Dieback: upper branches/lower branches

Discussion in 'Maples' started by debviolet, May 9, 2020.

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  1. debviolet

    debviolet Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Maple friends!
    I have dieback issues/questions.
    An 18 year old ap Orangeola with no previous issues showed extensive dieback of lower limbs this year.
    A 3-4 year old ap Akane put out leaves that shriveled rather than unfolding, upper branch.
    Pictures below.

    The winter here in western Massachusetts was very unusual, with no snow and Alot of rain. Another 18 year old ac Pacifiv Fire died, not far from the Orangeola. They are both planted in sandy well drained hillside, though I suspect drainage may vary somewhat in an idiosyncratic way.

    One theory a tree company gave me was that even nurseries plant trees to deeply, so that when buyers replant the same way, the trees will do poorly.
    The company says the trees' "toes" should show. Sure enough, the wild oaks and trees around here do show toes, and the trunks do not emerge from the ground straight up like telephone poles...

    Could my trees be suffering from this? Any ideas Much appreciated!!
    Debbie
    Ps. I fault human-origin climate effects for climate volatility here, as do many other western Massachusetts gardeners and farmers these past few years
     

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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Hi @debviolet, how many times have I heard the same story this Spring from friends here in England. IMO tha advice you have been given already 'is correct'. Maples that have been planted too deeply will and can survive being planted a little too low until we get extreme weather ie exceptional rain fall, then they react badly.
    The advice that the toes should show is how I plant my maples, but I have suffered a few fatalities this Spring also. I lifted the dead trees and found water logging underneath my clay soil. I have added good compost and grit to my soil regularly over many decades but still a few maples did not survive this last winter rain.
    My advice would be to follow the advice you have been given with replacement trees, but do give the few that have suffered a chance for a few months after removing the dead, diseased and dying branches. Whilst improving the soil around them with a very gritty mix as deep as you can.
    Hope this is of help.
    Acerholic
     
  3. debviolet

    debviolet Active Member 10 Years

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    • Thank you so much for reply! It is certainly encouraging! I was told even digging down around the trunk to expose the toes will help quite abit, though not sure I get the logic...
     
  4. 0soyoung

    0soyoung Rising Contributor

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    I have it in my mind that the standard/common advice with heavy clay soils is to plant Japanese maples on mounds, similar to the pitcher's mound of baseball. The mounds, of course, are of good, well-draining, soil. Apparently this is not so standard/common, but it is what I recommend.
     
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  5. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Osoyoung is quite right, plant them high in 'good' well drained soil and they should be happy.
     

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