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Cotoneaster leaf ends black


Advice welcome. The leaf ends of my Cotoneaster tree are all black. About half way down each leaf.

It produced berries this year etc. but this issue appears to be spreading. 

Any advice? Thanks.




  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    Dubloon, if possible, post a picture. Cotoneasters are usually very tough plants and they seldom have issues. However, sometimes, due to heavy rain and high winds, the shrubs may break. Take a look at your branches and check to see if there are any breakages, tears or signs of cankers. These areas are signs for infection entry points.

    Up until now, had you noticed any issues with flowering last year? The only thing that may affect your shrub is fire-blight which affects plants in this group and usually, signs are showing prior to leaves going dark and sometimes brown and curling.

    If you do see these signs, it's important to start collecting any dead fallen leaves to limit further spread. You will also need to prune out the affected branches and you will need to prune quite far back to branches unaffected. Make sure the blades are disinfected between cuts to limit the spread. 

  • DubloonDubloon Posts: 45

    Hi Borderline and thanks for taking the time out to provide such a full response. 

    I'll try and take a photo although it may not be until later in the week....daylight depending!

    I bought this tree in September last year and it was cut price in the Dobbies sale. So I'm not sure about its progression or otherwise compared to previous years. 

    The leaves are not dropping but they all appear black from half way to the tip of the leaf. It does look fine otherwise but I will inspect more closely.

    Best wishes. 

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  • Fol

  • Folks, photos of the Cotoneaster issue above. Very grateful for thoughts. 


  • turmericturmeric Posts: 828

    Hi Dubloon, could the leaves have been scorched by cold winds? You see fireblight more in late Spring through to Autumn rather than Jan/Feb.  Also are there any signs of damage on the stems (which I think you would notice if it was fireblight).  Not sure how exposed the plant is and cotoneasters are quite tough but strong icy winds can be damaging.

  • Hi Jekyll, 

    That is a possibility. We have had a very tough, freezing winter in Edinburgh. We are by the sea too which may have had an impact. 

    The stems look ok though. I bought this plant cheap before winter and it may be it took a battering before I got it. 


  • turmericturmeric Posts: 828

    Could have taken a battering before you bought it but if it's looked healthy until now I think it was probably fine.  Did the roots look healthy when you planted it, stems ok?  All places where a struggling plant would have shown weaknesses.  Hopefully it's just been scorched by the wind.  Remove the attected leaves (they'll probably fall off anyway) and hopefully the new leaves will be fine.  Might be worth thinking about moving it out of that wind though so it doesn't happen again, or planting more around it to protect it a bit?  Good luck.

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    I agree with Jekylandhide there. If you can't see any obvious damage on the branches right now and you bought the plant with these issues, it's very likely it had been neglected and suffered wind scorch before you had it. The leaves will eventually drop off, so for now, keep it a bit protected if you can, hopefully in the spring time onwards, it will start to grow new leaves.

  • Thanks guys, great advice. I agree, it's likely wind scorch.

    I'm planning to move it anyway and will find a more sheltered location. 



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