Arbutus: Arbutus Unedo dying

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by paul keogh, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. 5 year old strawberry tree, 8 feet tall, leaves extremely dry and falling from plant. Some leaves have black on them and skeletons (can see through leaf). Other plants nearby such as viburnum, pyrocantha are fine. Looked OK after winter season but started looking very distressed about 2 weeks ago. Anyone having similar problems and any ideas for saving the plant?
     
  2. HortLine

    HortLine Active Member 10 Years

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    Arbutus Unedo: dying?

    The Arbutus unedo or Strawberry Tree is native to southern Europe, zone 4 to 7. It can be damaged in severe winters. This winter in Vancouver we experienced several nights with temperatures below 12 degrees celcius. This cold temperature could have weakened the plant enough to make it susceptible to pests and diseases.
     
  3. douglas

    douglas Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Paul

    Where abouts are you? And can you post pics
     
  4. Kevinm

    Kevinm Member

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    We are in Vancouver and have a young Arbutus unedo (2 years old) that is no more than 1.5 feet tall. It is on our deck in a planter (quite exposed) and survived the winter without a blink.

    Is there potentially another cause???
     
  5. Arbutus unedo

    We have 2 Arbutus unedos - One is experiencing all of the symptoms that Paul has mentioned - yellow, dry leaves in the past 2 weeks. The other which is about 15 ft. away is the beautiful green that we expect to see. Is there any special food that we can give the sick tree?
     
  6. arbutus unedo declining: possibilities

    check your drainage. dig a hole and look for standing water. arbutus unedo won't stand for poor drainage, in my experience; in those conditions, they are susceptible to various root and crown rots. they seem to prefer sharp draining, "poor" (not nutrient rich) soils in their natural habitat and especially in cultivation.

    also, check the root crown (where trunk hits the soil). if this was buried when planted, woody plants can get attacked by various fungi (crown rots) at the crown and rapidly fail. it can take years for this to show up, and then the plant can fail very quickly.
     
  7. CcDry

    CcDry Active Member

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  8. sunshine

    sunshine Member

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    hi paul, where i live in calif, this type of tree needs well drained soil and once it has been established(2 full season cycles) it needs infrequent, deep waterings
     
  9. same with ours! bark actually split - we cut down tree and many shoots are coming off bottom of trunk - we are going to see what happens - possibly take out all but one in the spring?
     
  10. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I am in southwest France and the Arbutus Unedo is a native tree in the Atlantic coast where it grows in sandy soil alongside pine trees and oaks. I have several of them in my summer house by the ocean and I have often the problem described in this thread. I really don't know the cause, it's like the verticilium wilt of maples. I have never tried to treat them, I just cut the dead branch(es) and the tree grows back without any problem. I do not believe it is related to any kind of environmental stress.
    I hope this could reassure some of you
    Regards,
    Gomero
     
  11. BC potted dream

    BC potted dream Member

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    Lost ours two years ago, it turned brown and brittle branch by branch and has never regenerated.
     
  12. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    This reminds me of what happened to our peach tree that died a messy death in a warm, hot, sunny spot that probably got too much water for a peach. Trunk split, and the tree branches began to die back, they looked blasted. The last crop of peaches withered while young. It was a sad, and gruesome death.

    It was some kind of pathogen, I cannot remember what.
     
  13. joZ

    joZ Active Member

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    We have a beautiful 17+ ft high unedo. We are in North Van. It got hit hard by the winter storms and many of the branches died. Some large branches broke from the weight of the snow. We have cut off all that we can reach. More are dying...but slowly and surely, others are coming back. We will keep pruning until it looks happy and healthy.
     

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