My rowan has had very sparse foliage for the last two seasons. The tree still flowers and fruits but not as fulsomely as in previous years. What is the cause and how can I fix the problem please?
Hi Alan. My guess is that your tree has been stressed by environmental conditions. Has your garden been flooded? Rowans don't like waterlogged soil...
The soil here in a Cardiff is heavy clay so when we do get heavy rain - as in summer 2012 - I would guess water logging has occurred. Any solutions like top dressing of some sort that could help?
Alan, I'm hoping that someone with more specific knowledge might post soon. I've grown a rowan but in free-draining soil in Northumberland, where I sometimes had to water in dry spells - I think they are quite susceptible to stress due to too much or too little water. It would certainly do no harm to mulch round the tree with compost or other organic matter, though keep it away from the trunk. In spring you could feed it with a balanced fertiliser like blood, fish & bonemeal or Growmore. If it's still a small tree you could also use a seaweed tonic as a foliar spray.
Hope this is useful and your tree recovers.