Coral Bark Chlorosis - nutrient deficiency or sun burn?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by drrich2, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. drrich2

    drrich2 Member

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    Location:
    Hopkinsville, KY, USA
    Hi:

    I've been getting into trees this past summer and learning as I went. So understand that I bought a potted coral bark Japanese maple tree, a container plant, during the summer (rather than Spring or Fall) & planted it in the ground with soil ammendment (Miracle Glo tree & shrub soil mix, if memory serves) and poured on a Miracle Glo liquid mix made for freshly planted plants to help them start. I don't recall for sure, but I doubt I went around the root ball hunting for potentially girdling roots. The tree is planted in an exposed full sun location in Zone 6, southwestern Kentucky.

    So, not everything's been done right. On the other hand, the tree is mulched, we've had frequent rains through the summer & it's had occasional supplemental waterings to prevent extended dry periods, but not keep it perpetually water-logged.

    When bought, the leaves were rather dark green. It would've been planted around June 2'nd, '09. Here's what it looked like at the Nursery:

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    I apologize for posting links instead of photos; I couldn't figure out how to post a photo into a post. I tried different code tabs from Photobucket.com and 'Preview Post' and it didn't work.

    Now, months later, the leaves vary from moderate green to yellowish. It's my understand from online searching could be due to mild sun-burning (especially a first year plant where the root mass might not support the leaf mass well; here's a thread on the sun-burning issue), nutrient deficiency (iron, manganese or zinc) or excessive alkalinity making a given nutrient unavailable to the plant. It's my understanding some seasoned horticulturalists can make a limited judgment call from looking at the leaves to see the patterning of the chlorosis.

    On a good note, it's not defoliated. I can't say it's grown, but it's mostly held its own. Here are photos taken yesterday. You can try this link to go to the Photobucket Album; if that doesn't work, I've included direct links to some of the photos.

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    I hope to get a soil sample sent off soon, but that's going to take awhile, and the results won't match the soil right around the tree since it had the Miracle Glo soil added. A friend told me the yard soil has substantial clay and ought to have plenty of iron.

    Thoughts, folks?

    Richard.
     
  2. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Looks ok to me, just a little stressed which is nothing unusual for a newly planted Japanese maple. I wouldn't worry about a nutrient deficiency just yet, but obviously it is sensible to get a soil sample tested to make sure.

    Early June is actually a good time to plant a Japanese maple, as long as it is well mulched and you can keep it watered through the first summer, no problems there. Your tree will have put out most of this year's top growth before you bought it, and will have spent most of its energy since then developing the roots. I am not sure exactly of your climate there, but you may find you get some new shoots growing between now and fall.

    Just my tuppenny worth, I don't claim to be a "seasoned horticulturist", hope that helps.
     
  3. jwsandal

    jwsandal Active Member

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    All of my coral bark cultivars (Fjellheim, Winter Flame, and Beni kawa) are all starting to slowly turn yellow as well in my climate (zone 7b) and their bark is also noticeably more colorful as well. I am hoping this is just an early transition to their fall colors which has varied year to year, depending on stress and just temperament I guess. I also have planted plenty of my maples in the summer and although not ideal, I have excellent success and it would appear you have done a good job taking care of your new tree. I also supplement my maples every spring with trace minerals (Ironite)- dont know if it helps or not but helps me feel better anyway.
     
  4. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    JW,

    On the nutrition side, I have found that nutricote/dynamite is an effective extended release fert for jm's. A lite dose of nutricote in my experience is better than giving on and off feedings through the season. It contains trace/minors.
     
  5. jwsandal

    jwsandal Active Member

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    thx- i will look it up- i cant find all extended release anything that is not high in nitrogen so i have been using 6-10-10 2 x's per year and ironite 1x per year soo far with good success without too much growth too fast
    justin
     
  6. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    Those pics look normal to me for most coral barks in a good deal of sun. I have one form of sango kaku that will turn completely yellow in full sun by mid July after being a nice light green in spring. It then drops some leaves and others burn a little, and with consistent moisture it will force out some new growth here in September. This however, is bad because the new shoots always get nipped back or get psuedomonas. These trees are not as tough as most other JMs, therefore some burning and die back is expected in most areas.
     
  7. sarahatbernheim

    sarahatbernheim Active Member Maple Society

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    Hi Richard,
    I'm quite familiar with Western Ky, being from Murray. Dirr says Sango Kaku JM are not as heat tolerant, so the Coral bark may be sensitive to the heat and full sunlight. Alot of the JM I've seen at Bernheim are in shade and their leaves do fine. Other JM do fine in full sun too. If you ever have a chance to drive up to the Louisville area, check out Bernheim. It's just a 3 hour drive or so from Hoptown.

    Sarah
     
  8. drrich2

    drrich2 Member

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    Hi:

    Thanks for the input, everyone. Here's a copy (minus some personally identifying info. & such, of course) of the soil analysis report from a county extension office.

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    I don't see a button to directly insert a photo, so this link above is the best I can do.

    The pH is lower than I would've thought (5.7), and it's odd the phosphorus is low (given that 3 dogs have been crapping in that backyard for quite awhile, now).

    The planting hole where the Coral Bark Japanese Maple was put was amended at the time of planting the Miracle Glo Tree & Shrub soil, and I think another Miracle Glo liquid product for freshly planted trees was applied and some tree fertilizer stakes were put in the general vicinity (not right by the root ball, though, & I've since learned some folks advise against fertilizer spikes due to high salt deposition into the soil from them), so the tree right around the root ball isn't like this report, but the sample (a mix from soil taken from 5 sites in the vicinity of the tree, albeit out away from it) gives a 'background area' look.

    Richard.
     
  9. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    Yes I would not recommend tree spikes for a J. maple especially. In fact, most J. maples need very little fertilizer and a light application of a good slow release in spring is all I would recommend.
     

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