Greg Jordan, Rockingham County Extension Forester
  • pin oak

In recent days, many landowners – especially in southern New Hampshire – have contacted UNH Extension Foresters worried about the sudden appearance of trees with wilted, shriveled, and black-tipped leaves. Many callers remarked that the symptoms seemed to “appear overnight” on species ranging from pin oak to beech to Japanese maple, and noted that the symptoms were often found “all over” the tree. The callers were on to something!

Last week’s (mid-May) frost in southern New Hampshire damaged some tender tree shoots and leaves. Signs of the damage usually appear within a few days. Like many garden plants, tree leaves must “harden off.” Simply put: the late frost was poorly timed.

Although damage can look bad, it is not likely to cause long-term problems. Healthy trees will recover on their own. You can, however, provide your trees with supplemental water during the summer and into autumn during dry spells to help them recover.

If you have questions about tree health, check out or contact your County Forester.


Forestry Field Specialist
Extension Field Specialist, Forestry
Phone: (603)679-5616
Office: Cooperative Extension, Taylor Hall, Durham, NH 03824