Help - Trees in Shock!

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by fish&ferns, May 24, 2005.

  1. fish&ferns

    fish&ferns Member

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    We planted three 15 foot himalayan birch trees on Thursday. They came from the nursery with metal baskets around their roots. My eager husband planted them without me. He took off the baskets and all the material fell away. Only the bare roots were left to be planted. Now their leaves are starting to droop and look crispy. I am looking for anything I can do to improve their chance of survival. How much to water them? Root hormone or transplant fertilizer? Should I mist them? Stake them? Read them poems? Help!
     
  2. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Active Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years of Activity

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    I think you ought to do a couple of things. First, ensure that the soil around the new roots is moist, but not saturated; however, note that you will kill the roots as easily with air pockets as with waterlogged soil, so make sure there is adequate soil-root contact. Next, if this warm, sunny weather keeps up, the evaporative demand will be something fierce, so anything you can do to increase the humidity around the crown will be helpful. If the trees don't die outright, they may be horribly damaged, so prepare yourself.

    Beyond that, it's very hard to say what might happen, since one can't simultaneously give the roots what they need and see what shape they're in. Good luck.
     
  3. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    I would suggest an application of a mychorhizzae product to enable to roots to recover as fast as possible. irrigate deeply and regularly but like Mr Justice says, dont waterlog them either. The plant may drop many of its leaves due to loss of moisture, dont despair right away, that is the plant's way of controlling moisture loss. stake it so they are fairly firm in the ground, this will help minimize damage to any roots that do start to grow and wait until next Spring to remove the stakes. a good website for tree information is: www.treesaregood.com an information website sponsored by the society of arboriculture.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    Keeping them watered is the main thing. Maybe they were dry before they were unveiled, or allowed to dry out between the baskets and their permanent positions. I bareroot plants small enough to be swished around in a bucket of water, regardless of their stage of development, when I have time. They go from the water to the ground, are kept watered afterward.

    Search "Chalker-Scott" online for more information about modern planting methods.
     
  5. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Sorry to interject but the damage to these trees had already
    been done before the trees were ever planted. The roots had
    not been set, allowed to grow out into the soil medium to
    at least attain some soil holding capacity. Had those trees
    been grown down here with our normal temperatures at this
    time of year the chances of survival are not good as the trees
    themselves had been deprived of ample water while in the
    nursery. The ridiculous, at least it is to us here, concept
    of using the metal baskets to hold the soil medium surely
    did not work in this case and the reasons for that is there
    was not enough moisture in the soil to force the coalescing
    of the soil material to bind to the roots. These trees were
    essentially sold as bare root trees which would negate the
    whole purpose of the metal baskets to start with.

    Ron and I are in agreement on this one. I let the bare root
    trees set over night prior to planting in a bucket of water
    with one ounce of Vitamin B1 added in. The next day I'll
    plant the trees taking them right from the bucket into the
    ground and then applying the contents of the water to the
    tree after I've planted it. Our concepts are pretty much
    the same but I use the Vitamin B1 (Thiamin hydrochloride)
    and the accompanying EDTA as a transplant shock inhibitor.

    I agree with Douglas that you should keep the ground moist
    but not overly wet until the roots have had a chance to adapt.
    The application of soil microbes at this stage should the
    trees continue their stressed state is not going to help much
    as the roots have not developed enough in their new setting
    for the fungus to effectively interact or coat the roots but

    can lend a helping hand to the trees decline by taking nutrients
    away from the roots at this stage. Since your trees are stressing
    now they should not have any foreign material applied to them.
    What we can do before they stress is one thing but while they
    are stressing we do not want to add to the liabilities of the
    root systems. If your roots do not develop these trees are
    gone. It is that simple.

    I do not know how long you had these trees from the nursery
    before they were planted but I do know the nursery was
    negligent in not informing you that these trees as is would
    be thought of as being planted as bare root trees. They
    should have given you some planting information before
    these trees ever left the nursery. Even if you had these
    trees for a few days prior to their planting and you did
    not provide enough moisture to them and went ahead
    and planted them then the nursery is still liable to
    replace these trees should they perish. That is how
    a full service retail nursery would work this situation
    here. Both sides are guilty of procedural errors but
    the nursery should have known better as they are in
    the business to know these things and did not do what
    is expected of them. No plant is to leave a retail nursery
    without some specific planting instructions provided.

    In our nursery if we planted it there was a 2 year full
    replacement guarantee including the replanting. If
    you planted it and lost it within a years time we would
    replace the plant no matter what the reason was for
    why it may have perished.

    Jim
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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  7. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Has she ever grown and planted plants for someone
    else and had to be fully accountable for those plants
    once they are in the ground? What does she know
    about growing plants down here anyway? She is not
    the only "game" in town.

    Jim
     
  8. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years of Activity

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    I've looked at the article that Ron cited and found it generally consistent with other published material, except in one area (the effects of fungicides). I couild generally say the same about most other information sources, published or personal.
    Surely one of our tasks in life is to sort thru all the conflicting information and advice we get (have you ever looked at books on "how to raise a child"?) and use our intellegence and experience in applying it. One often hears the phrase "ivory tower" directed at members of the educational and research communities, however their very isolation from the "real world" can produce unexpected and valuable results.
    A recent exchange of posts in this forum (in Grapes - micorrhizae) saved me from doing considerable damage to hundreds of plants that would have been the result of my incomplete understanding of "conflicting" information. I've put "conflicting" in quotes because it's not quite the right word. All the information was there for me, and none of it was wrong, it just needed to be integrated and ballanced.
    Lets keep those disagreements coming!
    Ralph
     
  9. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    I never wrote that applied Vitamin B1 was a root initiator
    but it can be in the right conditions away from a lab.

    EDTA is an antioxidant. Talk to me about the role of
    antioxidants on a root system? Get out your books.
    Think of the importance of mycorrhizal fungi on a root
    system while you are at it. Shoot, I was working on this
    stuff almost 30 years ago. What is the role of Thiamin
    in a root system and why it is a misnomer that a young
    plant can produce enough of it all on its own?

    Ralph, that is the problem I have that most of the articles
    are consistent based on literature but there seems to be
    one area in several of the articles that I have found myself
    to strongly disagree with. Then again what may apply
    to the Pacific Northwest does not always work well here.

    Jim
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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  11. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years of Activity

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    One should also keep in mind the built-in bias of some research that is done by or commissioned by agricultural supply companies who's main focus (despite whatever they may tell us) is the sale of profitable (to them) products. For them, a result of "leave it alone, it will do fine on it's own" is not acceptable because it does not result in any sales.
    A product that solves one problem but creates another can be OK because that results in 2 sales!
    Some of this research is published in "peer reviewed journals", some shows up in the glossy brochures. I believe most is not wrong or untrue but much is necessarily incomplete, even material that is not "market biased", because no researcher or team can look at all the factors and correlations. Lab results are frequently different than field results, but one is not wrong and the other right.
    Lets keep our grains of salt handy.
    Ralph
     
  12. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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  13. Kip

    Kip

    I just had bobcat work done in my yard to put in a retaining wall. I had the bobcat cut around our large tree(possibly elm?). A lot of roots were still cut into and removed. Within days most of the leaves have dried up and fallen to the ground. What can I do to help save my tree?

    Thank you,
    Kip
     
  14. twobitbyte

    twobitbyte Member

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    Trees grow in compartments. Any limbs that extend from that section of clipped roots are gonners, so too is the connective tissue within the trunk. In fact you've trimmed your tree from underneath, but it's not fatal. It will over time fill in where those branches died off.
     

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