Defoliation question

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Dsm1gb, Aug 12, 2018 at 3:21 PM.

  1. Dsm1gb

    Dsm1gb New Member

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    Hi everyone I had a few questions on defoliation.

    I have a Matsukazi JM in which I decided to put into the ground, it didn’t like the location. I pulled it back up and repotted it back to the previous location. I removed all the leaves as they were on their way out anyway. This was a months ago?

    It is still alive and is just now sprouting out new buds (VERY SLOWLY)

    My question is, being August is this too late for this tree to be doing this? I am worried as this is one of my favorite trees.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018 at 3:31 PM
  2. emery

    emery Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi, I'll take a shot since no one else has chimed in.

    It will depend when dormancy normally happens in your area. It looks like maybe you're in the mountains, so it will get pretty cold? Figure leaf drop in Nov? If so, there is time to put on some new leaf. If it doesn't, it will be a tough go for it to survive over the winter.

    Leave it in the shade, and make sure not to water more than needed to keep the soil damp. It won't need or want much, and too much will cause root rot. It looks like from pic 3 that you need to cut back to clean wood, make sure you cut back to a node well below where you see black.

    I don't know what the story with pic 2 is, but those leaves look OK to me... Anyway hope it recovers.
     
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  3. Dsm1gb

    Dsm1gb New Member

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    Thank you for the reply emery.

    Yes leaf drop is sometime in November. So the gray/black branches are completely dead?
    I didn’t want to mess with them just in case, but good to know I can cut them back. The second picture is just to show the tree before this happened.

    It gets hot and dry here , consistent 90-102 F all summer and I have some maples in the shade but the leaves still shrivel I can’t tell if I’m under watering them in fear of overwatering. I typically deep soak my pots once every 4 days or so. When moving a maple into the ground this previous spring I noticed the top of the soil was damp but the lower portion was a lot more dry.
     
  4. emery

    emery Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Yes. Looking again at pic 3 I see a lot of the tree is going to need to come off. You need to do this asap, and some will be tricky because the black comes right down to a major branch division. Your patient's situation is complicated by the fact that it was already stressed and there is visible damage along even those parts of the branches that are still alive.

    On places where it's obvious, find a pair of bud nodes where the outwards growth between is completely clean. Then cut close to the outer node, so that you leave a good stub of stem. This is important, because wherever you cut will die back more, so that stub will protect the buds you are trying to get to go.

    Where the dead branch with black infection comes right into another branch that looks OK, you have to make a call as to whether to cut below the crotch, taking the "healthy" branch as well, or try and cut into the branch collar so it will heal. You can make this call on a case-by-case, but be careful because if too much black goes to the other side of the branch collar you will lose at least a side of the existing branch over several inches if not the whole thing.

    Be very careful to disinfect your secateurs, which should be very sharp, after each and every cut. This is of critical importance, just as important as surgeons wearing sterile gloves when they operate on us! Heh.

    After cutting, pulverize some copper-based bactericide over the whole thing. Repeat this weekly until the end of the season (or it's really, most sincerely dead).

    Because you need some growth, I'd give it a very light organic nitrogen feed to encourage it. Then as I said, shade and not too much water. Definitely don't water every 4 days.

    I'm not going to lie, it's a lot of trouble and you're only in with a chance. It will take at least a year or two to recover, so it might be a better strategy to start again with the same cultivar.

    As for your other maples in the shade, you make actually be giving too much water still, especially if the top is still damp. They do like to dry out a little, but you're right to be careful with those kind of temperatures as the leaves need to be able to transpire to cool themselves. Still, in shade and without vigorous growth I find JMs prefer too little to too much, so if I were you I'd probably back off a little on the watering and see how they respond. I mean really let them go dry between watering.
     
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  5. Dsm1gb

    Dsm1gb New Member

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    Thank you for the wealth of information!! Helps me a lot.
     

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