Black bark

Discussion in 'Maples' started by dicky5ash, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Member

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    i bought this Aconitifolium a few weeks ago..leaves had gone a bit crispy in the garden centre and I immediately potted it on..suddenly I notice this some branches with jet black bark..

    Any ideas much appreciated.

    All the leaves on black bark branches have died other branch are ok
     

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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Member Maple Society

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    Hi dicky, as long as you have kept the receipt I would take it back for a refund or replacement. The photos are showing a dying plant. Acontifolium is a lovely cultivar, I'm sure you will be able to purchase another in September if you can't get a replacement. Hippopottering nursery is a good online maple supplier to consider.
     
  3. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Member

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    Thanks..it’s not a small tree it’s 4foot tall..and wasn’t cheap..I think I will take it back sooner rather than later..it was mislabelled too as Chitoseyama..which it is clearly not.. I buy from Pat at Hippopottering..I picked up 3 nice trees at Hampton Court from her
     
  4. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Member

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    ....it’s a shame you don’t see large Aconitifoliums for sale that often..this is the first time in 18years I’ve picked a maple that has had a problem!

    Thanks again
     
  5. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Unless they gave you the tree, then get it back ASAP. Also don't prune then prune your other maples. You can infect your whole collection!

    If you did prune then wash with 91% alcohol. Pour it on the blades and allow it to work between the blades.
     
  6. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Member

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    No I bought it..it wasn’t very cheap..but it’s an old tree.. really weird the root stock is 40/45mm in diameter, strong very clean aged graft and has a branch from the rootstock from the donor tree that is perfectly healthy..I have now pruned the affected branches with at least 8” of perfect wood..will watch it over the next 2weeks and return it, otherwise. The black bark seemed to stop abruptly at certain notches.. noted re pruning..I have soaked the shears in disinfectant and between cuts. In 18 years I’ve never had this and I have bought many sorry looking states over the years!
     
  7. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    I have seen this happen to Acer japonicum with thin inner twigs that get shaded out as the canopy gets thick.

    I have also seen this happen when they are kept under plastic and we get unseasonably high heat and humidity in early April (like an August day when trees just broke dormancy in March/April and threat of frost or snow is still forecasted later in the week, which can happen in Ohio from time to time.)

    The only thing I could think that could reproduce those conditions would be if while the tree was being transported it was against hot glass windows or was left in a vehicle during a stop or for a while before departure or at the destination.

    We put one in for my parents, it had a one hour trip to their place. It lost several thin branches a week or two later that season but quickly rebound the next season.

    Is it isolated to one branch or is it widespread? Could it have been shaded out or in an area exposed to heat and humidity. Heat in a parked vehicle can really increase rapidly.

    Like you indicated, remove it back to a healthy branch, keep photos to document, and see how it goes.

    @emery may offer some insight as he has a collection of Acer japonicum (because I only have 15 years experience with just a few different Acer japonicum cultivars, while the majority of our collection is Acer palmatum).
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  8. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Member

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    Thanks for sharing thoughts..it’s affected 2 of 4 main growth branches that are as thick as your finger.. I have cut them off 8” below signs of back bark. The remaining branches have green leaves in the main a few have gone crispy at the ends..when I picked up the tree there was a general scatter of crispy leaves across the whole thing..I just thought the garden centres watering regime was not up to it..so I slipped it into a slightly larger pot so there is 3” of additional soil around it, and plenty of drainage in the bottom and have kept it well watered just like my other 60 trees..if there’s anymore sign of serious deterioration I will take it back as it wasn’t cheap. What’s strange is the branch from the root stock looks like it’s growing healthily, no signs of ill health at all..and it’s got an aged graft..you can’t even see the join..as I said the truck is nearly 2” in diameter so not a young tree.
     
  9. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Member

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    Update: somewhat against the good judgement of some helpful contributors on the forum I decided to keep the tree and take my chances; you just don't see many examples of P. Aconitifolium with a good 2" thick trunk very often here in the UK or indeed for £57 (well from the various nurseries I buy from) and my expectation was that the nursery would just neglect it further or bin it (as it was from a large garden centre chain rather than a specialist). Anyway, having removed the affected branches I am pleased to tell you that there are no further black branches 5 weeks on and there is new growth appearing on several branches..I appreciate I may not be out of the woods yet but I am hopeful.
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  11. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Member

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    Thanks Ron...I appreciate ive taken a chance...very interesting article, makes sense..i thought sterilisation was sterilisation..clearly not...I scrub shears with neat anti bacterial washing up liquid, rinse and soak in neat Dettol antibacterial antiseptic for half hour then rinse...the subject of pitting of steel is interesting and sounds very plausible...I wonder whether ceramic shears are better....
     
  12. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Member

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    Just one additional question, where I have lopped off branches, i'm left with a couple of upward facing exposed stumps, is there any benefit in capping these off with some grafting wax..I was just thinking they look a little exposed..
     
  13. Acerholic

    Acerholic Member Maple Society

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    Let it heal naturally, wax can seal in more problems.
     
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  14. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Member

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    Thanks.. I am hoping all will be good in the Spring, we shall see!
     
  15. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  16. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Member

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    Thanks for sharing this, having read that interesting article, I’m going to keep it well away from my other trees. Time will tell, i’ll provide an update in the Spring.
     

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