Black branch tips on young sangu kaku

Discussion in 'Maples' started by andyt777, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. andyt777

    andyt777 Member

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    Hi, I've got a very young sangu kaku, acquired last spring (in a pot until I find it a permanent position). It stands about 2ft high at the moment, so has only very young branches sprouting upward, most of which came in last year. So far this year, leaves are sprouting from all the branches, so they are still alive but on most of them, the end 3 inches or so have turned black (no leaves coming in the black bits). Winter daily temp around 0 degrees or worse a lot of the time, and we live in a very exposed position, although the tree has as much shelter as I can find it. I'm not surprised this has happened, but would love to save the tree.

    Will this black spread or should I leave it?

    If I snip all the black bits off, presumably the tree will sprout from those points, which is undesirable as I read these trees shouldn't be pruned, but left to find their own way.
    If I take ALL the offending branches off, I'll be left with very little, so I'm wondering what I should do.

    thanks for any thoughts
    andy
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    This is common, remove dead and monitor the tree. If it increases then additional action required. There has been previous discussion here, searching by name of cultivar might bring it up.
     
  3. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    adivice of Ron ,are my advice,searching in FAQ "verticillum and relaitive" or in NOTE "Japanese maple bark issue"
     
  4. andyt777

    andyt777 Member

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    thanks guys, i'll try that.
    sorry, new to forums so will search first before repeating stuff already said.
    andy t.
     
  5. emery

    emery Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Andy, if the die back happened during the winter it's not likely verticillium. In fact it just sounds like normal die back to me. Snip off the dead branches a little above the nearest healthy bud. Don't panic, I think you'll be all right. Disinfect your secateur just to be sure.

    Die back of this sort usually happens simply because the wood didn't have a chance to ripen fully, i.e. not a warm enough autumn after the growth.

    HTH

    -E
     
  6. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    The root cause of the black branch tips we all notice in our beloved maples in Spring is the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv. aceris. It works as follows:

    P. syringae is responsible for the surface frost damage in plants exposed to the environment. P. syringae can cause water to freeze at temperatures as high as −1.8°C. The freezing causes injuries in the epithelia and makes the nutrients in the underlying plant tissues available to the bacteria. P. syringae have ina (ice nucleation-active) genes that make Ina proteins which translocate to the outer bacterial cell wall on the surface of the bacteria where the Ina proteins act as nuclei for ice formation.

    In fact, as you my have read recently in the press (do a web search), it has been discovered that pseudomonas are in a high percentage of samples of snow taken around the world. Apparently these little bugs act as the main nucleating agents for snowflake formation. Many ski stations are now adding dead pseudomonas to the water used for artificial snow making.

    Back to maples, Pseudomonas overwinters in infected bark tissue or on the surface of bud scales or twigs. The pathogen enters the plant through natural openings in leaves or bark (stomata, lenticels) or through open wounds. It invades damaged tissue following freeze injury which it promotes as explained above. Once inside plant tissue, the bacterium produces a toxin that is translocated upward in the water-conducting system to newly developing leaves. The toxin causes a rapid water- soaked appearance and blackening of succulent, new tissue. Lesions on woody tissue may develop, but they rarely expand during the summer months. Disease development is favored by cool, wet spring conditions. Almost all disease development is restricted to cool (often near freezing), wet weather in April and May, and is suppressed by hot, summer weather. Therefore, it is unlikely you will see damage during summer months. The bacteria tend to be seed borne, and are dispersed between plants via rain splash (or snow!!).

    Blighted tissue can be removed in late spring after symptoms appear, and it is advised that pruning is done on a warm, sunny day. Diseased shoots should be removed from diseased plants and destroyed. Make cuts of succulent tissue several inches below the blighted area. For woody tissue, make cuts flush with branch collars and disinfect pruning tools between cuts. Some people claim that applications of copper-based fungicides will help control Pseudomonas blight and that applications should be made just before bud break in the spring. I am reporting this for information but I am not endorsing it since I have not used it.

    Gomero
     
  7. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Interesting Gomero, thank you for the informative explanation.
     
  8. andyt777

    andyt777 Member

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    Thanks for the extra help, very informative and a greatly appreciated - More than I've been able to find out elsewhere.

    I seem to have done the right thing in joining the forum!

    andy
     
  9. emery

    emery Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks for the really great post, Gomero. I don't think I had seen such a detailed explanation anywhere before.

    We really ought to have a Maple FAQ. Gomero's post would make a great first article.

    -E
     
  10. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Easy on there Emery .... you're gonna make Gomero feel important :)
    Great post Gomero ...you are a great source of information .....
     
  11. emery

    emery Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    OK, OK. You're right. He's just flaunting knowledge to make up for a tiny, uh, maple collection. ;) Except that I guess he's got a big maple collection. Damn. And his is nice and warm while yours is probably under the snow, Sam, and mine is freezing at -2 tonight. Obviously I (at least) have some karma to make up... car broke down at midnight last night and I had to drive 500 km in a rented Fiat Panda today for work. There ain't no justice.

    Well anyway, I still think it was a great post, so I'll say so without any respect intended or implied! :) And, it would be a good one for a potential FAQ.

    -E
     
  12. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    I need a microscope and snow, I which is snowed here,.....but not this time of year it might hurt my coral bells. Everyman needs coral bells.
     
  13. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    E . Fiat Panda is a good eco car !! eat bamboo ;))

    Gomero good post! bravo'
     
  14. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Well, thank you guys. In fact all the information is out there in the Web, all I did is to put it together and share it with you. I am glad you found it useful.

    Emery I understand that you would like to have a warmer weather to enjoy the maples longer; but comes Summer time and it is my turn to envy you and your wet Summer weather. That's the time I stress when I leave home for more than a few days: any failure of my automatic watering may mean as much damage to the trees as the hard freezes you are fearing now.

    Gomero
     
  15. nelran

    nelran Active Member

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    I have the same feeling than Gomero...... April and May are very good here; after that I will start to pray... for the whole long summer.

    Nelran
     
  16. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Gomero's explanation is enlightening but does Emery's explanation have any merit?

    I've had more dieback than ever this year and it does seem to correspond to growth that continued late into the autumn thus not completely hardened.
     
  17. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    cut it or lose it all, then treat it with Phyton in June, who said you should not shape a Sangu, keep it in sun for best bark color tho. Shape and prune all maples so you don't end up with junk trees.
     
  18. emery

    emery Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I think die back can certainly happen on unripe wood. I've seen this many times, just the late summer growth that hasn't had a chance to ripen dies back. I believe Harris also mentions this in his book.

    I would be interested in trying a Bordeaux mixture in early spring against pseudomonas, that seems to be the worst period for them here.

    I don't agree with Richard that all maples should be pruned, but there are clearly different schools of thought on this. Richard, great to see you back online, and I hope enjoying your trees!

    -E
     
  19. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    I don't agree with Richard either, gosh what was he on that night. There are many picturesque maples that only nature could sculpt. But sometime we need to give nature a push. Like when a tree becomes so condensed with leaves that nature can not find the tree hiding behind all those leaves. Then again if it is a snake bark the sun could damage it, then you will need the leaves to shade it, like with a snake bark in Texas,? well do trees even grow in Texas, well I guess so it is a really big state. Maybe I am thinking of California, well that is wrong too because they do have irrigation there.

    Thanks for asking about my trees, I lost so many this past winter I have yet to count them all. I did not have access to my winter quarters nor to my normal materials to protect them form the bitter cold so that left me with about a 40 percent lost. Lost is no concern for me anymore, lose a thousand dollars here or ten there and I am not kidding like in the last paragraph. When I was at home I moved my trees into a large area that was protected from the wind and had insulation that was poured in around the pots. The shade house was also ideal as I could tarp( to cover with white plastic) to block the wind, stabilizing hard swings in temperature, and I could also allow light in at the top. I also had a lot of twig die back, it is at pathology right now and I am waiting to see if it is wind burn or botrytis. I am sure I am seeing some type of fungal infection, the trees were really treated very badly this past year. I think the stress of someone not turning on the automatic irrigation was a big part of why many of the trees did not make it as well. Then you though in a bit of thief and there goes half of your trees. I can say God is good because some of my best are still with me.

    I tell ya the truth you learn more from killing a tree, that is if you know why, then growing a tree.

    My trees were in white pots, with small white stone covering the potting mix, I credit this set up with the recovering of any trees at all.

    I did not say,in this set up, the bottoms were all cut out and replaced with landscape cloth. This too is very beneficial as the air can circulate though convection or piping (a system to move gas though a structure, aka your house, air in at the crawl place though your living area of the home and then out the attic) making terracotta obsolete. Black plastic pots consume volumes more water and labor then whitish pots.

    I will send some pictures later on. I have an extra Japanese Maple third ed, brand new, if someone would cover my membership dues this year, I will though in a a hosta or two. I loved reading about the trip to Japan, that must have been other worldly.

    How is alex, did the earth quake hit him, like a month or more ago, it was right at his front door? I have not seen any updates on the satellite to know.
     
  20. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Richard,

    Whitcomb mentions that technique of cutting the bottoms out of pots. I tried it this year with seedling pots but way too early to tell. I thought it was very aggravating getting the screening material to stay put and not slip out or off of the bottoms. How did you secure the landscape fabric?
     
  21. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    You are making it to hard, get a box opener and cut the bottom out, or sometimes I just use a propane torch, sometimes I use a wood burning tool. Then I whip out my glue gun and glue some landscape fabric in for the bottom. Don;t use any wire you don't need it. Hell you can just glue the landscape frabric and use that as a pot itself, don't think too hard, hard thinking at our age is not good for the system. I was jokeing about Omigawa but it is a real place in Japan on a river north of Tokio.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2009

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