Q: With the terrible drought, I have several dogwood trees on which the leaves have all turned brown and have begun to fall off. I know they won’t put back on leaves this year, but are they going to be dead for next year?
A: It’s never good when a tree loses its leaves during the growing season. If your dogwoods were healthy this spring and defoliated simply due to no water during high heat, they may come back just fine next spring. Scrape twigs with your fingernail to see if there is green underneath. Practice “survival watering” during times of drought by applying 2 gallons of water for every inch of trunk diameter (measured at 4.5 feet above the ground) for each day between individual waterings. Example: a 10-inch diameter tree watered 3 days ago would need 60 gallons of water slowly applied at the drip line.