Bloodgood Japanese Maple - can it come back?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by vcallinan, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. vcallinan

    vcallinan Active Member

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    Location:
    East York, Ontario
    Greetings, Our tree is about 5 years old and about 5 ft high. Last year it had a white patch fungus on the wood The fungus is still visable on the branches - the picture is not a good one though. At the time, new leaves shrivelled up and died, but the mature leaves were fine. It still looked lovely, turned colour like usual, and the leaves stayed on the tree till frost.

    This year, however, there were no leaves. The brances are still flexible and brown - not black. Earlier in the year i scratched a bit of bark off and there was green underneath. Now the underpart is more but the branches are still very flexible.

    I asked a reputable nursery for advice. The answer was to just wait, new leaves may sprout later in the summer. New leaves did sprout, but at the very bottom below where two branches join (see pictures). Strangely, the leaves are of various sizes and colours. New branches are beginning, too. So, obviously the roots aren't dead.

    Do I cut the new growth off to force nurishment up the tree or are they all that is left of the tree?

    Your advice is appreciated....vc
     

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  2. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    If this Maple were mine and I have had to do
    this before a few times, more than I care to
    admit in years past, I'd cut off all of the old
    wood as close to the newest growth as possible.
    Don’t worry about doing angled cuts, it is too
    late for that. Just cut the wood off horizontally
    with nice, even, flat topped cuts.

    The upper growth is in all practical purposes gone.
    What you need to do is cut off the infected wood
    to allow the new growth coming out from the base
    of what is left of this tree a chance to grow and
    prosper. Once you cut the old limbs and branches
    off this will send a signal to the roots to start
    working overtime to sustain the plant. The new
    growth at the base of this tree will start to push
    more water and nutrients and will try to overcome
    the disease you once had in this tree. I've seen
    several Maples recover from this condition and
    became a much stronger, vigorous tree because
    of it.

    Jim
     
  3. vcallinan

    vcallinan Active Member

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    Location:
    East York, Ontario
    Thank you so much, Jim. I truly appreciate the experiences of "been there, done that"! Once you lopped off the old wood, did you fertilize right away or wait a bit? Is bone meal ok (2-14-4) or would you recommend a higher Nitrogen or Phosphorus count?
    Many thanks, again...vc
     
  4. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Once again if the tree were mine and I had just
    pruned it way back, I would not use any Nitrogen
    for the rest of this year. What you want is root
    development and applied Nitrogen will be harmful
    to the roots at this stage. Right after I cut the dead
    wood off I would give this tree a good doze of
    Vitamin B1, one fluid ounce per gallon of water
    and give three to four gallons of the mixture the
    day I cut the wood off. Wait for 2-3 weeks and
    then give this tree a dose of liquid 0-10-10 and
    Vitamin B1 at the rate of one fluid ounce B1 and
    one fluid ounce 0-10-10 (it has no Nitrogen in it)
    and apply three to four gallons of the mixture and
    then no more fertilizing until the early Fall when
    I would use three to four ounces of a granular
    0-10-10 with about 6-10% Calcium in the
    formulation to help protect the roots for the
    Winter. Next Spring you may want to use some
    Nitrogen then and I'd go with four ounces of a
    granular 6-12-6 or similar with 6-10% Calcium
    if you can find that formulation.

    Just checked and saw that you may be able to use
    the same fertilizers I use. If not contact the Home
    Depot nearest to you and ask for Bandini Super
    Bloom 0-10-10 and Bandini Vegetable Food
    6-12-16. Both fertilizers have 10% Calcium
    in their formulations.

    http://www.homedepot.ca/escalate/st...ic_StoreOntario&loginPage=static_StoreOntario

    Jim
     
  5. vcallinan

    vcallinan Active Member

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    Location:
    East York, Ontario
    Thanks Jim, your advice is very useful.
    The tree was such a tiny twig when I bought it 5 years ago (for $14 CDN) in a pot stuffed with weeds and barely any soil. It thrived in our garden, growing strong and graceful. I've removed the plants around it to make sure it gets air down at ground level. I handn't noticed but the new branches already have branches, so there's every sign that the roots are healthy.
    Thanks for the tips on fertilizer too (i should take out shares in Home Depot, i'm contributing to it's bottom line so much there!)!....vc
     

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