Many of the trees grown in our landscapes are not native to the Intermountain West. They have been transplanted (like many of us) and struggle to adapt to Utah’s arid climate. Certain species, especially those with large leaves, lack the ability to handle an entire summer of heat and low humidity. Over time, this causes many leaves to scorch by late summer.
Leaf diseases have become a concern because of the cool, wet weather, as rain provides an efficient way for fungal and bacterial spores to spread. Fungal disease symptoms generally include irregular brown, yellow or black spots on leaves. If left unchecked, branches can also become infected. As the season progresses, the spots may turn into holes in the leaves.
Determining when to plant a garden can be especially confusing in Utah’s unpredictable, varied climate where last-frost dates can vary by many days within just a few miles. Many experienced gardeners have planted and later lost their plants to frost.