We had a large clump kousa dogwood professionally installed in our Michigan zone 6a yard last year and the leaves curled and darkened soon after. They remained on the tree for the season and we attributed it to transplant shock. This year the tree leafed out very nicely but had very few blooms, and soon after the leaves curled up again. Our soil is heavy clay with the top 18 inches amended with cow manure, and the tree is in full sun. We've battled moles and think they've departed. I fertilized the tree with root stimulator, flattened the mole tunnels and have been deep watering weekly. Will the leaves return to normal or is there more trouble not being addressed?
Sounds like a fungal problem which may be more cosmetic than detrimental but then, repeated fungal infections can be bad in the long term. Trying googling dogwood anthacnose to see if the pictures look like your problem. Generally kousa is more resistant than florida to that fungal problem. There are anthracnose resistant cultivars of both on the market.
Thank you, Todd, for the suggestion. I googled as you suggested and (thankfully) that is not the problem. The leaves are only curled and pointing downward, not spotted or otherwise deformed. Perhaps it's just stress? I noticed yesterday that new red leaves have appeared...I'd like to think that's a good sign. :)
I have the same problem with my Cornus Starlight. I'm in Western Washington with all of our cloudy days and starvation for true sun... My leaves on all of my three trees are curled on the sides. New leaves from new growth sprout as normal but eventually also curl. They have been in the ground for approximately four years... I returned to the garden center where I purchased them originally and all of the stock there was doing the same thing. The local expert said to water regularly but do not overwater... Seems to me though if this was the case the problem shouldn't be so repititive. My tree are in full sun(what there is...) I was wondering if I should transplant them to the side of the house where they would be into a partial shade...
My Red Cherokee Chief dogwood did the same thing every year. No matter how much I cared for it, moved it, watered, and sprayed. It's always worse in summers where we have lots of rain. It would also include some branches dieing every winter. It only bloomed once in ten years and they were distorted. Finally, after years of babying this rather expensive tree, I decided to let it live or die with no further help. Slowly, it has become more healthy although it still doesn't bloom. Apparently, in this area it doesn't like to be babied??..