Is my smoke tree dying?


Last year my smoke tree looked beautiful and full but this year it’s very bare. Do you think it’s dying?


Thank-you for consulting Toronto Master Gardeners with your question.

Smokebushes (Cotinus spp) are some of the last woody plants to leaf out in spring. We had cold weather so late into the spring this year in Toronto that the start of the growing season has been pushed even later than usual. It may reassure you to know that I have 3 smokebushes in my garden and I have not seen leaves on any of them yet. If I look very closely, I can see small reddish bumps that indicate the very beginning of leaf growth. Have a good look at the branches of your plant and don’t give up on your smokebush yet!