Did i find a witches broom?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by banjoboy, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. banjoboy

    banjoboy Active Member

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    Hello,
    The other day I found what i think is a witches broom on a Sango Kaku. How excited should i be about grafting this? Has anyone else tried grafting a witches broom? What are the chances that the characteristics will remain on the newly grafted maple and i'll have a super dwarf compact sango kaku?

    The tree i found it on is very mature. It has a branch with basketball sized tight cluster of small branches. it is MUCH more compact than the rest of the tree.
     
  2. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Can you post some pictures? I think that would help a lot. Not all witches brooms are mutations. Some are caused by disease. Still, I would think its definitely worth looking at...


    Regards,
     
  3. spookiejenkins

    spookiejenkins Active Member

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    Neat find. I hope it is something worthy of grafting! We want to see pics! :)

    K - I thought all broom mutations were caused by disease. ?? In the nursery biz (generally, not the maple specialists as I haven't worked with any) most agree that the stunted growth is caused by a virus... At least that is what I always hear.

    Unfortunately, I have never worked at a nursery that grows more than just the regular Ap, but I have seen lots of other trees and shrubs with witches broom. A funny little Ilex comes to mind. It was so stunted that it took almost a year to gain just an inch of growth. These Ilex were NOT cute and no one could ever figure out how to save them. Can a plant revert from it's "broom state" on its own, or be cured of it's virus?
     
  4. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Spookie,

    No, actually, they aren't all caused by disease. From the University of Iowa:

    " Fortunately, investigation into the causes of witches' brooms has revealed that we do not have bewitched trees in our midst. It turns out that a number of stresses, both pathological and environmental, can lead to the formation of brooms. Organisms such as fungi, mites, aphids and mistletoe plants can cause abnormal growth when they attack a host tree. Environmental stresses that injure the growing points of branches can also trigger the formation of brooms.

    Some brooms appear to be caused by genetic mutations in the buds of the branches. Unlike brooms caused by living organisms, there is usually just one broom per tree when the cause is a genetic mutation. "

    History: In the old days, brooms were made from bunches of twigs. Superstition had it that when a dense bundle of twigs (looking like a broom) appeared in a tree (especially something important, like a fruit tree), it was because it had been "bewitched" - hence the name "witches broom".

    Have a nice day!
     
  5. spookiejenkins

    spookiejenkins Active Member

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    GOOD TO KNOW! Thank you.

    See, I knew to ask you. :)
     
  6. banjoboy

    banjoboy Active Member

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    I'd be glad to post pics.......i still need to ask the owners of the tree if i can take cuttings. It is pretty high up and i think i'll need something to stand on. Just from looking up at it, it looks like where the cluster starts there is slight swelling of the main branch.
     
  7. yweride

    yweride Active Member 10 Years

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    banjoboy, good find. From what you describe it sounds like you found a broom.

    It seams like the red bark maples, such as Sango kaku throw brooms often. I know of quite a few that exist. Unfortunate they are harder to propagate than the typical palmatum. My favorite, Fjellheim makes such a nice plant with such tiny leaves, but we have problems with dye back here in Oregon.

    I noticed your located in Oregon. I found one in Vancouver, Washington a couple of years ago and after three attempts i finally go one graft to take. See thread http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=16030&highlight=sango+kaku+broom
     
  8. yweride

    yweride Active Member 10 Years

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    banjoboy, let me know if you need help propagating this broom.
     
  9. katsura

    katsura Active Member 10 Years

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    yweride,
    what has become of that graft of the broom you found?
     
  10. yweride

    yweride Active Member 10 Years

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    Its still in a one gallon pot, the leaves look like that of fjellheim. I have another broom from Sango kaku, also small with green leaves, but the leaves are slightly wider and more twisted. I will have to get pics of both this summer. Remind me.
     
  11. banjoboy

    banjoboy Active Member

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    Yweride,
    Thanks for the offer. I've got tons of rootstock and I'll try grafting 2 or 3 this winter. I just moved to corvallis, if you are ever down this way i'll show you where i found it. I can't wait to see what it looks like with leaves on it!
     
  12. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Yes: And she wants it back.
     
  13. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    This makes me sad...out of all of my maples and maples around my area I've yet to find a broom. I've found a couple of other sports, but no brooms in maples. I've found 2 brooms in white pines, 3 in other pines, one in a japanese holly, dozens in azaleas, and one in a hemlock...but no maples. :(
     
  14. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Is it something like this?
     

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  15. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Closer view ...
     

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  16. banjoboy

    banjoboy Active Member

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    it doesn't look like that.....but that is very cool looking. I've seen Sekka Yatsubusa do that. Mine just looks like a .............broom. It is a dense bunch of little branches. I grafted 6 little guys the other day. There wasn't a lot of new growth but hopefully a few will take.
     
  17. banjoboy

    banjoboy Active Member

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    So I finally got around to taking some pictures. They aren't the best but you can get the idea. I can't wait for it to leaf out. Hopefully some of my grafts take.
     

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  18. NJACER

    NJACER Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    banjoboy,

    That looks very cool although I have no experience with finding brooms. Twenty years looking and no luck yet. please post pictures of your grafts if they take and a phorto of the original tree if possible. Thanks for keeping us up to date.

    Ed
     
  19. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    Looks like a broom to me, but the question will be: how different is it from the existing brooms from sango kaku. It should be interesting.
     
  20. banjoboy

    banjoboy Active Member

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    Well after a disastrous year where i lost almost all my potted maples and new grafts to cold weather, i am beginning to recover. Looks like i got about 100 percent success with my grafts this winter. Including a few of these witches broom. I'll post better pictures when i get them.
     

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  21. katsura

    katsura Active Member 10 Years

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    sorry to hear about your losses this winter, banjoboy,
    but glad your witches broom grafts look fine.
     
  22. banjoboy

    banjoboy Active Member

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    my new grafts are getting bigger!
     

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  23. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Congrats! Looking very nice. Grafts are always exciting...
     
  24. banjoboy

    banjoboy Active Member

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    Especially when they are grafts of a witches broom i discovered and that nobody else has propagated. It probably will not be that much different than other witches brooms but i like the idea. watching it grow and seeing it take its shape is so exciting!!
     
  25. banjoboy

    banjoboy Active Member

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    wow, i can't believe this was 4 years ago. Here are some photos. compared to my fjellheim (which for me has tons of die back every year) my witches broom hardly has any at all.
     

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