climate, I’ll just take the rest of the tree down and allow the volunteer oak underneath it to grow up instead.
Fellow garden enthusiasts: Any suggestions? Insights? Experiences with elms?
(Photos: Kathy Price-Robinson)