Beni Otake dying

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Margot, Aug 15, 2021.

  1. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    I went with my daughter 2 years ago to buy some Japanese maples for her newly landscaped back garden. Of the 5, only Beni Otake is doing poorly; the rest are thriving even in full sun. Leaves and branches have being dying since spring, before heat became an issue in our gardens.

    There is a possibility that they have been overwatering the garden. I am worried that the tree may have verticillium although I have not cut any branches to check for a black ring. Many branches are quite dead now.

    Would it be a good idea now to dig it up and put it in a large pot so it will at least have good drainage? I had a rhodo once that overcame a root fungus by being moved to a better location so I'm hoping this problem may be reversible with the maple too.

    Beni Otake #1.jpg Beni Otake #2.jpg Beni Otake #3.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2021
  2. Riverdale27

    Riverdale27 Active Member

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    It has quite a stem on it... Must have been an expensive tree?
    Can you share some pictures of the problematic branches? Can you scratch them slightly with a knife and see if they still are green inside? Can you prune one of the problem branches off and make a good photo of the inside of the cut?
     
  3. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    When you remove the wiled leaves, can you see a green bud at the base of the petiole that was removed ? If so, there must be some hope.

    Maybe the roots are not functioning well for one reason or another, but I'm pretty sure the tree can be saved, either by putting it in a pot with a free-draing mix, or uprooted and planted again when you have put some "better" soil after leaf fall...
     
  4. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Thanks for your suggestions, @Riverdale27 and @AlainK. I'm going over to my daughter's this afternoon and will check it carefully myself, then report back.
     
  5. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    I think it was expensive - over 8 feet tall now.

    The cambium layer is still green on some branches with no leaves (or buds) but some branches I tested a month or two ago were green then but are now brown.

    The first photograph is of a branch that was definitely dead; I don't want to cut branches that still have green cambium just in case. Is that ring indicative of verticillium? If it is, can a tree recover if it is replanted in a large pot? (There is nowhere else in the garden to put it.)

    The second photo shows that the tree is planted several inches higher than the lawn - would this prevent roots from growing properly on the side towards the lawn?

    Verticillium.JPG A & R ailing Acer.JPG
     
  6. Riverdale27

    Riverdale27 Active Member

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    That brown spot within the bark is indicative of the V-word... indeed. I'm afraid we have a terminal patient on our hands if it indeed is Verticillium Wilt. I'm not 100% sure but this sign is quite indicative...

    People from Esveld nursury in NL have told me that verticillium is a fungus that lives in the ground but it cannot grow when exposed to oxygen. So one treatment would be to put the tree in a pot and really aerate the pot... perlite, lava grain, lots of medium that let's in air. And often put in a large fork and really shake the tree so that oxygen can enter the soil. It could be a way to avoid worse... but I'm not sure if that really works though...

    Also get rid of all that falls down from that tree: leaves, branches, everything. Burn it or throw it out. Clean pruners... And prune everything back into good wood.

    In any case, no place to ever put a palmatum back, but there are many other very nice trees, possibly multistem, that can take its place. Think about a multistem amelanchier lamarckii, or a multistem zelkova serrata...
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2021
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  7. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Thank you @Riverdale27 for the information about the ailing JM in my daughter and son-in-law's garden. They will remove it permanently; quite upset about it.

    Here is an 'Orangeola', also in my daughter's garden. Does this look typical of Verticillium as well? The 'Beni Otake' is about 20 feet away at the same grade.

    One hopeful thing about this tree is that there are no browning leaves on the side away from the sun; otherwise it is in full sun.

    A & R A. 'Orangeola' with browning leaves.JPG
     
  8. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    The 'Orangeola' looks more like it is stressed from the hot summer in BC. The dried leaves look dotted all over rather than concentrated on individual dead and dying branches. Hopefully it will be fine in the long term.

    Regarding brown streaking and verticillium in more general terms, I have pruned out branches on Japanese maples which showed the brown rings, often major branches, and the rest of the tree has been fine and healthy and still going strong 20 years later. Either these plants had some other condition which mimics the verticillium brown rings, or verticillium is not as deadly as it is often portrayed. I tend to think of verticillium as one of those pathogens that is widespread in the environment and not a threat to healthy plants in good growing conditions; only becoming a threat when a maple is majorly stressed. (Caveat: obviously some variants of any pathogen are more virulent than others, Delta for example.)

    Post #2 of this older thread is worth reading for an alternative view of verticillium in Japanese maples: Latest treatment for verticillium wilt?
     
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  9. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Active Member

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    We did the same type of cutting back to good wood on a couple of our mature cultivators, both survived and still thriving today. On the other hand any young specimen that had verticillium wilt was destroyed and burned. Not that there were very many at all, but they all were generally dwarf upright cultivators if I recall
     
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