Acer 'autopurpureum' (?die back or)

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Charles Richard, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. Charles Richard

    Charles Richard Active Member 10 Years

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    Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
    I had a Acer planted in back yard that I purchased last spring. This spring/summer 2011 it had lost most of it's branches (went black). Assuming it may be a disease, I dug it out. Cleaned up the soil and the grower gave me another.
    They had been ball and burlap and there was not alot of roots when I planted it so the fella gave me another.
    I realize that if it disease that caused it that it may be living in the soil?
    My questions is, If it is deseased and the new one comes to the same demise. What can I plant in this spot that will not me affected by the (name escapes me know, verticillium?)?
    I understand that I should not plant another ACER in the same spot or other Genera that will be affected as well.
    Any thoughts or suggestions, would be appreciated.
  2. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Without photos to better help determine which
    disease you are having problems with, it does
    make things difficult to analyze your situation.

    The branches turned black when, after the loss
    of the wood or during the dieback? This makes
    a difference to know as during then the disease
    is more likely due to a bacterium already in the
    plants system. Dead wood turning black with
    some grayish white rings among the black is
    an indication of Verticillium which may or may
    not have arisen from the soil. The issue here
    is that many of the palmatum type Maples have
    one to two forms of Verticillium in their plant
    systems of which both forms have pretty much
    the same modus operandi in that after a stress
    or series of stresses both forms can lead to a
    decline of the tree. If the wood turned a brown
    to a golden color, noticeable loss of turgidity
    in the wood with a definite shrinking and wrinkling
    to the bark (branch wilt) then the issue is more
    likely Verticillium alboatrum. Which may or may
    not be in the soil but was in the plants system all
    along. It is prudent to advise people not to replant
    a Maple in the same planting hole after a tree has
    perished due to Verticillium. I have replanted in the
    same hole but waited about five years prior to a
    replant. As a matter of fact the very large Acer
    buergerianum 'Simonii' I have was planted in the
    same hole of which an Acer platanoides 'Crimson
    King' had been in for roughly 15 years before it
    succumbed to alboatrum. That did not come
    from the soil but was in the plants system
    when we bought the large tree. Since we
    know that alboatrum can infect root systems
    it is indeed possible that the remnant roots
    can also harbor the fungus in ground. Where
    we are located and with the Summer soil
    temperatures such as they can get I was
    not overly concerned that the fungus could
    live for any length of time in the soil. Thus
    I waited for a period of five years to be safe
    and planted a Maple that is known not to be
    overly affected by Verticillium alboatrum
    and now have a 35-40 foot tall tree in 20+ years
    in the ground. What I am saying is in effect
    choose your next Maple carefully or choose a
    plant that has a history of not overly being
    affected by Verticillium. The other side of the
    coin is that Acer buergerianum is not resistant
    to Psuedomonas syingae (bacterium) if
    that was the pathogen that led to your trees
    demise and this pathogen can be harbored in
    the soil for long periods of time which is why
    most fruit and nut tree specialized nurseries
    fumigate their soils prior to planting their
    nursery stock to grow on for bare root sales
    the following year or in successive years -
    essentially to limit the spread of bacterial
    canker to move into the root systems of
    the budded trees (as per University of
    California IPM approved guidelines).


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