Did my Japanese Maple catch verticillium???

Discussion in 'Maples' started by shelli, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. shelli

    shelli Active Member

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    A few days ago I posted about my new *** maple's leaves all curling up in about 5 days time after doing fine for 2 months. After reading some of the other posts I'm concerned it may have caught verticillium from the *** Maple that died in the same location this year (w/in 10 feet of where this is planted). Since you all seem to be much more knowledgable about this than I am, I thought I'd post some pictures of the old maple so you could tell me if you think it died of this. It does seem odd to me that the new one could have caught something so quickly, but we did have nearly 20 inches of rain in the first 2 months it was planted on this site. Anyhow, I'd appreciate any insights you all could give me. Here are some pictures of the old tree (taken 2 years before it died). Some are cuts of dead branches, some of fungus growing out of the tree, one from a distance... if I can post that many pics.
    And if I can, I'll post one of the new (curled up) tree.
     

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  2. STi

    STi Active Member

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    Re: Did my *** Maple catch verticillium???

    those holes in pic 3 look like ants!! the guy next door to me had a sugar maple invaded with ants......i made him cut that sucker down..the center was hollow!
     
  3. shelli

    shelli Active Member

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    Re: Did my *** Maple catch verticillium???

    Ants could have killed it??? Wow, I didn't know that could happen. The tree didn't have any hollow spots inside when we cut it down, but the bark did fall off the branches easily. The tree kind of died one branch at a time until this year when nothing leafed at all. We did have an exceptionally dry summer last summer, so I wonder if that sealed it's fate. If it was insects then maybe my new tree won't get verticillium. I did a lot of reading on verticillium last night and found that it can affect other maples. We do have an enormous Crimson Maple in the same area which is very healthy and definitely shared the same soil as the *** Maple. So I'm hoping it wasn't verticillium.
     
  4. Laurie

    Laurie Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Re: Did my *** Maple catch verticillium???

    You are fortunate to have taken photographs of the last days of this older Bloodgood. Given your concern for your newly planted Bloodgood as expressed in the thread http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=16559, I would immediately take these and any other available photographs to your local extension office for assistance with your concerns. I would also take a soil sample from the area - try to exclude soil from the rootball of the newly planted tree, but they may not have the capabilities to perform a soil test for verticillium. (I just read that Washington State University does not, but Oregon State University does.) The discoloration in the crosshatch photographs of the branches is of concern. In the third photograph, the fungus or conk growing on the trunk seems to suggest root rot, which may or may not be an issue for other trees planted in the area, or wood decay. However the blackened top of the conk does not match any of the photographs I have seen thus far in online articles. Check out the following link: http://counties.cce.cornell.edu/Wyoming/agriculture/resources/ipd/diseases_maples.htm.
    Please let us know what you learn. If there is any serious threat to the long-term health of the tree, ask them what they would recommend.
     
  5. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Re: Did my *** Maple catch verticillium???

    I'll answer your private message here.

    Your tree is laden with Tight Bark. You
    already have an internal, by itself is a non
    lethal, form of Verticillium in your plant
    but the collapse of your tree was not due
    to the Verticillium, it was due to stress to
    your tree. A few more stresses and the tree
    will be taken over by the Tight Bark and then
    in combination with the non lethal form of
    Verticillium then you may have some severe
    dieback and death to the tree unless you prune
    this Maple back hard and force it to start over.
    What you had was a result of typical heat and
    lack of water stress. If you had Verticillium
    those leaves would all be dried out to a crisp
    and will stay on the tree and then more likely
    a Botrytis would come in to finish them off
    and then they start falling off the tree in masse.

    It can take up to a month to see new growth
    emerge after the initial shock from the leaf
    desiccation but your leaves are not scalded,
    nor are they scorched from the photo. Sun
    pleached a little yes but not overly so. I'd
    just make sure this tree gets plenty of water,
    give it a rest otherwise, no pruning, no
    fertilizing and wait for the new growth to
    emerge as based on the photo you should
    get some new growth but for this particular
    Maple you cannot let it heat stress again
    this year or you may lose it the next time.

    That is not Verticillium that killed your
    older tree. I see evidence of Pseudomonas
    just like what we see in the Maple Tree Trunk
    Splitting
    thread that helped cause the split in
    the bark. We can see the wet lesion on both
    Maples, your old tree and the Autumn Blaze.
    The Pseudomonas acts very much like Tight
    Bark in that they are the root problem that
    causes the plant to weaken after the tree has
    been stressed and then once the plant has
    been weakened the internal Verticillium
    alboatrum
    will aid in killing the plant but
    generally cannot kill the plant by itself but
    over time and through a series of stresses
    alboatrum can kill the Maple. In actuality
    the plant just gives up first and just shuts
    down and the fungus is blamed for the
    death of the plant by a host of people. Yet
    this is not the soil borne, notorious killer,
    quick decline form of Verticillium by any
    means. Ask any Cotton grower about
    Verticillium and they will know what the
    quick decline form is. It is not Verticillium
    alboatrum
    .

    Jim
     
  6. shelli

    shelli Active Member

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    Re: Did my *** Maple catch verticillium???

    Thanks for all the information!! I guess the moral of the story is, do your research before you buy a tree. I had never even heard of Tight Bark. I just thought that was what a tree was supposed to look like. I also discovered (upon careful inspection) that there is a plastic tie embedded in the trunk (probably wrapped around it when it was young and left there). I hope it doesn't hurt the tree. Should I complain to the nursery???

    On a different note.... I have a small "offspring" of the original maple which had been growing in my flower bed along with serveral others. It got too big last year so I moved it out to the back of my property near the woods last spring and it survived the summer and winter. I'd like to move it to a prominent location next year, now that it is bigger. Does this one look healthy to you? (see attached). It's completely shaded right now so it is very green, but was red when it was in the sun in the flower bed.

    Thanks again for everyone's advice!!!
     

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  7. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: Did my *** Maple catch verticillium???

    Hello Mr.Shep, I am very curious as to what tight bark actually is, does, caused by, looks like, or anything. Other than in the UBCBG forum and a few sites that discuss vascular diseases and the spread of such diseases throught the transport of firewood containing tight bark, I can't seem to find out what tight bark even means. Could I guess and assume that the bark possibly does'nt grow at the same rate as the tree, and starts to split and crack? I would be very interested to learn anything on this topic, many thanks, Jim.
     
  8. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Re: Did my *** Maple catch verticillium???

    To better understand what Tight Bark is we should
    have some prior knowledge of Japanese Maples as
    they came in from Japan. For many years we did not
    see any evidence of Tight Bark on Maples until they
    got to around 12-15 years old, whether they were
    grown in containers or planted in the ground. As
    far as specifics of what it does, it causes a dry lesion
    that spreads, infecting the wood as it goes up the tree.
    Once the branch tips are infected we start losing wood
    and new growth is not replenished at the rate of wood
    loss. Essentially the Tight Bark starts a process of
    growth attrition and that combined with stress to the
    plant weakens a plant giving the internal Verticillium
    that is already in the plant the ability to take over as
    the plant cannot fight off very well both Tight Bark
    and Verticillium while it is stressed. We will see
    dieback because of it, some of it small scale and
    we can also see large scale dieback that can lead
    to the death of the plant. In heavily affected trees
    we have about three years to see the tree start to
    go into decline and not recover until we force the
    plant to put on new growth and if we wait to long
    such as two years later to severely prune the tree
    back to wood that is not infected then we waited
    too long and the tree dies. This is essentially
    the process that most online sources and some
    books are referencing as Verticillium caused
    death of the plant but that form of Verticillium
    is non lethal by itself, the plant can live with it.
    Just like a plant can learn to live with Tight Bark
    in cooler climates but in a warm climate we are
    going to stress the tree in some way, such as
    lack of water stress, wind stress, nutrient stress,
    heat stress to the tree accompanied by leaf
    desiccation and each time we stress the tree
    we weaken it giving rise to the Tight Bark to
    become more widespread as the tree cannot
    fight it off too well and then in combination
    with Verticillium already in the plant, once we
    stress the tree enough times the tree cannot
    withstand the dual attack of having exterior
    wood damaged by the Tight Bark and the
    vascular system being plugged up like a slow,
    strangle hold inside the plant. Eventually the
    plant gives up the fight and the two warring
    factions win.

    I think MJH's thread on Tight Bark was the most
    important thread in this entire forum but how that
    or this information here is applied is what concerns
    me as in this particular thread we have a person that
    let her tree stress, did not help the tree along when
    the tree started to decline with a noticeable droop,
    not really is a wilt to the leaves. So, now whose
    fault it is, the nursery that sold her the plant, the
    grower that the nursery bought the plant from to
    sell or the owner for not knowing enough about
    how to grow Maples but was not taught to know
    what signs to look for when the plant went into
    decline due to stress? The professional nurseries
    will accept the blame for the death of the plant and
    will offer a replacement guarantee. The problem
    that most people do not realize is that for many
    years here people did not lose their Maple in the
    first two years they had them, the lost the plant
    right around the fifth year. We do not have too
    many nurseries that will guarantee the plant
    for that long and honestly, how can we expect
    them to? There aren't one percent of all of the
    nurseries growing and selling Maples worldwide
    that will know what Tight Bark is and how it
    affects a plant. MJH did you people a real
    service by even mentioning it and we have
    some doubters that will be affected over time
    in some way with their Maples that want to
    dispute this disease but they had better be
    aware of it as they will see it and have to
    endure it and will lose their plants due to
    their inaction and inability to recognize early
    on that their plant has it and this disease will
    lead to the eventual death of the plant. If we
    knew we had a controllable cancer, a form
    that we know will kill us in the next 10-20
    years if left untreated but for the near term
    we have little to worry about, wouldn't we
    want to do something that can help increase
    our likelihood of staving off the inevitable
    from 10-20 years to 20-40 years?

    We can with Tight Bark if we know how this
    bacterium acts and what we can do and what
    we cannot do to help the plant reach its ultimate
    maturity. Once the plant gets to maturity then
    we accomplished our goal of getting this tree
    to the point whereby we can say that even an
    Ao washi no o, which was thought to be extinct
    for almost 30 years in Japan, that I had, that in
    my 25 years of having it that it lived its life's
    term. I have no real control over when the
    plant decides to perish all on its own accord
    but until we get to that point, it is my job to
    help that plant as well as I can to get it where
    the decision to live or die is the plants and that
    decision was not made or unduly influenced
    by me. Ask anyone that has had a collection
    plant that they had for many years and they
    can tell you of a particular plant they did not
    want to lose but the plant had gone its course
    in life and decided to go no further. We just
    have to accept it was the plants time to die
    and we hope we have another one to replace
    the old plant that died on us. Sometimes
    we do have a backup but more times that not
    we do not and it is then that we second guess
    ourselves knowing we were facing a crisis
    situation when we have no backups and chose
    to do nothing and now the plant is gone. What
    we regret the most was our inability to "preserve
    the species" was how it was put to me and those
    of us that have been through it know exactly how
    it feels to lose a plant we may not ever have again.

    Jim


    I'll not entertain any questions or will answer any
    more private messages in regards to this or any
    other thread in the UBC BG Maple forum. I
    will be parked for a short while in the UBC BG
    Citrus forum until my eventual departure from
    all of the UBC BG forums.

    Note: Moderators, you' can close me out now
    if you want but after a few more posts I will be
    requesting that I am prevented from being able
    to log into the UBC BG forums altogether.

    I suggest questions in regards to Tight Bark be
    addressed in its proper thread. Perhaps others
    will join in and help out.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2006
  9. shelli

    shelli Active Member

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    Re: Did my *** Maple catch verticillium???

    "in this particular thread we have a person that
    let her tree stress, did not help the tree along when
    the tree started to decline with a noticeable droop,
    not really is a wilt to the leaves. So, now whose
    fault it is, the nursery that sold her the plant, the
    grower that the nursery bought the plant from to
    sell or the owner for not knowing enough about
    how to grow Maples but was not taught to know
    what signs to look for when the plant went into
    decline due to stress? "

    What is this supposed to mean????!!!!!!!!! I purchased my tree with Tight Bark. I did not know what it was. I took very good care of my tree and payed very close attention to it. It went into "decline" very suddenly and all leaves dried up in about 6 days. When the leaves started to dry, I watered it. I've read some info here that says "water more" some that says "don't drown your plant". I'm just trying to save it and have not neglected it. It rec'd a ton of rain when I first planted it, but how was I to prevent that short of building a hut around it, or digging it back up and putting it in the garage??? I came here looking for help and advice... not blame. And, no, the nursery I bought it from didn't offer any advice on caring for the tree... I don't think they had any to offer.
     
  10. graftedmaplecollector

    graftedmaplecollector Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: Did my *** Maple catch verticillium???

    Paxil. That is all.
     
  11. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: Did my *** Maple catch verticillium???

    Wow, am I missing something here? Best regards to Mr.shep, and thank you for answering my question about tight bark, I am still a little confused but I get somewhat of a perspective of what your saying. But what I am missing here is how does one know that Shelli's little maple has this tight bark for sure in the first place. Could it not just be verticillium, or abiotic stress from climate, or the roots are having a hard time? Shelli I am sure you are doing all you can, and asking for help in the forum is a great start! Mr.shep, did I miss something else, why would the Moderators close you out? Why would you want to be prevented from this amazing forum? I enjoy reading your novels. Anyhow, Shelli, Laurie's advice is always great advice, if watering is fine and the roots don't seem to be restricted in clay or hardpan, then it maybe a good idea to snip a branch and look for brown decay looking areas [which you can google maple wilt and get a pic what to look for] and like Laurie says take a sample to an extension office or plant and animal science lab, for proper diagnosis. That way you will know for sure if it is a disease and not to plant there again. I hope your little Maple turns around for the better, Jim
     
  12. neko musume

    neko musume Active Member 10 Years

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    tight bark and verticillium

    hello jimweed,

    i'm of the firm belief that mr. shep knows his maples -- blindfolded with both arms tied behind his back.

    i don't know too much about either tight bark or verticillium, but having read about them in this forum, i've been able to recognize what i believe to be an unhealthy color or texture in the bark of a japanese maple, be it in a pot, in the landscape, or in a nursery.

    i've had a few potted young japanese maples for only a couple of years. after belatedly learning about these diseases, i now see that i have a couple that are likely candidates for being afflicted by either tight bark or verticillium -- or both.

    i don't know if mr. shep is going off of what happened to shelli's first maple or not, but if you look closely at the photo of her current maple, you can see how ashen the trunk of her tree is.

    there are spots of discoloration on some of the other branches, but not as continuous or severe as this area.

    yes, perhaps there are other factors involved in why her tree is not well, but this unwelcome coloring, coupled with the description of her symptoms, leaves very few culprits to be the ultimate cause of the condition of her poor tree.

    and shelli,

    i agree with jimweed on two counts: 1. i'm sure you're doing all you can to deal with something you are completely overwhelmed by, and 2. laurie always gives good advice.

    also, the photos you posted of your "offspring" tree look perfectly healthy to my untrained eye. if you do move it to a more prominent location that gets a decent amount of sun, it may regain it's red coloring, and give you something to smile about.

    lastly, even if it doesn't always sound that way, i believe everyone here is interested in helping a fellow plant enthusiast.

    so please don't get discouraged, either in posting your questions or thoughts here, in trying to save your tree, or in trying to grow another one.

    good luck and let us know how it goes. ^_^

    n. musume
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2006
  13. shelli

    shelli Active Member

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    Re: Did my *** Maple catch verticillium???

    Thanks for your advice and support. I've been trying to get an arborist to come out to look at the tree and our soil, but so far haven't had much luck. I've gotten more e-mail advice. Unfortunately I don't think that the love of trees which is shared on this site is that common in the general population. I've never had trouble growing any kind of maple before on my property so even though I know there is a lot of clay in my soil I didn't think it would be a concern with this new tree. I've taken sugar maples that popped up next to the house and transplanted them with very few roots and they have thrived. That being said we have NEVER had a year of ups and downs in rainfall and temperature like we have this past year. One month we'd get 9 inches of rain, the next 1 inch... hot sun and 90s to rain, rain, rain and 60s. We usually have pretty moderate swings here... it's just been different lately and I would imagine challenging for a lot of the trees. I've noticed a lot of trees (including a lot of conifers) in the state that appear to be struggling and I have to think it's because of the weather. We do have an increasing problem with Hemlock Woolly Adelgid slowly killing the Hemlocks, but that doesn't account for all the changes I've seen. I will keep you all posted on my little maple and hopefully will have recovery pictures to post soon.
     
  14. Layne Uyeno

    Layne Uyeno Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: Did my *** Maple catch verticillium???

    Is that what you are recommeding for shelli's tree?

    Okay, seriously. I kinda know how Mr. Shep feels sometimes. The same thing happened to me while participating in the woodworking newsgroup. I began to feel like a broken record...

    I will say this: shelli's tree with the curled up leaves suffered severe under water stress. It didn't get any water when it really should have. Normally when a tree is slightly stressed from lack of water we will see leaf tip burn. In shelli's case the lack of water was so severe all the leaves dried up at once. This type of dessication is similar to when you cut a branch off and allow it to dry up. Disease, whether it be verticillium or root rot from overwatering, can not act this quickly. Sad to say but I think that tree is a goner. It may recover somewhat, but next year will be very iffy. Japanese maples are resilient, but not that resilient.

    The tree in the photo titled oldtree.jpg looks like it has major TB and it would be best to heed Mr. Shep's kind advice if that tree is to be saved. Shelli you did good to come here for advice and research. Now you know more about verticillium and TB and will now know what to look for when shopping for trees.

    Layne
     
  15. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Re: Did my *** Maple catch verticillium???

    Seriously, Paxil? I have tried drilling holes in the trunks of my diseased plant and inserting tablets of generic paroxetine but it has not been very helpful. I have also tried opening capsules of Effexor into the water, but alas, no results. I have heard lithium is very water soluable, maybe I would get faster rusults.


    Here we go, one last time, in case everyone does not know how to recognize these problems--
     

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    Last edited: Jul 24, 2006
  16. schusch

    schusch Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Re: Did my *** Maple catch verticillium???

    Hi, shelli.

    I agree with Layne: the more you know about diseases that have unfortunately been in japanese maples right now, the better. I am still trying to learn as much as possible about how to lengthen the lifespan of my trees, even with the diseases.

    The same goes for trying to locate nurseries that are trying to grabble with the problem - where I live Esveld (the van Gelderens of some of the maple books) are working on different cultivation techniques for just this problem: you can check out their website in this respect.
    Fertilisation, and the effects of overdoing it, for instance, is part of this same problem. Again, see MJH's bark thread, for some pointers by him, Mr Shep, and others. I'm glad Mr Shep, and the others here, take the time to share their knowledge since part of the satisfaction of growing maples is the 'science' in it.
    Schusch
     
  17. shelli

    shelli Active Member

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    Re: Did my *** Maple catch verticillium???

    I went back and read the old thread on tight bark. Very informative, and sad that this isn't taken seriously. When I went shopping for my maple last spring I took my camera to several nurseries and photographed trees. In reviewing those photos today it looks (to my untrained eye) that nealy 100 percent of them had evidence of TB!!!!!! I think I saw one "clean" looking tree in the photos and it was hard to tell for sure because the lower foot of the trunk was wrapped.

    As for my tree, Layne, how much should I water it? From what I have read, about an inch per week is desirable. I have clay soil and don't want to drown the roots. As I said the tree rec'd 8.5 inches of rain in May and 10.5 inches in June. I started watering it in July when I noticed the fist signs of decline, but it did not help. Should I water every day??? once per week??? What would you suggest? The soil still feels moist even w/in the top inch. We've only had about 1 inch of rain in July so far.
     
  18. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: Did my *** Maple catch verticillium???

    One more plant disease that doesn't seem to draw much attention in the Maple forum is bacterial blight. If you look closely at the long spindly branches on Shelli's little maple, that have almost zero foliage at the nodes along the branches, are identical symptoms of bacterial blight, leaving foliage mostly at the tips of the branches. This disease can quickly plug up the entire vascular system of a small tree almost over nite during hot dry weather when sap flow is already slow. Now I am not by any means saying that this is the cause of the leaf curl, just giving another suggestion.
    As for tight bark, I can't see on the pics of the old dead tree, whats giving that evidence? I assume that the grey masses on the other bark pics are what the signs from tight bark are to look like? I am going to keep my eye out for this and monitor the following symptoms that occure after. I deal with sick and pest infected trees all day, for the past 20yrs full time. And quite often spray as many as 1000 trees in a week around urban landscapes. I have noticed a lot of that grey streaking on the bark of JM's and never paid too much attention to it, till now!
    Sorry to jump in on this post for my own benifit, but I can't learn enough about JM's. Jim.
     
  19. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    You mention bacterial bight--that sounds like a generic term describe and unidentified problem in the tree that presents like you have described.

    Could you elaborate on what organism causese "bacterial blight", how it is transmitted and how you treat it. If you spray, then what is the success and how long is it before the trees recover.

    Thanks,
     
  20. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member 10 Years

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    I am not much of a scientist, yet. But I guess bacterial blight is caused by pseudomonas syringae, as I just googled it. I am pretty sure it is air borne and it does host on many plants. It is mostly a concern in wetter climates like BC. It's symptoms are like a blossom or bud blight, at the early season stage of plant growth, and may very well be the same disease actually. Later in the season shot hole and brown rot sure seem to be prominant signs of bacterial blight. Basically tree branches slowly lose all there older growth and nodes become scared over, never to produce growth there again, leaving leaves only on the tips of the branches, which can eventually die off too, leaving dead branches resembling verticillium effects. Many years ago a PhD lady from our Ministry of Agriculture, who was an onsite mentor for me, told me that baterial blight was basically a blockage of the arties, which restricts sap flow causing die back. Now according to most publications this is a fairly impossiblie disease to control. But,, I can say that continious use of copper, sulphur, and deep root fertilizing, along with the removal of dead wood, can make a hug difference. Although it will not bring back growth to the nodes that are non producing, it will slow down future dieback, allowing the tree to keep its new foliage.
    Fruit trees, Holly, Maples, and Lilac's, seem to recover well with regular treatments. Noticable results from less dieback can be seen within 1-2 years, and after 3 and more years of copper,sulphur,and fertilizer, shothole, brown rot, and dieback seems to dissapear. To no avail some trees will just dieback regardless!
    My experience is strickly practical without theory. Which is why I am upgrading part time at a local University to enter into a plant biology and chemistry program. Then I will understand for myself what is really going on.
    In the mean time for the last 20yrs of my life I have dedicated myself to doing what I can to please customers by inceasing the health of trees and plants. I have tried many chemicals on many plants for many years. Chemical labels only have so much room on them, and definately do not list everything that they may control.
    Sorry to get so off topic, just trying to give you a just of where I am coming from. In a few years I will have more scientific answers, in the meantime I just do what I can, and it seems to be working. Jim.
     
  21. shelli

    shelli Active Member

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    Shelli's Japanese Maple Update

    I don't mean to be a bore, but I'm still worried whether or not I'm doing the right thing for my maple. I can't find an arborist to come look at my tree. Today I noticed that some of the outer twigs are turning black and drying up. I don't know how much to water this tree. Do blackening twigs mean too much water, or too little???? The leaves are completely crispy (except when it rains they rehydrate, but I'm sure that's just cosmetic at this point). We've only had 1.25 inches of rain so far this month. Last week we had a few days in the 90s, but this week it's been mostly in the low 80s. The soil feels moist, but not wet.

    What do the experts think?????
     
  22. STi

    STi Active Member

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    Re: Shelli's Japanese Maple Update

    root rot???? do the leaves droop and does the tree seem as it's growth is stunted?
     
  23. shelli

    shelli Active Member

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    Re: Shelli's Japanese Maple Update

    I don't know if it's growth is stunted. I purchased it in April... it produced a lot of new leaves. The leaves never really stood completely erect... always hung down a little, then more so until they dried up. Now they are all dry and curled. I can post a series of pictures from the time I bought it till now if that would help.
     
  24. Laurie

    Laurie Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Re: Shelli's Japanese Maple Update

    It is really helpful to keep this information together with the original thread questioning verticillium, so it is likely that it will be moved there. It is understandable that you are worried about the amount of water your Bloodgood needs and gets, because that is important. Right now the soil is moist, but not wet which is good, so it defintely does not need to be watered. If it rains, however, as long as the drainage is good, it will be fine. As for when you need to water again in the absence of rain, I will let someone else suggest a little moisture test (e.g. two knuckles, one inch on a wooden chopstick, etc) since most of my maples are in pots; I use something closer to days between waterings. You mentioned that you planted the new tree within ten feet of where the older tree was, so it is a fair assumption that the rate at which the soil is draining is similar, and the older tree was happy for five decades. If you are willing, you could certainly dig an 18" hole outside of the root zone, fill it with water and let it drain, then fill it with water again and time the drainage. It is my understanding that if it drains more slowly than two hours, that is not ideal. It would certainly ease your mind to know. As far as the black tips and crispy leaves, I for one, would really appreciate some close-up photographs of what is going on. Frankly, I am at a bit of a loss as to how one can confidently make conclusions based on the one photograph of your new Bloodgood. (In my Windows XP photo viewer, I am only able to zoom in once, which in this case, is simply not enough information for me, personally.) The following is a link to Cooperative Extension offices in the various counties within Connecticut: http://www.canr.uconn.edu/ces/offices.html. Your photographs of both trees, and samples of the damaged twigs and surrounding soil would be really helpful to someone at the extension office. Ask them for a laboratory analysis. A definitive diagnosis would benefit you in that you could take the tree back to the nursery if it turns out that it is succumbing to Verticillium alboatrum, as was suggested above, or to various other causes. Actually none of us are experts, but rather we vary in our backgrounds and experiences with maples, but I am confident that most of us would agree that a six-foot Acer palmatum purchased in April and given water and good drainage, should be doing just fine in July.
     
  25. shelli

    shelli Active Member

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    Thanks, Laurie.
    Here are some better pictures: One from the day I bought the tree. One of the leaves (closeup on May 31st) so you can see if you think they were drooping back then. The rest from July 19th when the leaves were all curled. I don't have any from today. I can take some tomorrow to post (as it's dark out now).
     

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